Pillar 2019 Recap for Dummies

Pillar 2019 Recap for Dummies

Written by

Savannah Lee

January 17, 2020

We recently published Pillar’s 2019 recap. For those who missed it, we’ve summarized the most important parts into a beginner-friendly article…

We recently published Pillar’s 2019 recap. For those who missed it, we’ve summarized the most important parts into a beginner-friendly article…

Drew’s original recap discusses the specific trends and industry developments that drove our team’s product design and development decisions last year, as well as providing an in-depth outline of everything the Pillar team accomplished in 2019.

This summarised version of our 2019 recap is for those who are a little short for time, or a little less technical. So grab a coffee, sit down, and enjoy… we’ll be waiting for you on the other side ☕️


We launched the Pillar Smart Wallet 🤓

Late last year, after months of feedback and iterations, we opened up our Early Access program, allowing all Pillaristas to trial out the Pillar Smart Wallet for themselves. You can now start playing with features exclusive to the Pillar Smart Wallet (if you haven’t already joined)!

Early Access For Everyone!

Smart Wallets are essentially personal smart-contract accounts that give you greater control over your digital assets and private keys.

This evolution will enable many functions that aren’t available on Pillar Wallet 1.0.

The most noteworthy being the separation of funds 💰, and private keys 🔑, which will significantly strengthen the security of your Pillar Wallet.

We made it easier for you to keep your private keys safe and secure 🔐👍

Thanks to the Pillar Smart Wallet you’ll now be able to set-up multiple keys for your wallet!

Instead of a single key, you can now link sets of keys assigned to different applications.

A different key for different purposes allows you to individually assign permissions and spending limits, as well as revoke access at any time.

It also means that the loss or theft of a single key will no longer result in the permanent loss of access to your wallet or your funds… phew! 😅

We made it easier for you to navigate your Pillar Wallet 📲😍

Pillar spent a good part of 2019 focused on improving user experience with an emphasis on on-boarding and first interactions.

A user doesn’t need to know how electricity or the internet works in order to use it. Pillar believes this is true for blockchain technology and cryptocurrencies.

We built the Pillar Payment Network (PPN) to make spending and sending crypto fast and free

The PPN is currently functional and being trialed by users in our Early Access Program.

To enjoy the PPN, all you need to do is stake PLR tokens. Once you’ve staked some PLR, you’ll instantly gain access to the network and instant, gas-less payments.

On top of the PPN, we enabled multi-asset transfers. The exchange allows you to instantly send ETH and all ERC-20 tokens to other users, merchants or dapps, without exchanging them first.‍

We will continue to add new assets in 2020, including cross-chain assets — such as BTC!

We made it possible to mute, block and delete your contacts — #sorrynotsorry 💁‍♀️

For those of you who are dying to put a stop to pesky ETH requests from friends, say no more. In 2019, we introduced the ability to mute, block and delete connections.

Pillar is blind to the social graph of our user-network. Meaning, we can’t tell who’s connected to who, in an orchestrated effort to preserve our user’s privacy.

Pillar — Engineered for privacy: Connections

So while this may seem like a simple feature to build out at first glance, don’t be fooled — it was no trivial effort.

We made it easy for you to purchase crypto collectibles… 🦄😉

Non-fungible tokens (NFTs) are collectible tokens. Unlike fungible tokens, their value is not always equal 1:1.

Support for these crypto collectibles was one of the first features Pillar integrated in 2019. We also introduced support for animated NFTs (gifs), as well as full screen viewing of these goodies.

As NFT use cases continue to grow, Pillar will be looking into extending further support.

We took Game of Badges off-chain 😵

For our own in-wallet implementation of crypto collectibles, we created the ‘Game of Badges.’

Game of Badges is an initiative to reward Pillaristas with non-transferrable tokens for reaching milestones within the Pillar Wallet.

Helping to gamify the Pillar experience, users began receiving unique badges for performing actions such as creating a wallet, or making their first transaction, as well as for being a part of a community.

As badges are Pillar-specific and non-transferrable, we decided that their need to be NFTs, and live on-chain, was unnecessary.

The good news is this change makes badge issuance quicker and easier!

We have also been designing a variety of new badges and wallet incentives. Make sure you keep playing the ‘Game of Badges’ in 2020… 👀

You can now login and make payments using Touch or Face ID… 👩🏻‍🦱🤳🏻⚡️

It’s our goal to build a wallet that’s smooth and easy to use. Pillar Wallet now supports hassle-free biometric login and transaction signing (aka. payment authorisation).

Of course, this functionality depends on your device hardware natively supporting biometrics.

You can access any dapp without creating a new wallet! 💍

We integrated with WalletConnect. This was an important partnership for Pillar as WalletConnect allows you to interact with various dapps and services, without needing to create a separate account and/or wallet directly for that service.

The integration works hand-in-hand with the Pillar Smart Wallet by allowing funds to be safely stored in your personal smart contract, with application-specific keys assigned to access funds.

We launched the Offers Engine, to bring the best deals directly to your door 📲⚡️

The Pillar Offers Engine currently operates as an exchange aggregator, where various token swap services, protocols and decentralized exchanges can all compete to offer you the best deal on a range of tokens.

Pillar Offers Engine: a window into the DeFi world

The Offers Engine supports 0x, Changelly, Coinswitch, Shapeshift, and Uniswap with more to come.

We hope to add all kinds of DeFi services and products to the Offers Engine, and eventually expand into new industry’s and markets altogether (not just blockchain-related!)

You can now purchase crypto using your credit card, debit card, Apple Pay or Google Pay 🥳

In 2019, we premiered our Fiat Gateway, with Wyre and MoonPay the first services to be offered. You can easily purchase crypto thanks to using your preferred fiat payment method — whether that’s Apple Pay or your Credit Card — from directly within the Pillar app!

It’s just 2 taps to crypto. You’re welcome…


We are building out support for other blockchains ⛓

Pillar is proud to announce that we now officially support BTC. Bitcoin is available exclusively to all users in our Early Access program!

Our work in building out support for BTC has laid the groundwork to integrate other blockchains in 2020… so stay tuned!

We’re building a web portal that will make account recovery easier 📲👉💻

We’ve been hard at work developing a web portal to allow you to assign a secondary device for recovery or to lock your existing wallet in case you lose your device.

We anticipate the release of this update in early 2020, when we roll out the Pillar Smart Wallet to all users.

We’re making it cheaper for you to spend, send, or swap crypto

Another big update that will come in conjunction with the Smart Wallet roll out, will be the ability for users to pay for all on-chain transactions using the PLR token.

Soon, the Pillar platform will soon run solely on the PLR token, improving utility and user experience for all.

We’re launching a referral program…

As a way to reward our loyal users for promoting the project, and as a way to attract new users to the Pillar ecosystem, we will also be introducing a referral program in the near future!

This program will reward you with PLR for inviting new members to join the platform, and new users who receive your invite and create an account will receive some PLR tokens to help them get started on their journey.


  • Self-Sovereign ID
  • Multiple Persona Support
  • Social Account Recovery

As you can see, most of the items that we’ve delayed are specifically related to identity and personal data management.

The decision to postpone these items was a conscious one as we see new trends and advancements quickly evolving in this space.

That said, we anticipate that personal data management will be a core focus this year. We’ll be discussing our approach in the upcoming 2020 product vision, so STAY TUNED! 🤩🍿

If you want to read the original 2019 recap by Drew Harding check it out!

Pillar Project 2019 Recap