When French startups like La Maison du Bitcoin, a bitcoin centre in Paris, BTChip merge, you get Ledger. Coin News had the chance to speak with its CEO, Eric Larchevêque to talk about this innovative contribution to crypto-security.
Coin News: Hi Eric, first question: what exactly is Ledger? How does it work with the Bitcoin ecosystem?
Eric Larchevêque: Ledger is a Bitcoin security company, designing and producing hardware wallets to safeguard bitcoiner’s assets. It took us about two years of R&D before launching our first product, the Ledger Nano. In this area, you cannot make mistake or deliver half-baked solutions. As they say, hardware is hard. And hardware security is even harder, and requires a very high level of expertise and experience. One of the biggest challenges we had was actually not technical, but related to logistics: we immediately started to sell worldwide and had to develop a network of resellers as well as distributed warehouses to guarantee fast and efficient shipping of our products. We learnt a lot in the process and we are now very proud of our infrastructure.
CNA: Interesting. And what exactly led you to bitcoin?
EL: Personally, I started working on it for real quite late, in 2013. I had been following the technology from earlier, but it’s only when I had the necessary time on my hands that I could devour all the information related to Bitcoin and is protocol. Like for many others, it has been a formidable and challenging journey. Once I was in, there was no question that my next startup would be in this area.
CNA: What can you say is the best thing about Ledger in comparison with other crypto-related projects
EL: Thanks to our decentralized architecture, we are never in control of the keys or funds of our customers. Our business is therefore not at all in the scope of the regulator. We can expand and do business worldwide without the need to heavily invest in lawyers or risk management. This is definitely an advantage, as we can keep our investments focused on our core business which is hardware security.
CNA: What do you think Bitcoin needs to become a more prominent and reliable form of payment?
EL: Bitcoin needs security and peace of mind for the user. Right now, Bitcoin is quite complex to manage, and even a little mistake can prove very costly. We are hoping to pave the way to a safer environment where users can transact in bitcoins without the risk of misplacing their funds or losing them. Innovations such as BIP70 (to verify that you are paying the right persons) are as much important as secure wallets.
CNA: How do you think Bitcoin will affect the Asian market in particular?
EL: The decentralized nature of Bitcoin helps removing barriers and fluidizes the money exchanges. It can be a very powerful tool against capital control, and also boosts international payments for goods export. For instance, we are often paying in bitcoins when ordering supplies in China; we gain sometimes 10 days compared to a bank transfer time.
To be continued…
Learn more about the Bitcoin Asia situation here at Coin News.