If there is one French company that has stood out in recent years in the world of Bitcoin and blockchain, it is Ledger. The company was founded in 2011 by Eric Larchevêque. This French-style Steve Jobs who became known to the general public as a member of the jury for the show “Who wants to be my associate?” broadcast on M6. Ledger has been selling small usb drives for years that you may not be familiar with as a Bitcoin and cryptocurrency enthusiast.
Indeed, these “Ledger Nano” are reminiscent of the famous iPods. If the latter are no longer marketed, the ledgers are successful. They also work so well that Bruno Lemaire, French Minister of the Economy, declared in early 2019 that the Ledger company had all the qualities to become the first unicorn (these startups valued at more than $ 1 billion) French in the blockchain sector. So, is Ledger the real spearhead of the Frenchtech blockchain?
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Ledger: little story of the nugget that has been securing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies since 2014.
It’s in 2011, only 3 years after the birth of Bitcoin, that the company Ledger see the day. It will take 3 more years for the first product, the “Ledger Nano” is marketed on the market after several years of R&D.
The success of Ledger is obviously strongly correlated with the emergence of the cryptocurrency market around the world. Indeed, small usb keys ledger offer added value much sought after by anyone who owns or wishes to own cryptocurrency. They allow their holders to secure their digital assets in what can be considered a true “digital safe”. Moreover, during the year 2014, the infamous bankruptcy of MT Gox will cause a real surge in demand for physical cryptocurrency wallets.
The latter is caused by a hack on the platform that allowed attackers to hijack more than 700,000 Bitcoins. That’s a value of around $ 7 billion taking into account the current price. For crypto holders, it is therefore time to secure and Ledger is THE solution to their problem. Since then, the company has shared the market for physical crypto wallets with the company Satoshi Labs, based in the Czech Republic, the latter markets “Trezor” main competitor of “Ledger Nano”.
Since then, the growth of the cryptocurrency and blockchain technology market has enabled Ledger to strengthen its position in the market and establish itself as the number one French startup in the sector. Its turnover was already estimated at 45 million euros in 2017. The companyEric Larchevêque is now valued at more than 250 million euros after having carried out one of the most important fundraising of Frenchtech with 61 million euros at the start of 2018.
Eric Larchevêque and the 150 employees of the Ledger Plex in Vierzon
The United States Apple had Steve Jobs, Tesla and Space X have Elon Musk. In France, Ledger has Eric Larchevêque and the company can count on him to promote its products. These latter are manufactured, as surprising as it may seem… in Vierzon. And yes, the little ones Ledger Nano which have sold more than 1.6 million copies worldwide are “Made in France” . More precisely “Made in Vierzon”. This small town of 25,000 inhabitants is located in the Center Val de Loire region between Bourges and Orleans. She had been made famous by the song “Vesoul” by Jacques Brel. Now the city is also the seat of “Ledgerplex”. Yes Yes, Google and his Googleplex just have to behave!
Who else thanEric Larchevêque to embark on the bet of securing cryptocurrencies by producing France to Vierzon. Indeed, this geek is not in his first company with Ledger. He got into tech in 1996 with a first website hosting company and then a second content monetization company that he sold at a good price in 2007 (22 million euros at the time). This is when he needs to breathe some fresh air in his professional life. Like a desire to leave the world of tech to discover something else. As Brel says in his song “You liked Vierzon more, we left Vierzon”.
Eric Larchevêque therefore leaves France to launch a new challenge. It will be that of the Hotel industry. He is indeed launching a hotel complex named “Dodo Hotel” located in Riga, Latvia. At the same time, he began a career as a professional poker player. It works quite well for him, very well even. In just 2 years he harvested nearly 500,000 euros in earnings. Although he seems good at poker, he decides to stop and get back to business. And he succeeds then arguably an even better move: Ledger’s.
Who wants to be my partner on M6: spotlight on Ledger and its founder
On the other hand, it will be necessary to wait until very recently for the name ofEric Larchevêque be known to the general public. This is done thanks to his participation in the show broadcast on M6 “Who wants to be my partner” whose concept is taken from the American program “Shark Tank”. Eric Larchevêque appears in a business angels role and highlights the know-how and experience acquired with Ledger. Have cryptocurrencies finally become “mainstream”?
The show that brings together nearly 2 million viewers in each episode will see the founder of Ledger invest several hundred thousand euros in:
- smart clothes
- an African restaurant
- a patchwork blanket
- natural fertilizer
- snowboard bindings
- a new generation tent canvas
Unfortunately no crypto project will feature in the show. You will understand, Eric is not close to a game of poker.
How to situate Ledger on the French Tech chessboard and the cryptocurrency sector in France?
It’s quite astonishing, but when you visit Ledger’s website, you realize that the site is only available in English. Cannot access it in French or any other language. It is certainly not for lack of money that the site is not translated but probably to show that this French company is targeting the global market. She sells the ledger Nano in more than 160 countries around the world now. Eric Larchevêque himself declared in early 2019 that “Ledger must become a global giant”.
Note that we find on the site a “Ledger Academy”, free courses, these are rather expert oriented. Note however that Ledger is little known to the general public for this educational aspect. Many are not even aware of the existence of these courses.
What future for Ledger?
The future of Ledger seems pretty clear today. However, there is still some way to go to become the French Unicorn of the Blockchain of Bruno Lemaire. Ledger continues, day after day, to strengthen its position in the niche market for securing digital assets.
Today theLedger’s goal appears to be toward the democratization of crypto not for the general public but for international financial institutions. The firm recently launched Ledger Vault, which offers a cryptocurrency security offer for institutional investors. Ledger’s other big project is to become essential in the IOT market. Their use in connection with Blockchain technology represents enormous potential for the founder of Ledger. The company also supports Engaged on a tokenization project.
Finally, the success of Ledger does not leave you indifferent, tech giants like Google and Samsung. Dindustrialists like Siemens are also interested in their technology.
Ledger, a French company that has built its success on securing Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies, is gradually diversifying to become a global giant. Ledger thus leaves at a respectable distance the competition from French tech which hope to do as well. One thing is certain, Ledger’s growth is being tracked from close. It gives good indications as to the direction the blockchain technology market is heading today and illustrates how Bitcoin and crypto are becoming more and more natural in our lifestyles.
Want to find Ledger or renew your cold storage equipment for Bitcoin and a number of other crypto currencies? The company is currently offering an exceptional 20% discount through this link, and using the Backtoschool code
Guillaume has been passionate about Blockchain technologies and cryptocurrencies for several years now. He strongly believes in mass adoption of these in the years to come. Eager for crisp news and always on the lookout for the latest trends in the cryptocurrency market, he takes pleasure in sharing all their secrets with you!