Crypto Hardware Wallet Maker Ledger Opens New York Office For Institutional Push


Ledger, a popular cryptocurrency hardware wallet maker, has opened a new office in uptown New York and targets offering services tailored for institutional investors.

The wallet manufacturer announced the new office as part of its expansion efforts that have seen it launch an institutional grade custody service called Ledger Vault.

As per the firm’s chief executive Pascal Gaunther, Ledger chose New York for its offices and operations targeting the new service due to the city’s position as the leading destination for financial players around the world, referring to it as “a natural fit.”

To facilitate the project, the cryptocurrency wallet and security provider has appointed Demetrios Skalkotos to head its global operations. Skalkotos is a former executive of NYSE owner Intercontinental Exchange (ICE).

Prior to the New York office launch, Ledger had opened up a pre-access program for Ledger Vault in May this year.

The crypto-focused company’s move comes at a time when the general trend involves a clamor by businesses to roll out products and services that target big-money individuals and institutional investors.

As such, Ledger is positioning itself to carve out a part of the market that has seen real moves from other players who until recently were focused on non-cryptocurrency services.

Including the Atlanta-based financial and commodity markets giant ICE, several firms and platforms have over the last couple of years been laying the groundwork with institutional grade products.

Most of these products are being launched in anticipation of an influx of corporate clients, with demand for Bitcoin growing among institutions that unsurprisingly now view cryptocurrencies as an investment asset class.

One of these products is ICE’s Bakkt Bitcoin (USD) Daily Futures, a physically delivered futures contract that will now be available at the end of January 2019 after being moved from the initial launch date of December 12.

On its part, the Ledger Vault offers a custody solution that allows multi-sig features where several members of an institution or corporate entities gain access to a given cold storage wallet.

Ledger’s expansion efforts became clearer in July when the firm revealed that it had managed to sell over a million of its hardware wallet devices in 2017.

At the time, the company noted that it was seeking further funding and that it had earmarked tech giants Samsung and Google as potential supporters in future funding rounds.

Demand for the vault solution is there, according to Skalkotos, who says that many of their targeted clients have already expressed a desire for enterprise-ready custody management services.

He added that Ledger’s solution provides “secure storage of large multi-cryptocurrency funds,” which he noted is an extremely intricate challenge that requires more than just “implementing procedures.”

Ledger will look to take advantage of its flagship OS called BOLOS to achieve cutting-edge security and stay ahead of the competition.

Ledger’s new Global Head of Vault added:

“As crypto becomes more widely adopted, it is critical that we scale enterprise-level solutions accordingly… we are the necessary digital plumbing that will provide security custody management to the industry.”

Alongside Ledger, hardware wallet competitor Trezor is also looking at tapping into the growing market and has warned against a proliferation of counterfeit wallets.

Disclaimer: This is not investment advice. Cryptocurrencies are highly volatile assets and are very risky investments. Do your research and consult an investment professional before investing. Never invest more than you can afford to lose. Never borrow money to invest in cryptocurrencies.

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