Ledger demand booms as it announces new crypto hardware wallet
Ledger had its two highest demand days ever immediately following the FTX bankruptcy (the Sunday and Monday), and then November became its best month of sales.
Why it matters: It's a good time to be a crypto hardware wallet maker. One clear lesson for digital-asset owners after FTX crashed is this: third-party crypto storage is risky. And now Ledger is pouncing with a brand new hardware wallet for do-it-yourselfers.
Driving the news: With demand remaining high for its existing Ledger Nano line, France-based Ledger today announced a new entry in its hardware wallet portfolio at its Ledger Op3n event in Paris today.
- Ledger Stax, expected to be available in Q1 2023, will feature an e-ink display, making it more interactive than previous wallets.
How it works: Hardware wallets are a secure way to store crypto assets that don't touch the internet unless needed, which helps keep them extremely safe from cybercriminals.
- Blockchain assets are controlled with a numeric code, a private key. As long as no one can access this private key, assets stay safe.
- Hardware wallets also allow users to write messages that can make transactions, without ever exposing the private key to malicious actors.
What they're saying: The new Stax model was envisioned to be "a ‘user-delightful’ tool, to bring digital asset security to the rest of us, not just the geeks,” Tony Fadell, who designed the new device in collaboration with Layer, said in a statement.
- Fadell was the vice-president of Apple's iPod division and founder of Nest, the home hardware company later acquired by Google.
Features: The new device will be able to continuously display its assets using e-ink technology, only sipping power to shift the display.
- It has a mobile app so users can check their assets any time, using Bluetooth to connect the wallet to the phone. It connects to computers with USB-C.
- It can manage more than 500 crypto assets as well as NFTs.
State of play: Demand for existing Ledgers hasn't stopped. Since getting stocked at Best Buy in September, they've frequently been unavailable since the recent downturn hit, according to the company.
In the weeds: E-ink is basically small particles that can be made to flip between different colors. Unlike a traditional backlit computer screen, once they flip, it takes no power to stay as they are, so it really is just like ink.
- The classic Amazon Kindle and its competitor, the Kobo, are two of the most widely deployed applications of e-ink for consumers.