Ledger raises $380 million for its crypto hardware wallet

French startup Ledger has raised a $380 million Series C funding round led by 10T Holdings. Following today’s funding round, the company has reached a valuation of $1.5 billion.

Other investors in the funding round include existing investors Cathay Innovation, Draper Associates, Draper Dragon, Draper Esprit, DCG, Korelya Capital and Wicklow Capital. Some new investors are joining the round, such as Tekne Capital, Uphold Ventures, Felix Capital, Inherent, Financière Agache and iAngels Technologies.

Ledger’s main product is a hardware wallet to manage your crypto assets. They are shaped like USB keys and feature a tiny screen to confirm transactions on the device. The reason why that screen is important is that your private keys never leave your Ledger device.

In other words, if you want to store large amount of cryptocurrencies, you don’t want to leave them on an exchange account. If someone manages to sign in, they could withdraw all your crypto assets. With a hardware wallet, you remain in control of your crypto assets.

The company first launched the Ledger Nano S. You have to connect the device to a computer using a USB cable. More recently, with the Ledger Nano X, you can send and receive assets from your phone as the Nano X works over Bluetooth. Ledger also provides an enterprise solution for companies that want to add cryptocurrencies to their balance sheet.

Overall, Ledger has sold over 3 million hardware wallets. Every month, 1.5 million people use Ledger Live, the company’s software solution to manage your crypto assets. The company even says that it currently secures around 15% of all cryptocurrency assets globally.

It hasn’t been a smooth ride as the company has been around for seven years. After the crypto boom of 2018, interests for hardware wallets faded away. Moreover, as the company secures expensive assets, it has also suffered from a serious data breach — 272,000 customers have been affected.

With today’s funding round, the company plans to launch new products, add more DeFi features to Ledger Live and support the growth of the crypto ecosystem in general.

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$5.7M stolen in Roll crypto heist after hot wallet hacked

A security breach at cryptocurrency platform Roll allowed a hacker to obtain the private key to its hot wallet and steal its contents — worth about $5.7 million.

In a statement, the company said it was investigating the breach, which happened early Sunday.

“As of this writing, it seems like a compromise of the private keys [sic] of our hot wallet and not a bug in the Roll smart contracts or any token contracts,” the statement said. Roll said the attacker had already sold the tokens for Ethereum.

“There is no further user action suggested at this stage. We are temporarily disabling withdraw from the Roll wallet of all social money until we have migrated our hot wallet,” the statement added.

It’s not clear how the attacker broke in and obtained the private key — akin to the password for Roll’s hot wallet. Hot wallets are designed to be connected to the internet to send and receive cryptocurrency, but typically only store a fraction of a cryptocurrency owner’s total reserves, given the inherent security risk of an internet-connected wallet. A cold wallet, or storage device that isn’t connected to the internet, is typically used for holding the bulk of an owner’s cryptocurrency for longer-term periods.

Roll allows creators to mint and distribute their own Ethereum-based cryptocurrency, known as social tokens, under which the creators can decide how the currency is spent. There are hundreds of different kinds of social currency on the platform, including $WHALE, $RARE, and $PICA tokens — which plummeted in value in the aftermath of the breach.

The creator of the $WHALE token said in a tweet more than 2% of its tokens were stolen in the Roll breach, but that the hack was “minimally detrimental” to the project.

Others weren’t so lucky. One person said they had “lost everything,” while others criticized Roll’s new $500,000 fund to help affected creators for not going far enough.

Roll said it will hire a third-party to audit its security infrastructure to prevent another breach. “We will also run a forensic analysis to figure out how the key was compromised,” the statement said.

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