Bloomberg said this week that “people familiar with the plans” said that hardware wallet maker Ledger is in talks to raise at least $100 million.
Hardware wallets from Ledger are a kind of cold storage that let crypto investors store their digital assets on a physical device that is not connected to the internet. This lets customers manage their own cryptocurrency without having to worry about their supplier’s liquidity.
Bloomberg cites a source who says that Ledger’s company is still growing, even though lenders and exchanges have well-known liquidity problems.
When a cryptocurrency business is in trouble, customers often can’t get their money out because they don’t want a bank run. The most recent example is the Singaporean exchange Zipmex, but lenders Vauld and Celsius have also used this method recently, with Celsius filing for bankruptcy soon after.
Reports say that these problems have helped Ledger’s sales because people are now more likely to use self-custody options instead of putting their money on a central platform.
About a year after the company raised $380 million, these stories start to come out. In June 2021, Dan Tapiero’s 10T Holdings led Ledger’s Series C investment round, which increased the company’s value to $1.5 billion.
Also, the company that makes wallets now offers crypto debit cards. Last winter, it put out the Crypto Life (CL) card on the Visa network. When the CL card is used to pay a store, cryptocurrency stored in a secure wallet is instantly turned into fiat currency.
In the past few months, regulators have had a heated discussion about whether unhosted crypto wallets, like those made by Ledger, should have to follow know-your-customer (KYC) rules.
If so, these wallet providers would have to give information about each user.
Ledger and Trezor are examples of hardware wallets that do not depend on a third party. These wallets are also called “non-custodial” wallets. Software wallets like MetaMask and WalletConnect are also available.
Earlier this year, the European Union parliament voted overwhelmingly in favor of making it illegal to buy or sell cryptocurrency anonymously.
The EU parliament wants to force crypto service providers to get personal information from people who use unhosted wallets for transactions over €1,000 ($1,022).
On the other hand, the UK government scrapped a similar plan to require KYC for unhosted wallets in June after getting feedback from academics and industry experts.
People who didn’t like the idea of having to report said that it would make it harder to stop illegal transactions than it would be worth.
According to a document published at the time by the British Treasury: “Instead of requiring the collection of beneficiary and originator information for all unhosted wallet transfers, crypto asset businesses will only be expected to collect this information for transactions identified as posing an elevated risk of illicit finance.”
A spokeswoman for the United States Treasury Department said in the same month that the Treasury is “trying to address the particular dangers of unhosted wallets.” However, it is not clear at this time whether the steps would include putting KYC regulations on non-custodial wallets.
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