Guarda is a multicurrency digital, light-wallet for cryptocurrency. It was developed in 2017 and is non-custodial, has open-source code, and offers multi-platform functionality. Digital wallets are an interface that enables users to access and trade cryptocurrencies and tokens that run on blockchains.
Guarda is a downloadable software that works as a browser extension. It is also compatible with Ledger hardware wallets, which plays a vital role in using the online wallet securely. In addition, the wallet offers a wide range of defi services, including coin staking and loans. The Guarda wallet currently supports the use of over 45 blockchains, including BTC, BCH, BSV, ETH, ETC, XMR, ZEC, XRP, EOS, LTC, XLM, DASH, as well as over 10.000 tokens.
Reviews from users report that Guarda is easy to use, is privacy oriented, as well as offers several quality functions for cryptocurrency trading. The platform requires very little of the user’s personal or private information. The company has embraced the defi ethos of anonymity. That means Guarda does not store any of a user’s personal information. They do not keep backup files, private keys, or personal data that might weaken the security of cryptocurrency trading. The wallet works on all major operating systems, which includes a desktop and mobile version.
An important aspect to pay close attention to is how Gurada’s fees work, which gets explored in detail under the fees section. Downloading the wallet is free, but as with most exchanges, trades, and transactions are not. As such, some users report that they were caught unawares by the fees Guarda charged them.
Guarda currently supports:
A feature that many defi enthusiasts appreciate is the anonymity that Guarda offers users. Guarda is a non-custodial wallet. Non-custodial wallets give the user complete control over their cryptocurrencies. Custodial wallets, or exchanges, are the contrast. A custodial platform requires that users first deposit their cryptocurrency to the wallet, or more likely, the exchange. Custodial wallets work much like typical banks, and clients use a debit card rather than cash.
Guarda is essentially just a software program that facilitates users to manage their tokens. It also means that the Guarda never keeps any personal data. There is no central data cloud that keeps users’ cryptographic data, passwords, keys, or coins.
Those who prefer non-custodial wallets and exchanges put a high premium on anonymity. Many prefer to allow encryption and blockchain to do the work of maintaining integrity. The technology is key to the integrity and value of cryptocurrencies and blockchain.
The potential downside of non-custodial platforms is that the user is wholly responsible for managing all of their information. If a pass key is lost, it is lost forever. Guarda cannot recover any lost data, as it does not record or store any of it.
To download and use Guarda’s wallets is free, and they also do not charge commission. However, there are fees to use Guarda’s services. There are always exchange and transaction fees for which the user is responsible. Frankly, based on discussion forums, determining the costs with Guarda appears to confuse many users.
The fees charged are the commission fees determined by the exchange partner and the blockchain network fee. Network transaction fees are driven mainly by market demand, but there are suggested rates that users can apply to begin negotiations. The best way to determine what a transaction fee should be is to see what others on the blockchain/network are charging at that time.
Users pay for performing transactions. That means users should expect transaction fees on their Guarda wallet, from Guarda (at 3.5%) and the network fee.
So, the user is responsible for:
Guarda’s exchange fee of 3.5% is relatively high compared to many platforms, which charge around 1.5%, and sometimes less, depending on the coin. Users do not need to use Guarda’s exchange to use the wallet, however. The wallet works with other exchanges, including Poloniex and Bittrex. Guarda has also partnered with ChangeNow, ShapeShift, and CoinSwitch.
Transactions fees are paid to the blockchain network for miner’s fees. Network fees depend on the size of the transaction and the demand of the network and therefore vary significantly. And, the larger the transaction size, the higher the network fee will be.
On the Bitcoin network, users pay for each byte of the transaction in Satoshi (0.00000001 BTC). Guarda allows users to choose the amount of Satoshi per byte. As a result, higher fees (Satoshis) are processed on the blockchain faster.
The wallet makes a suggested transaction fee based on the rate of the most recent blocks on a given blockchain. If, after 48 hours, no one on the network has included a transaction in the block, the transaction is canceled. In that case, the funds are returned to the owner’s wallet. Cancellations may occur if the transaction fee is below the market rate.
Deeplink is a feature that enables users to create invoices and charge for services in cryptocurrencies. It works by sharing a link, and it is free for the payee. Users can accept any of the 45+ cryptocurrencies or choose from thousands of tokens. In addition, the entire invoice is customizable.
Users can specify all the transaction parameters, so the transaction can be as complex as necessary.
Deeplink is an internal link, so the individual sending payment remains on the same site the entire time.
Guarda has a partnership with CoinRabbit, a cryptocurrency lending service. CoinRabbit lends stablecoins at a 10% APR (annual percentage rate) with unlimited terms. The starting minimum for loans is 100 USDT (Tether’s stablecoin). Interest incurred from loans are calculated monthly, and the fee is included in the repayment amount.
