While bitcoin may have had its share of problems in recent months, the broader blockchain and cryptocurrency ecosystem is arguably stronger than ever, especially in terms of investor interest in new services, products and enabling hardware.
One of the more recent startups to see the benefit of increased investor interest in the broader ecosystem is Ledger. Founded in 2015, the Paris-based technology startup creates a number of various hardware solutions for cryptocurrencies and blockchains, including security solutions for enterprises and digital wallet hardware for consumers.
The hardware solutions work to remove the potential point of failure implicit in digital cryptocurrency storage. Hackers can still gain access to someone’s computer and digital bitcoin wallets.
The company’s Ledger Nano S, for instance, is a multi-currency hardware wallet that is about the size of a thumb drive. Currency is stored on the device and only connects to the internet when a transaction is made — users enter a PIN on a small display screen on the device to verify every transaction.
“When we manufacture the devices, all chips receive a Ledger certificate,” Co-Founder and CEO Eric Larchevêque told TechCrunch. “When the device boots up, the computer sends a security challenge and the device answers.” This means that devices can’t be compromised even during the manufacturing process.
Recently, Ledger announced the close of a $7 million Series A round of venture funding. Participants in the round included MAIF Avenir, Xange and Wicklow Capital, among others.
Ledger will reportedly use the funds to investigate additional use cases and industry applications for its secure chip technologies, including selling to financial institutions or other categories that regularly deal in sensitive information that requires added security.