©Reuters. FILE PHOTO: Representations of virtual cryptocurrencies are placed on US dollar banknotes in this November 28, 2021 illustration. REUTERS/Dado Ruvic/Illustration/File Photo
By Martin Coulter
LONDON (Reuters) – Tony Fadell, a prominent Silicon Valley executive best known as the father of the iPod, unveiled his latest project on Tuesday – a hardware wallet for storing cryptocurrency offline.
Fadell, 53, spent nearly a decade at Apple (NASDAQ:) under Steve Jobs, where he oversaw the design of the portable music player and later helped create the company’s most iconic device, the iPhone.
After leaving Apple in 2008, he founded Nest Labs, a smart home device company. Nest was later acquired by tech giant Google (NASDAQ:) for $3.2 billion.
Now, Fadell has teamed up with Ledger, the French tech company, to design a new offline cryptocurrency wallet.
Trading crypto requires the use of complex cryptographic keys used to authorize transactions. These keys are usually stored online, for example at an online exchange, which can make them more vulnerable to hacking or theft.
The recent collapse of crypto exchange FTX, which has seen more than $1 billion in customer funds gone, has led to an unprecedented surge in demand for offline or “self-custody” services like Ledger.
Previous models released by Ledger like Nano S and Nano S came in the form of USB memory sticks. Fadell’s new design, the Ledger Stax, is a credit card sized device with a curved back and electronic ink display.
“All secure hardware up to that point was like all MP3 players before the iPod, and it was time for an iPod,” Ledger chief experience officer Ian Rogers (NYSE:) told Reuters.
Fadell had previously expressed skepticism about some elements of “Web 3.0,” an umbrella term that encompasses a variety of next-generation decentralized technologies, including cryptocurrency and the Metaverse.
The Ledger Stax will be sold online in early 2023 for $279.