April 14, 2022

Self Sovereignty and Self Custody with Charles Guillemet

Self Sovereignty and Self Custody with Charles Guillemet
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My guest today is Charles Guillemet, CTO of Ledger. Ledger provides security and infrastructure solutions to critical digital assets for consumers and institutional investors. Launched in 2014, Ledger has designed an acclaimed line of hardware security devices, quickly placing the company as a global leader in the market, with 1,000,000 units sold in more than 165 countries. Ledger introduced the Vault for enterprises and corporations: a fully managed SaaS solution addressing the need to safeguard a very large amount of multiple cryptocurrencies while mitigating both IT and physical assault threats. The company is also active in the industrial IoT market, leveraging its secure hardware technology to interface sensors and machines to smart contracts or blockchain-based assets. Charles joined Ledger in 2017 as Chief Security Officer after working for ten years in the Cryptography & Hardware Security sector. He is also the creator of Donjon (the company’s security research department). He is now Chief Technology Officer from 2019. Charles holds a Master of Science in Cryptography & Security at the Engineering School ENSIMAG, with a Major in Cryptography and Security (Valedictorian), where he used to be a Lecturer. We discuss a variety of topics ranging from the importance of hardware wallets, Donjon, the advancements in security, areas for improvement in the crypto asset security industry, the future of blockchains, and much more. We begin our conversation by discussing the importance of hardware wallets. Charles explains the dangers of storing your private keys on your phone. Another topic of discussion centered around how the industry's growth will impact security. Charles outlines that as the crypto-asset sector continues to grow, it will continue to attract more hackers, so we must continue to focus on improving security and security education. Charles also discusses the risks that zero-day exploits could have on the industry. We finish our discussion on the importance of hardware wallets by discussing what they store and how ledger approaches designing their hardware wallets. Our conversation pivots to discuss why the north star of the crypto asset security industry should be to improve the UI and UX of their products. Charles does an excellent job detailing why improving the UX of security products will drive mass adoption. He also touches on the various bottlenecks we currently face that deter people from using hardware wallets to store their crypto assets. Another major topic of conversation centered around quantum computing. We discuss why quantum computing is not currently a risk for the crypto assets space and how it is mainly a research field. Charles also discusses that as the technology develops, the crypto-asset industry will have ample time to address the possible vulnerabilities that quantum computing could present. We also discuss the singularity and have a philosophical discussion of what we categorize as intelligence. The next major topic of discussion in the interview centered around the future of blockchains. Charles stresses that blockchain developers should not be creating applications on Layer-1s and instead focus their efforts on Layer-2s. We also discuss the purpose of blockchains. We discuss that the goal of blockchains is to decentralize society and give the user their power back. Charles outlines why this is such a strong value proposition, and we discuss how this will continue to revolutionize society for decades to come. Please enjoy my conversation with Charles Guillemet.


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