Bitcoin: French start-up Ledger raises 1.3 million euros to secure wallets
“When you own bitcoins, you actually have private keys that allow you to sign and settle transactions. Security lies in the protection of these keys. Most of the software found on wallets store them in encrypted form, whether on the hard drive or the cloud, but at one point or another, the computer needs to decrypt the private key to perform the cryptographic signature. This is when a malware or a virus can recover this private key, which is in the clear, on the computer to recover the bitcoins ”, explains Eric Larchevêque, president and co-founder of Ledger.
NFC and BLE compatible
His start-up, which he launched in January 2015 in Paris, has around fifteen employees and develops security solutions for electronic bitcoin wallets. These are notably compatible with technologies Near Field Communication (NFC) and Bluetooth Low Energy (CORN).
“Ledger is based on smart card technology to securely store the private key and perform a cryptographic signature inside this private key. Ledger stores private data in an impenetrable chip, like banks with credit cards, which, at the request of the computer to which the chip card is connected, performs the signature to validate a payment. At no time will the private key be exposed inside the computer’s memory in order to guarantee security for the user, ”assures Mr. Larchevêque.
Opening of an office in San Francisco
To develop, Ledger has just raised 1.3 million euros from XAnge Capital, a subsidiary of La Banque Postale, as well as Pascal Gauthier (ex-COO Criteo), Hi-Pay, Fred Potter (CEO of Netatmo), Thibaut Faurès Fustel de Coulanges (vice-president of Rentabiliweb Group) and Alain Tingaud Innovations.
This new investment will allow the company to ensure its marketing development by participating in numerous exhibitions to make itself known. Also, Ledger, which claims to sell its solution in some fifty countries, wishes to expand its activity internationally, in particular with the opening of an office in San Francisco. A niche market, but global.