French startup Ledger launched a new hardware wallet at the firm’s yearly Ledger event, held on Dec. 6, 2022. The new crypto wallet, known as Ledger Stax, was designed by Tony Fadell, the creator of the iPod, and is intended to allow people to deposit or exchange a range of tokens, including Bitcoin, Cardano, Ethereum, Solana and NFTs.
Ledger Stax resembles a miniaturized phone or even credit card reader. It is similar in size to a credit card, measuring 85 mm long and 54 mm wide, and weighing 45 grams. The Ledger Stax has a black and white electronic ink display that wraps around the spine and covers the front, allowing users to easily view complete transaction details.
It also has magnets enabling several Stax to be stacked, much like books or money, a reason for the brand Stax. Its users have the ability to connect it to a phone or laptop via Bluetooth or USB cable. It goes for $279 and is currently available for preorder, with shipping set to begin at the end of March 2023.
Ledger isn’t the first company to release a smartphone centered on cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology. In 2018, Swiss company Sirin Labs launched the first-ever blockchain smartphone, the Finney, while HTC debuted its own, the Exodus 1, the same year. Furthermore, this year, Solana, a blockchain platform, released Saga, its Web3 Android phone
Although these devices have not been widely adopted by consumers, Ledger is optimistic that the Ledger Stax has significant market potential since crypto investors are searching for alternative ways to store digital assets securely.
One such method is cold storage, which involves storing a user-specific private key — the code required to gain access to the account — on an offline device. Given that Stax wallets are offline, they’re less vulnerable to hacking or failures.
Ledger has seen a boost in sales as a result of fears surrounding the collapse of FTX and its affiliate company, Alameda Research. The company has sold more than 5 million of these devices so far and believes that sales will increase in the coming months.
However, a steep decline in the value of digital assets could be problematic for the company as investors become extra cautious. Per Bankrate’s survey in September, only 21% of Americans are comfortable putting their money in cryptos, a drop from 35% in 2021. Additionally, the Stax faces stiff competition from a variety of consumer electronics, including the iPhone 14, during a period when inflation is on the rise.
As entities such as Canaan Inc. (NASDAQ: CAN) extend their footprint on the market, many more people are likely to need the Stax to keep their digital assets more safely.
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