Ledger, a security-focused company that sells crypto hardware wallets, is teaming up with the designer behind the iPod, Tony Fadell, in hopes of creating an easier, more accessible way for users to secure their crypto assets.
Crypto hardware wallets have gained popularity in recent weeks, thanks to users seeking to self-custody their digital assets following industry-changing events such as the explosion of crypto exchange FTX and customers stopping to withdraw their assets. Ledger’s Chief Experience Officer, Ian Rogers, said the company had its biggest sales day ever, ending its biggest sales week ever, in mid-November after FTX collapsed, indicating demand for hardware crypto wallets is rising.
The eight-year-old company has sold more than 5 million devices to consumers in 200 countries and secures about 20% of global crypto assets held to date, it said. The latest product, Ledger Stax, joins existing hardware products such as Nano S Plus and Nano X.
“It’s fun and easy to use, which is important,” Fadell told ExamPaper. “It wasn’t just about the hardware design, but we looked at the entire customer journey from opening the website to this and reimagined it all to improve the experience, not just for people who understand crypto, but to be more invite people. ”
Earlier this year, Ledger partnered with $1.5 billion venture capital firm Cathay Innovation to launch a $110 million fund dedicated to securing crypto assets. Last year, it raised $380 million in a funding round led by 10T Holdings, valuing Ledger at $1.5 billion at the time.
“The Ledger Nano is more like the iPod shuffle and we missed that sexier, better device,” Rogers told ExamPaper. “The screen gives a much easier ramp and usability. I can set this thing up from the box in a minute, which isn’t too easy to get involved with [the Ledger Nano.]”
The new credit card-sized crypto wallet can manage NFT collections as well as more than 500 coins and digital assets.
“What we do with digital assets is much more complex now,” Rogers said. “People are signing smart contracts, managing digital products and not just sending digital currencies anymore. You need ease of use with screen real estate so you can be more communicative.”
It has an E Ink display similar to a Kindle that can show the holder’s NFTs even when the device is turned off. The battery can last weeks or even months on a single charge, Ledger said.
“I imagined what the future of digital assets would look like and I came up with this idea of how the next generation [wallet] would look like,” said Fadell. “I used all of these competitor devices, but when they’re all disabled, they’re blank slates, just like your phone. You don’t know what’s on it. There are a lot of people using multiple devices for NFTs, crypto, etc., but want it in one place.”
The name Stax also relates to the products’ integrated magnets, making it stackable for those who have more than one.
“I’m really happy that we’re expanding the audience, but we’ve also put emotion into the device,” said Fadell. Stax has sound, wireless charging and communication functionalities, he added. “All these little details make it feel like a real consumer-friendly device.”
The product will be available in the first quarter of 2023 for $279 on the company’s website or in stores such as Best Buy in the US. The first 10,000 products sold come with a free NFT that can be redeemed, Rogers said.
Here are the nitty-gritty details:
- Dimensions: 85mm × 54mm × 6mm (credit card length and width)
- Security: Ledger EAL 5+ certified secure element
- Screen type: E Ink (up to 16 grayscale), customizable always-on lock screen, capacitive touch
- Screen resolution: 672 × 400 pixels
- Weight: 45 grams
- Connectivity: USB-C, Bluetooth 5.2
- Magnet array for easy stacking
- Qi wireless charging