Eric Larchevêque (Ledger): Embracing the Crypto Revolution Safely
According to Eric Larchevêque, co-founder of Ledger, cryptocurrencies have impacted our economy in two essential ways: The decentralization of financial infrastructure and the redefinition of money. Interview.
Can you introduce Ledger in a few words?
I co-created Ledger in 2014 to address the major problem of securing crypto assets. We have therefore designed a secure "Hardware Wallet" to protect the private keys. Holding cryptocurrencies is tantamount to possessing information that, like any type of property, must be protected. The public Blockchain network uses the founding principle of the cryptographic signature, which requires proving knowledge of the password necessary for a transaction, without ever revealing it. In this context, our hardware guarantees password protection even in the event of the hacking of a device used to connect to the Internet. We are the world leader in these solutions with several million individual and professional users, securing 15% of all crypto assets on the planet.
“Just as we protect our valuables in a vault, we must protect our crypto assets in a digital vault”
How are cryptocurrencies impacting our economies?
Through two essential elements: The decentralization of the financial infrastructure and the redefinition of the currency. The Blockchain is indeed a mechanism for exchanging values on an open system without the need to transact through a centralized body such as a bank or a financial institution. From this first impact came the redefinition of money. From a legal point of view, cryptocurrencies are not considered official currencies. However, they represent a real economic alternative to the fundamental notion of money, which until now has been managed by states and central banks. Crypto assets are now managed by a predictive mathematical system reduced to a few equations and no longer dependent on central state power. If the value of traditional currencies is based on the confidence in the ability of the government to be able to raise taxes and ensure the value of the currency, that of a cryptocurrency is based on the confidence of the population in the network. The more individuals, companies or even states, that place their trust in a cryptocurrency, the more it will increase in value.
What risks and opportunities do you identify in the long term?
Crypto assets involve many risks, particularly related to their very high volatility. They do not represent any promise of wealth but rather a philosophical and economic promise of conservation of their value compared to traditional currencies that are traditionally subject to extremely high inflation. Technological risks are also linked to decentralization. Indeed, by becoming your own bank, you take responsibility for your own security. Just as we protect our valuables in a vault, we need to protect our crypto assets in a digital vault, like the one Ledger provides. Users must also guard against social engineering by educating themselves on the subject and mastering its fundamentals before resorting to this technology. But crypto assets also represent investment opportunities for creating new business models. They make it possible to tokenize all types of goods as NFTs do by associating a token with an object with the aim of marketing it. We are only at the dawn of this revolution which will create countless entrepreneurial opportunities!