Over the past year, many investors have learned the hard way the importance of moving their cryptocurrencies offline. Those who kept their assets on exchanges like FTX lost control of their coins, sometimes forever. This has highlighted the importance of the saying “not your keys, not your coins.” However, the loss experienced by FTX has proved to be a gain for hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger. Following FTX’s bankruptcy filing in November 2022, Ledger saw its biggest sales day and month on record.
Ledger, based in Paris, has been growing steadily despite some controversies over the past year. In May, the company faced criticism when it launched a secret recovery phrase storage service called Ledger Recover. Despite this, Ledger remains one of the most well-known and widely-used crypto wallet makers in the world.
Ledger’s CEO Pascal Gauthier and Chief Experience Officer Ian Rogers recently sat down with Cointelegraph to discuss the state of the crypto market, the latest trends in crypto storage, and differences in doing business in the US and Europe.
Gauthier believes that there are reasons to be optimistic about the crypto market, particularly in the US. He points to a change in tone regarding Bitcoin, with large companies like BlackRock beginning their application process for Bitcoin ETFs. This change has led to a shift in the media narrative around Bitcoin, with more mainstream acceptance and adoption.
When it comes to regulations, Gauthier believes that the next administration will determine the fate of crypto in the US. He notes that if Biden remains in power, the administration could continue to be aggressive toward crypto, but if it’s someone else, we’ll have to see what happens.
The discussion also touched on the importance of offline storage devices, such as Ledger’s hardware wallets. Gauthier acknowledges that in the past, many customers used their wallets for “buy and hold” purposes. However, he stresses that the use of wallets has evolved, with users now able to connect their wallets to Web3 and engage in various activities like buying, selling, staking, and interacting with decentralized applications.
One of the challenges with hardware wallets is the recovery phrase, or the 24 seed words that users need to safeguard. Ledger has come up with a solution called Ledger Recover, which allows users to shard their private keys into three encrypted shards and store them with different custodians. This provides an added layer of security and makes it easier for users to recover their funds if necessary.
Gauthier and Rogers also discussed the differences in doing business in the US versus Europe. Gauthier believes that Europe tends to over-regulate or regulate too quickly, while the US has a slower and bumpier process for changing laws. However, Gauthier notes that when change does come in the US, it’s often for the better. He also points out that most of the biggest tech champions in the world are American or Chinese, with no European companies among them.
Overall, Ledger remains optimistic about the future of the crypto market, particularly in the US. The company is focused on providing the best user experience possible and navigating the differences in business climates between the US and Europe. With the growing interest and adoption of cryptocurrencies, companies like Ledger are poised to play a crucial role in ensuring the security and accessibility of digital assets.