Binance muscles in on hardware wallet sector with series A investment in NGRAVE
Binance Labs said investment in self custody wallets will encourage crypto adoption by giving users confidence.
Binance Labs announced it will take the lead in an upcoming Series A investment round in hardware wallet maker NGRAVE.
Company co-founders Xavier Hendrickx, Ruben Merre, and Edouard Vanham launched NGRAVE in 2018 to make crypto a safer place for all.
Hendrickx had suffered multiple instances of lost and stolen crypto funds, including being a victim of the 2014 Mt. Gox hack. These experiences inspired him to address the problem of crypto security and launch NGRAVE.
The team wants to change the way people experience crypto by eradicating “the chance of loss and malicious hacking.”
“Our mission, empower people to master their wealth so they are free to live the life they want.“
Currently, the company’s product lineup includes the Zero “air-gapped” hardware wallet, meaning it connects by QR code, rather than USB, WiFi, Bluetooth, etc, a physical stainless steel key backup called Graphene, that incorporates an obfuscation mechanism, and the software interface called Liquid.
Commenting on differences between NGRAVE and rivals, Merre said the company focuses on the “user’s journey from an end-to-end perspective.” With this focus in mind, NGRAVE is the “first complete solution for managing your keys.”
Binance sees hardware wallets as an emerging market
Commenting on the problem of crypto security, head of Binance Labs, Yi He, said the issue hinders mass adoption. She added that investing in NGRAVE is a step towards addressing the problem.
“Security remains one of the biggest hurdles for crypto adoption. Self-custodial wallets are one of the most secure methods for storing digital assets and through our investment in NGRAVE, we are looking to continue backing innovative startups that enhance user security.”
Similarly, Investment Director at Binance Labs, Tyler Z, said hardware wallets are perhaps the safest way to store cryptocurrency, especially during times of market volatility.
Binance Labs incubated self-custody solution provider SafePal back in 2018. SafePal’s product offerings include software and hardware wallets, with the latter priced at less than NGRAVE’s solution.
Self-custody is the way forward in wake of the FTX disaster
Following FTX filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy on Nov. 11, the self-custody of assets has taken on greater significance.
Days after the bankruptcy filing, Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) tweeted that self-custody is a fundamental human right while reminding his followers they are “free to do it at any time.”
Giving advice, CZ encouraged users to start small and get familiar with how self-custody solutions work. Warning that “mistakes here can be very costly.”
Article was updated on Nov. 25 at 10:50 (UTC) to include comments from Ruben Merre received after first publication.