Ledger, makers of the popular hardware wallet, the Nano S, has released new wallet desktop and mobile applications. This appears to be the first major step since raising $75 million USD during its Series B round in January. This was the largest VC fundraiser in the crypto storage sector, and a contrarian approach to fundraising, using traditional means instead of the popular ICO methodology used by so many digital currency companies.
In early 2015, the company released the Ledger Wallet Bitcoin Chrome application. This enabled users to interact with their hardware wallets through the browser and accelerated the technology’s adoption. Ledger then introduced Ethereum and Ripple applications to interact with the wallet, providing users with more versatility in protecting their digital assets. The new native desktop and mobile apps are Ledger’s next generation of software, designed to unify all of the cryptocurrencies under a single user interface. It will be available on Windows, macOS, Linux, Android and iOS, and will no longer require the Google Chrome browser to run.
The native, multicurrency app aggregates the features of the previously separate apps under a single umbrella for 23 cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple and twenty other altcoins. It is compatible with the Ledger Nano S, as well as the Ledger Blue and allows users read-only access to their accounts when the device is disconnected.
In the dashboard, a user is able to view all digital assets, and their value in any number of fiat currencies. Account balances and history are available, and when the device is plugged in, a user may send and receive funds, using an upgraded, reportedly faster account synchronization engine.
The future release of the Ledger mobile application will support additional cryptocurrencies, including ERC-20 tokens and contract management within a full mobile experience. It will function on both Android and iOS devices, with Ledger Nano/HW.1 support. The app will also support third-party app integrations to buy, sell and swap cryptocurrencies directly, and on exchanges. They expect to support over 100 cryptocurrencies with the new build, and users will be able to generate new addresses on the fly.
Ledger is expected to release the first desktop version during Q2 2018, followed by the mobile app in Q3. With so many hardware and software wallets to choose from, this move positions Ledger ahead of many competitors as they play catch-up to match its functionality. We may also expect greater functionality from other software and hardware wallet developers, such as improved security and multi-currency support in the near future. We may even see cryptocurrency projects that raised funds beyond expectations during their pre-ICO and ICO rounds of fundraising extend into this space. Hypothetically, a company like Telegram, which is on track to raise several billion dollars in its pre-ICO rounds, could use some of those funds to develop next-generation hardware and software storage for digital assets. We may also see a variety of mobile apps come out with improved functionality in everyday commerce, a feature that Ledger has not mentioned in its published roadmap.
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