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Ledger Partners with Intel to Boost Blockchain App Security

Ledger, the Paris, France-based specialist in providing security for cryptocurrency and blockchain applications, has partnered with Intel to bring greater protection for users of digital wallets. Ledger will integrate its Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System (BOLOS) into Intel Software Guard Extensions (Intel SGX), with the joint solution initially being deployed with cryptocurrency software wallets Electrum and MyEtherWallet.

“We have seen an increasing demand from the market for secure solutions to manage crypto assets over the past couple of years,” Ledger CEO Eric Larchevêque said. He added that the collaboration with Intel “is a unique opportunity to keep providing our growing client base with innovative solutions for cryptocurrency and blockchain applications.”

Eric Larchevêque, Ledger CEO, demonstrating Ledger Blue at FinovateEurope 2016.

The solution is designed to help cryptocurrency owners safeguard their digital assets by protecting their private keys from unauthorized use. The collaboration between Ledger and Intel means that sensitive information will be stored within an Intel SGX enclave instead of on the application. In addition to stopping many software-based attacks, the solution provides users with a compromise between software wallets and hardware wallets. Back in May, Ledger announced a soft launch of its Ledger SGX Enclave, which provided hardware security features on Intel Skylake Core CPUs and in many ways previewed this week’s news.

Ledger designs and builds trusted hardware wallets and security devices for decentralized applications such as Bitcoin and the blockchain. Explaining the importance of cryptocurrency security during his FinovateEurope demo last year, Larchevêque put it bluntly “if your bitcoin are stolen, they are stolen. There is no bank. There is no insurance. Pretty much, it is game over.” He explained, “when you own bitcoin what you really own are private keys, a critical piece of information that you use to sign bitcoin transactions. So anyone with access to your private keys can at any time empty your account.” Comparing storing private keys on your computer or smartphone to displaying gold bars on your chimney, Larchevêque said that the hardware wallets his company has built – such as Ledger Nano and Ledger Blue – are specifically designed to solve this problem.

Founded in 2015 and headquartered in Paris, France, Ledger demonstrated its Ledger Blue solution at FinovateEurope 2016. Earlier this month, the company announced a partnership with Gemalto to provide security infrastructure for crypto asset applications. In August, Ledger announced support for Segwit (Segregated Witness) optimizations to scale Bitcoin. With clients in 165 countries, and more than 60 employees, and 300,000 Ledger wallets sold, the company has raised more than $10 million in funding and includes MAIF Avenir and XAnge among its investors.