Fundamentally, Ledger is a hardware wallet that’s quickly becoming the go-to wallet for Web3 enthusiasts. Since its inception in 2014, Ledger has been at the forefront of promoting security in both the crypto and emerging Web3 spaces.
Since Ledger brought Ian Rogers onboard just one year and four months ago, the company has put a greater emphasis on user experience. Ledger also works hard to educate both crypto-curious people and crypto enthusiasts about how to protect your Web3 assets.
To learn more about Ledger’s vision for user experience, NFTevening interviewed Ian Rodgers (the company’s Chief Experiment Officer). Ian allowed us to interview him at Ledger Villa, Lisbon. The interview was a fascinating story about how he transitioned from the music industry into the crypto and NFT space and why security is so important in Web3.
This interview was conducted by NFTevening’s Janelle Borg. These quotes have been condensed and edited to make them more understandable.
The early days of the internet
Ian is, first and foremost, a music fanatic. It’s no surprise that Ian was first exposed to internet culture through music. “I have been collecting records since the age of five and programming computers since the age of eight. He said that the internet was for him a way to connect with others and share culture.
The internet was full of tech-savvy music geeks, academics, and tech enthusiasts who were eager to learn about new technology. Ian points out that crypto- and NFT enthusiasts share the same enthusiasm.
” The Internet was a major unlocker for culture. Because it transcended borders and reached out to record labels, it was a huge unlock for culture. It got this new thing going, and that’s what I dedicated the early part of my career to.”
From the music industry to crypto and Ledger
Ian’s passion paid off. After graduating with a Bachelor of Arts in Computer Science from Indiana University in 1994, he became deeply involved in the intersection of music and technology. He was a pioneer in music web design and has been involved in the digital music business for over twenty years. In fact, he played a vital role in the 2015 launch of Apple Music, including Beats 1, their digital streaming channel. After calling it quits at Apple, he moved on to the luxury goods sector. As Chief Digital Officer, he worked for LVMH Moet Hennessy Louis Vuitton. He became interested in crypto around this time.
“I became personally invested in crypto around 2015, because [of] the ethics of, you know, decentralization and honestly, just convenience on some level. You try to transfer $100,000 from one bank account to another, not so easy. Send $100,000 from one person to another, using crypto. Really easy.”
Ian became particularly interested in the way the crypto and NFT space was forming its own communities. Ian compared this to a passport that tells us where we are from. Being part of the NFT community is a way to identify yourself. It’s a way to connect with like-minded people who have similar interests.
The evolution of user experience in crypto
“If you look at digital music, you know, it’s a really interesting study, because we knew that digital music would be the future in 1993. Certainly, by 1998, it was clear,” Rogers points out.
“So now look, acknowledging crypto through the same lens, we have kind of roughly the same amount of people in crypto as we had on the internet in 1998, or 99. It is clear that crypto, or digital assets, are the future. Even though there are still many deniers, it smells very familiar.”
Ian was very involved in shaping the user experience of digital music. Even though digital music’s user experience was poor, he noted that many people were still interested in learning more. Eventually, big companies started investing in digital music, leading to the $28.2 billion behemoth it is today.
” It’s not a matter of whether. It’s only a matter of when and where. You know, how much different will it look in 10 years than it does today,” Rogers pondered. “And I think it will look as different as the internet did, you know, in 1998 with 56k, modems…and tonnes of promise and lots of excitement.”
“And so what you get over time is a lot of smart people, big companies, engineers, user experience designers, PhDs in computer-human interaction, who apply their talents to making this user experience better.” According to Ian, this aggregation of talent will bring Web3 and crypto to new heights in the years ahead.
Education as a tool for more educated Web3 natives
However, with new technology and greater freedom comes great responsibility. Ledger’s Live Sessions and Ledger Academy are investing in education about crypto and how to manage your assets. Ian says that there is a fundamental freedom that many people don’t know about.
“There’s fundamental new freedom here, which is self custody. You can own your digital assets. They don’t need to be under the control or control of another person. No, I have my own custody.”
Ian notes that software wallets have only scaled much larger than Ledger because they are willing to compromise security. He states, “I think that what hasn’t changed at Ledger is that unwillingness to compromise on security, but what has changed is offering people that, you know, top-level of security with a better user experience.”
Ledger’s vision vis-a-vis user experience
Ledger’s recent collaborations with a wide variety of brands, ranging from The Sandbox to Fendi, show the company’s commitment to bringing security to everyone. Ledger does not compromise on security. Ian claims that Ledger is enhancing its core values of security, ease of use, and safety.
With Web3, Ledger knows that: “I want all sorts of places where my digital assets can be utilized and I can login with, you, with the assets I have.” Okay, well, I need to be able to do that easily and securely.”
“If I’m sending you an NFT, now we have that in Ledger Live where you can secure clear signing on an entity,” he said. Ian noted that people should be more aware of what they are signing up for. Blind signing should not be considered unsafe sex. It’s fine. Yeah. It might even be fun. It’s not until it is. And then it can be really devastating, right, can change your life.”
This is why Ledger advocates for more education when it comes to signing smart contracts. We need to make sure people understand that smart contracts require top security, ease of use, clear signing, and easy onboarding. I really think that by the end of 2022, I’ll be able to say we [Ledger] have all of these things better than anyone on the planet. That’s what we’re working hard on.”
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All investment/financial opinions expressed by NFTevening.com are not recommendations.
This article is educational material.
As always, make your own research prior to making any kind of investment.