The loans are very flexible, which means that users have access to funds within about 20 minutes, and they can pay them back at a time that suits the individual investor. In addition, with CoinRabbit, there are no credit checks, monthly payments, or maximums for the loan amount.
CoinRabbit liquidates the collateral of a loan if/when the cryptocurrency or token reaches its liquidation level. The collateral is then automatically liquidated. Once the collateral is liquidated, it cannot be returned to the loan borrower. CoinRabbit sends multiple notifications before the point of liquidation.
Liquidation levels are used when trading margins and dealing with collateral. The process is a security feature to protect both the traders and the lenders from incurring significant losses when the value of an asset plummets.
Regarding loans, there are some KYC (know your customer) details required. Again, ChangeNOW, a third-party service, performs these checks.
ChangeNOW is a non-custodial instant crypto-to-crypto and fiat-to-crypto exchange. Users can make fiat-to-crypto loans, as well as buy cryptocurrencies with a VISA or Mastercard. When using a credit card, one is connected through a third-party partner.
Most user reviews and comments are very positive, aside from confusion surrounding fees. The Guarda site has an extensive FAQ/support and a ticket system to get individual help. Additionally, there is a lot of discussion about the success and failures of the wallet on multiple forums. On these forums, the company engages with many of the publicly aired concerns and issues.
Many users report that they have lost coins or received unexpected charges.
However, there is no reported evidence of vulnerability or malware associated with the wallet. As such, the most likely conclusion is user failure, and general ignorance about company policies and fees explained in the fine print.
As stated, to date, there have been no reported malware issues or hacks. Guarda is open-source, so the code is available for anyone to see. Those who understand how to read code can check the source for themselves; that is the idea of open-source code. But, those who do not will have to accept second-hand information. That being said, the defi and crypto-sphere are pretty good at reporting any security issues to the public – a positive side effect of the ethos of decentralized finance and trustless automation.
Another reason that Guarda’s security is solid is because the company provides users with encrypted backups of their data, which the user can then store on a personal device. Users can also choose to use face or ID recognition instead of passwords. And, private keys and backups are generated on the user’s device, these are encrypted with the Advanced Encryption Standard (AES). Therefore, private keys are never sent over the Internet.
Guarda is a light wallet, which means that it is, firstly, just an extension or software added to a browser. And secondly, light wallets do not download an entire copy of the blockchain of and digital token. With Guarda, your computer does not operate as a fully verifying node, with all cryptocurrency networks supported by the wallet. That means that users interface with Guarda to access other blockchains, and not in a genuinely trustless environment, as Bitcoin’s design makes possible; a fact that is true about all similar platforms.
There are several quality securities features worth noting. First, because Guarda is a light wallet, they have partnered with Ledger, the hardware wallet. Second, as stated, Guarda is non-custodial, so they do not keep private information, including private keys. Therefore, to store private keys, users need a hardware wallet, such as Leger, or save paper/physical copies of private keys.
It is considered best practice to avoid storing private keys on personal computers, as the potential for loss or theft is much higher. So, the fact that Guarda does not keep this information means that private information is much more difficult to access if the platform is attacked.
However, due to the partnership with Ledger, Guarda does not support other hardware wallets. For example, the wallet does not work with Trezor and KeepKey hardware wallets.
As a company, Guarda operates with a decentralized ethos consistent with its non-custodial and open-source design. The work of keeping cryptocurrency and data secure is primarily between the user and blockchain technology.
That means that Guarda cannot:
Guarda does not perform AML (Anti-Money Laundering) on the user’s behalf because of the decentralized, hands-off design of the platform. However, that means that users are also responsible for ensuring that their transactions legal.
However, the Guarda app has partnered with a third party that performs 5 free checks a month. In addition, to ensure that all transactions are above board, users can subscribe to the service. This feature is built into the app.
The AML function is available on the app, under “AML Check,” and performs:
Guarda may not be the best choice for a Bitcoin wallet. It may be a wallet best built for those who want to participate in multiple cryptocurrencies and delve into staking and margins. As mentioned, the wallet does not download the whole blockchain, and it is not principally designed for Bitcoin but instead to service multiple coins.
Those who are primarily interested in Bitcoin may want to run a full node. Therefore, a better choice that is more BTC network specific would be CoinJoin or Lightning Network.
As there are several versions (app, desktop, web wallet), the platform is quite accessible, even for those who are newer to defi. Lastly, each separate function is quite clear, and there is a lot of support information available from Guarda, as well as other users. So, putting the wallet’s different functions to work does not have the learning curve of other similarly complex wallets.