Self-Custody of Digital Assets: Ledger CTO Explains How Their Devices Help with Securing Bitcoin Holdings

Charles Guillemet, CTO at Ledger, recently went over various options to implement Bitcoin governance strategies at the institutional level.

As explained in a blog post, Ledger devices are extremely useful “for letting users self-custody their Bitcoin.”  Guillemet also comments on what might be useful if you’re an organization, or a financial institution.

As noted in the update from Ledger, multiple solutions exist “to implement Bitcoin Governance with complex rules.” Among them “are Miniscript, Multi-Party Computation (MPC), as well as MuSig2 and FROST.”

The Ledger devices already support Miniscript, and the team is pleased “to announce that they will support MuSig2 in the coming months.”

They have also developed the Ledger Vault in order “to empower organizations and financial institutions to efficiently manage Bitcoin and other crypto-assets.”

This solution leverages Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) and Personal Security Devices (PSDs). They have loaded the Ledger Operating System “with its security property, isolation, and cryptographic implementation on the secure hardware and a governance framework.”

According to the update from Ledver, Bitcoin is useful because it brings something unprecedented: “Permissionless Money”. With Bitcoin, you don’t need to ask anyone to own and spend your digital value. There is no state, bank, or third-party that can “ever interfere with the value you hold and transact. With Bitcoin, you possess a piece of the Internet with complete self-sovereignty and freedom.”

Two properties enabling permissionlessness: “decentralized consensus” & “self-custody”

As explained in a blog post, the first property that contributes to Bitcoin’s permissionless nature is known as “decentralized consensus”. With Bitcoin, you have decentralized pools of miners that are incentivized “to secure the network and prevent censorship over the execution of transactions.”

At Ledger, they are supporting Schnorr on their devices and working on “supporting MuSig2, allowing multi-signatures on-chain on Bitcoin, in the coming months.”

While perhaps not as widely well known as Ledger’s retail solutions, they have “developed a suite of products designed to empower enterprises, organizations, and financial institutions in the secure and efficient management of digital assets at scale.” This innovative solution leverages Ledger’s robust technology and secure hardware “along with a flexible governance framework on top of it.”

The solution is called Ledger Vault. It leverages Hardware Security Modules (HSMs) and Personal Security Devices (PSDs). They have “loaded the Ledger Operating System with its security property, isolation, and cryptographic implementation on the secure hardware, and on top of this, a governance framework.”

With Ledger Vault, you can reportedly “achieve the same level of security and self-custody as Ledger Nanos, but with the valuable addition of a governance layer allowing corporations to establish various organizational roles, including shared owners, administrators, and operators.”


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