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As cryptocurrency markets continue to grow, companies providing ancillary goods are experiencing a surge in profits. Ledger, the French crypto company reputed as a leading expert in hardware wallets, announced that it generated $52.9 million USD in sales along with $29.4 million USD in profits. With another major investing round in the works attracting giants such as Google, Samsung, and Siemens, Ledger is planning to expand into the business-to-business market.
While many beginners store their cryptocurrencies on exchanges or their own software wallets, those most interested in maximizing security look to hardware wallets such as the ledger Nano S. These USB drives use a microprocessor that’s certified against different types of attacks (both logical and physical) – a technology that has been used in things such as credit card chips for decades. Once these devices are plugged into your computer, they do all the cryptographic heavy lifting without any risk of malicious attack. As such, it’s possible to use these hardware wallets even on insecure or compromised computers.
Ledger president and investor Pascal Gauthier spoke about how more people are turning to hardware wallets as a secure method of storing crypto. Gauthier, like many in the crypto world, is looking to address the various leaks and hacks that have plagued exchanges for the past few years. “Blockchain itself is secure, but signing on the blockchain is a flaw,” Gauthier told Forbes, adding that “If you lose the [private key], there’s no bank looking after your assets or any way to recover them.”
While in the earlier days of cryptocurrencies owners would keep their private key stored directly on their computers, as the value of these currencies rose, so did the risk of one’s computer being compromised by hackers. Increased risk prompted newer and more secure solutions for these investors.
What The Future Holds
In early 2018, Bloomberg reported that Ledger raised over $75 million in Series B funding, in addition to the $7 million it secured the previous year. While earning $25 million in profit for 2017 was a commendable achievement by any standard, Ledger’s leadership insists that their hardware wallet technology will be useful not only for consumers but for institutional investors as well.
“You need a Ledger Nano S solution for institutions, products that are made for big and small financial institutions,” added Gauthier. Their first product to address the B2B market, the Ledger Vault, is a multi-user software product that lets everyone in an office access a single crypto wallet with various degrees of limitations and requirements. While Gauthier insists that clients are literally “queueing outside our office” to purchase the product, a second B2B service is still in the works.
Back in May, Ledger announced a partnership with Global Advisors and Japanese financial firm Nomura. The partnership materialized as the ambitious custodian service company Komainu that is designed to work for the biggest financial institutions in the world. Cryptocurrency custodian services are considered by many to be the last hurdle preventing mainstream institutional investment from flooding the crypto markets with funding. The only other crypto-custodian services on the marketplace at the moment are from Coinbase, BitGo, and Xapo.
Ledger’s newfound success has prompted enthusiasm from investors as the company is working to line up a “second phase” to its Series B funding round, “but only if we feel there is a strong business interest to build something with us, an interest that goes beyond just the money,” added Gauthier. With or without new funding, Ledger remains poised for another very profitable year in 2018.