NGRAVE chief executive Ruben Merre believes “there is something wrong with all security solutions in the crypto space”.
In response, Belgium-based NGRAVE plans to bring “next generation” hardware wallets to the cryptocurrency market, promising to offer “unparalleled end-to-end security”.
Crypto hacks on the rise
The importance of security in the cryptocurrency space has been heightened this year in light of various exchange hacks.
In May, Binance revealed that its hot wallets had been compromised, with more than $40 million being stolen.
This came months after the QuadrigaCX scandal that saw more than $190 million worth of funds locked up due to the sudden death of CEO Gerald Cotten.
Safeguarding investors is at the heart of NGRAVE’s mission. Merre believes that other security solutions are simply “looking at it from the wrong angle”.
— NGRAVE (@ngrave_official) June 5, 2019
Merre told Coin Rivet: “They [competitors] are only offering a part of the solution. A hardware wallet is not secure. A crypto exchange is not secure. We believe security has to be a fully integrated end-to-end solution. You have to think about it from the beginning of the user journey. People today keep their seed on a piece of paper – this is so paradoxical when you look at this beautiful technology.
“So we actually have a solution for that as well. We have a solution for a hardware wallet and we have a solution for cold storage. Let’s say you lose your seed – there needs to be another way of recovery without having a third party having access to the key.”
NGRAVE’s goal doesn’t stop there: “Also, what happens if you die? We saw this with the QuadrigaCX story. We also have a solution to that. We have not left any stones unturned. This is what NGRAVE stands for.
“Today, $7 million per day is stolen from crypto wallets. It’s a reality. If I open my exchange account, I’m always a bit jitterish as to whether it will still be there. That’s the feeling I want to take away from users.”
Not your keys, not your coins
Since the inception of cryptocurrency, investors have been warned to never store assets on an exchange. This logic has been vindicated time and time again following a plethora of exchange hacks, most notably Mt Gox in 2015 and CoinCheck in 2018, which saw $500 million stolen.
Merre continued: “If you look at exchanges such as Binance, they actually give their users public addresses for every coin and they keep private keys for themselves. Basically they are the owner and you are the proxy – hackers can only hack things that are online. All they need to do is steal those private keys.
“The most important thing we have to do is think how can we keep that private key offline, always. Our solution is completely offline – we never expose the seed and never expose the private key. You have a hardware wallet that looks like an iPhone – you build it from scratch to ensure it is tamperproof as far as you can go. Even before you receive your wallet at home, it could already be compromised.”
On the topic of NGRAVE’s hardware wallet, Merre revealed that it’s still in development, but a “marketable version should be ready fairly soon”.
NGRAVE to raise capital in Q4 2019
Later this year, NGRAVE will raise capital through a Kickstarter campaign and a Security Token Offering (STO). The STO will be launched via a regulated German platform that specialises in equities.
“They are strict from a regulatory standpoint – that’s one of the reasons we chose this route,” Merre added.
“We believe blockchain technology is something amazing that can change society forever, which is why we want a regulated environment so more people can gain exposure.”
? Product sneak peek & our CEO explaining why #NGRAVE took the decision last year to join the #1 university linked tech accelerator in Europe, & eventually partnered up with the world leading R&D hub for nanoelectronics to build #TheColdestWallet ? #hardwarewallet #BTC #crypto pic.twitter.com/b8o2WmxesD
— NGRAVE (@ngrave_official) May 21, 2019
The two main hardware wallet providers in the cryptocurrency space are Ledger and Trezor. When asked what differentiates NGRAVE from these two big players, Merre replied: “Think about a Ledger or a Trezor. They give you a hardware device, then they give you a piece of paper to write down your seed. We have a dedicated solution to replace that paper seed. We are also able to recover that if you lose it via a cryptographic puzzle.
“We at NGRAVE are able to recover one part of the seed, allowing users to recover it. We also have ideas to launch trading offline, but this won’t be in the first version.”
He added: “There is nothing we want to leave to chance. With Ledger, you get your device and you have to connect it. It always needs an online connection – as soon as you have that, you have an attack vector. That’s why we decided to put everything offline, as there is no surface for attack.”
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