‘Father of the iPod’ Unveils New Crypto Hardware Wallet

Image: Ledger

Tony Fadell, a famed product designer and former Apple Senior VP who is credited as being the “father of the iPod,” has come out of his rather quiet life of investing and writing books about his career to lead the development of hardware cryptocurrency wallets at Paris-based Ledger.

Cryptocurrency and other digital assets, such as NFTs, are secured solely by a private key. Hardware wallets act as tiny vaults for these keys and serve to further reinforce their security.

While many crypto owners choose to entrust their digital wealth to a centralized “exchange,” more savvy crypto investors and NFT collectors choose self-custody. After all, the entire point of cryptocurrency in the first place was to move away from centralized institutions like banks.

While crypto purists would prefer to have complete ownership of their assets anyway, the recent fall of FTX has demonstrated that crypto exchanges aren’t all that trustworthy either.

Ledger was founded back in 2014 with the idea of crypto self-custody in mind. It was founded by members of a Bitcoin collective called La Maison du Bitcoin following the hack that robbed thousands of their crypto fortunes. Ledger would go on to sell over 5 million hardware wallets, which it says today secure 20% of the world’s crypto and more than 30% of NFTs.

However, the company wanted to take it to the next level and go mass market with aspirations to become a company that could compete with the likes of Apple and Google. That’s what Fadell was recruited to do, alongside collaborators like Apple Music cofounder Ian Rogers.

Fadell’s first design for the company is the Ledger Stax, which was unveiled today. Stax, Fadell’s first major design project in years, seeks to reinvent the hardware wallet. The iPhone cofounder is looking to gussy up the idea of your typical crypto wallet, redefining it with his flare for industrial design and an innovative E-Ink display that wraps around the device’s spine.

“Ledger Stax was made for the day-to-day use of your crypto & NFTs with clarity and comfort,” Ledger explains on its product page.

“Clear-sign your transactions with ease on the world’s first curved E Ink touchscreen. Name it, customize the lock screen with your favourite NFT or photo – make Ledger Stax yours. Entrust your peace of mind to Ledger’s uncompromising security.”

The Ledger Stax is available now to preorder for $279 USD, with an estimated delivery timeline of March 2023.

To learn more about Ledger Stax and what Fadell has been up to, check out WIRED‘s story.