Cryptocurrency exchange Binance is making a move in the hardware wallet industry, with its venture capital arm investing in the cold wallet platform Ngrave.
Binance Labs has made a strategic investment in the Belgian hardware wallet company Ngrave and will lead its next series A round, the company has officially announced. announced November 21st.
Founded in Belgium in 2018, Ngrave specializes in self-custody, providing a security suite consisting of three main elements, including the Zero offline hardware wallet, Graphene key backup tool and the Liquid mobile app.
Yi He, co-founder of Binance and head of Binance Labs, specified that security remains one of the biggest challenges for crypto adoption. “Self-custodial wallets are one of the most secure methods of storing digital assets,” Li said, adding that Binance is looking to continue supporting startups that improve user security.
“Binance Labs is excited to capitalize on the emerging hardware wallet sector and partner with Ngrave to bring advanced wallet products to both retail and institutional users,” added Tyler Z, director of Binance Labs.
Ngrave is not the first hardware wallet provider in the Binance Labs portfolio. Binance Labs previously invested in the SafePal hardware wallet through its incubation program back in 2018. Binance also integrated SafePal’s solution into its platform, adding SafePal Mini App into Binance program in October 2022.
In early November, Binance as well partnered with Ledger hardware wallet manufacturer to allow Binance users to put crypto through Ledger directly with their bank cards.
As previously reported, the ongoing cryptocurrency winter has boosted the growth of the hardware wallet industry, while many centralized crypto exchanges have struggled to maintain operations. Unlike exchanges, hardware wallets allow users to better control their finances by securing a private key. According to data from several studies published in July, the crypto hardware wallet industry could grow faster than exchanges in the near future.
On November 14th, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao even admitted that centralized exchanges may no longer be necessary as investors would move to self-custody solutions. “If we can have a way to allow people to hold their own assets in their own custody safely and easily, that 99% of the general population can do that, centralized exchanges won’t exist or probably won’t need to exist, which is great,” Zhao said.
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The latest news comes shortly after Ledger Pascal Gauthier argued that Binance-owned software wallet Trust Wallet should offer the Ledger Connect option to provide better security to its users. “Otherwise it’s just unsafe,” the CEO stated in a tweet on November 13. The connection option essentially allows Trust Wallet users to store their keys on a Ledger device instead of storing them on a mobile phone or computer.
– Pascal Gauthier @Ledger (@_pgauthier) November 13, 2022
A spokesperson for Trust Wallet told Cointelegraph that the platform plans to release the integration with Ledger Connect soon as the feature will be on its top priority agenda. The representative also emphasized that Trust Wallet users have “full recovery” to access their funds on chain as long as they remember their passphrase or private key.