Ledger, known for its crypto cold wallets, is forming Ledger Enterprise Solutions.
The business unit will be focused on cryptocurrency custody for businesses, as companies like Tesla and MicroStrategy have put billions in Bitcoin on their balance sheets in the past year.
Until this point, Ledger’s best-known market has been individual cryptocurrency users looking for the added security of a hardware wallet. Hardware wallets are like little vaults for the private keys to your cryptocurrency. Ledger’s two models, the Nano S and the Nano X, sell for $59 and $119, respectively.
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But the French company has also been prepping for, and accumulating, institutional clients. Ledger Vault, which got off the ground in 2019, is designed for businesses that want high levels of security for their digital assets but also need to access that cryptocurrency frequently. It counts exchange Crypto.com and digital asset investment advisors CoinShares as clients.
The new Ledger Enterprise Solutions unit will build around Vault at its core, adding consulting services such as auditing and training “to help institutional clients address technology implementation, security, and governance in their digital asset portfolios.”
“As more companies apportion significant parts of their balance sheets to blockchain-based holdings, we recognize the drastic need for enterprise-grade solutions for holding and securing digital assets,” said Vice President of Business Solutions and unit head Jean-Michel Pailhon in a press release. “Our mission is to enable the digital assets industry to become a multi-trillion dollar industry.”
Over the past year, several major companies have invested in Bitcoin, most notably MicroStrategy. The cloud software company has allocated about 70% of its treasury holdings toward Bitcoin, purchasing 91,326 BTC (now worth $5.1 billion) since August 2020.
The vote of confidence from a publicly traded company helped drive the price of Bitcoin up from around $11,000 that August to nearly $60,000 today. Electric vehicle maker Tesla got in the action with a $1.5 billion Bitcoin buy, and Square has purchased over 8,000 since October.
That doesn’t even account for institutional investors, such as Galaxy Digital Holdings, which buy, sell, and trade assets on behalf of clients. According to a CoinShares report from March 8, crypto investment products such as the Grayscale Bitcoin Trust held a record $55.8 billion in assets under management—and Ethereum products are gaining ground.
Therein lies the reason for Ledger to scale up. Custodial services such as Anchorage and Gemini are in competition with Ledger for a growing group of enterprise customers. Anchorage received a charter from the Office of the Comptroller of the Currency in January to form a digital asset bank. It subsequently raised $80 million in a Series C in February, and holds crypto assets for venture capital funds such as Andreessen Horowitz and Paradigm.
To compete, Ledger Enterprise Solutions is trying to stockpile talent in addition to adding services. Joining Pailhon are Alexandre Lemarchand as VP of Global Sales & Partnerships, Alex Zinder as VP of Engineering, and Laurent Castillo as VP of Technical Architecture. And, according to the press release, it “is on a hiring spree.” It wants 60 more skilled workers by the end of the year.
Original Source: decrypt Bitcoin Wallet Firm Ledger Expands to Cater to Institutions