French crypto firm Ledger says it has sold over 1 million Ledger Nano S cryptocurrency hardware wallets in 2017, generating USD 52.9 million of sales and USD 29.4 million of profits. Ledger will soon be expanding its business to cryptocurrency custodianship, and is planning another major investment round that has already sparked interest from Google, Siemens, and Samsung which may bring their valuation up to USD 1 billion.
Hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano S are one of the most secure ways to store Bitcoin and cryptocurrency. One of the biggest mistakes that new cryptocurrency users make is they don’t keep their private key in a safe place, which can result in their cryptocurrency being stolen. The private key gives anyone who holds it total control over cryptocurrency held in the corresponding address. Another major mistake is keeping cryptocurrency in an exchange or an online wallet instead of in their own wallet; users who do this don’t have 100% control of their private key and would lose their coins if the online service they are using is hacked or shut down.
The Ledger Nano S and other hardware wallets give cryptocurrency users a fast and efficient way of safely storing private keys, which is beneficial for the crypto ecosystem since it reduces fraud and bad experiences. Considering this, it is perhaps no surprise that Ledger has sold over 1 million hardware wallets in a year. Hardware wallets are essentially a USB stick or external drive that holds a private key, but Ledger Nano S includes wallet software, encryption that can only be unlocked by entering a pin code, 2-factor authentication, and a display which shows transaction history. Also, Ledger Nano S supports multiple cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Litecoin, and Ethereum.
Ledger is expanding its business and has created the Ledger Vault, which provides everyone in an organization with hardware wallets that access the same crypto wallets. Varying permission can be set on each hardware wallet, which is ideal for businesses that use cryptocurrency.
The biggest move that Ledger is planning is the launching of Komainu, in partnership with Japanese financial giant Nomura, which will be a full-fledged cryptocurrency custodian service. Cryptocurrency custodian services are considered the final barrier to mainstream institutional investment, which could release a tremendous amount of money into the cryptocurrency markets. Coinbase, BitGo, and Xapo have already launched fully licensed and operational cryptocurrency custodian services.
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