Hardware wallet maker Ledger is currently in talks to raise at least $100 million, according to a report this week by Bloomberg which quotes “people familiar with the plans”.
Ledger’s hardware wallets is a form of cold storage, meaning they allow crypto investors to store their digital assets offline on a physical device. This gives users the power to manage their own crypto without having to worry about the liquidity of their provider.
In accordance Bloomberg’s source, Ledger’s business is still growing at a time when lenders and exchanges have well-known liquidity problems.
Ailing crypto companies often halt customer withdrawals to stop a potential bank run. Singaporean stock exchange Zipmex is the last examplebut lenders like Vauld and Celsius have both resorted to the measure recently, with the latter petition for bankruptcy not long after.
These concerns, according to sources, have boosted Ledger’s business as individuals turn to self-custody solutions instead of keeping their money on a centralized platform.
Today’s reports come about a year after the firm left 380 million dollars. Back in June 2021, Ledger’s Series C funding round, led by Dan Tapiero’s 10T Holdings, brought it to a total implied valuation of $1.5 billion.
The wallet provider has also expanded into crypto debit cards. Last winterfreed it Crypto Life (CL) card on the Visa network. When used to pay merchants, the CL card instantly converts crypto to fiat from a secured wallet.
Ledger has yet to respond Decrypttheir inquiries about the reported increase.
Keeping an eye on crypto wallets
In recent months, there has been intense debate among policymakers about whether non-hosted crypto wallets, especially the kind Ledger creates, should be subject to know-your-customer (KYC) requirements.
In that case, these wallet providers must provide personal information about wallet users.
Ledger and Trezor are hardware examples of unhosted wallets, also known as non-stored wallets, which do not rely on third parties. Other examples include software wallets such as MetaMask and WalletConnect.
Earlier this year, the Parliament of the European Union voted overwhelmingly in favour on imposing new regulatory measures to ban anonymous crypto transactions.
The EU Parliament’s proposal requires crypto service providers to collect personally identifiable information from individuals who make transactions for more than €1,000 (~$1,022) using non-hosted wallets.
In stark contrast, back in June, the UK government scrapped one similar plan to impose KYC on unhosted wallets after soliciting feedback from a range of respondents, including academics and industry experts.
Opponents of the potential reporting requirement argued that the burden of imposing it would “disproportionately” outweigh its effectiveness in tackling illicit transactions.
According to a document published by the UK Treasury at the time: “Instead of requiring the collection of recipient and originator information for all unhosted wallet transfers, cryptoasset companies will only be expected to collect this information for transactions identified as being at an elevated risk of illicit financing.”
That same month, a representative of the US Treasury Department said that the Treasury Department is “working to manage the unique risks associated with non-custodial wallets,” although it is unclear at this point whether the measures will involve imposing KYC rules on non-custodial wallets.
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