Tony Fadell, the father of the iPod and a well-known Silicon Valley executive, announced his next invention on Tuesday: a hardware wallet intended to store cryptocurrency offline. Fadell, 53, worked for Apple for more than a decade under Steve Jobs, where he managed the design of the portable music player and eventually helped create the company’s most well-known product, the iPhone.
After leaving Apple in 2008, he founded Nest Labs, a firm that makes smart home gadgets. The nest was ultimately purchased by Google for $3.2 billion. Fadell has now collaborated with Ledger, a French technology business, to create a new offline cryptocurrency wallet.
Trading cryptocurrency requires the use of complicated cryptographic keys to authorize transactions. These keys are generally held online, such as with an online exchange, making them more vulnerable to hackers or theft.
The recent collapse of crypto exchange FTX, which resulted in the loss of more than $1 billion in user assets (via Reuters), triggered an unprecedented rise in demand for offline, or “self-custody,” services like Ledger.
Previous Ledger models, such as the Nano S and Nano S, were fashioned like USB memory sticks. The Ledger Stax, Fadell’s new design, is a credit-card-sized device with a curved spine and an electronic-ink display.
“All of the secure hardware up to this point was like all the MP3 players before the iPod, and it was time for an iPod,” said Ian Rogers, Ledger’s chief experience officer.
Fadell had previously expressed reservations about some aspects of “Web 3.0,” a catch-all term for a slew of next-generation decentralized technologies such as cryptocurrencies and the metaverse. The Ledger Stax will be available for $279 online beginning in early 2023.