Welcome to NEXT Biometrics Insights #4. As we have communicated earlier, one important market segment for NEXT is Payments and Fintech. NEXT has won design-wins with several leading global Point of Sales terminal manufacturers. These Payment terminals are currently being used in several markets globally, and more countries and authorities will likely follow this trend.

In the Payments and Fintech segment we also find new digital devices and financial currencies. Digital currencies are growing globally and among them you frequently hear about so-called, cryptocurrencies. You have probably already heard about the most famous cryptocurrency – Bitcoin. There are however several cryptocurrencies established globally already, with Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, Tether amongst those already widely spread. The number of unique users of these cryptocurrencies have now exceeded the 300 hundred million mark, up with more than 200 million compared to the same time last year. In this Next Insights #4 we had the pleasure to sit down with NGRAVE CEO Ruben Merre. NGRAVE is an important customer to NEXT and Ruben is a thought leader from the cryptocurrency market. The purpose of this Insights paper is to explain how NEXT fingerprint sensors are being used in digital devices linked to crypto currencies.

Number of cryptocurrency users[1]

Fun facts

  • Bitcoin’s first payment purpose was back in 2010, when it was used to buy two pizzas in for a total of 10,000 BTC
  • There are currently over 300 million unique people using crypto
  • There are more than 200 crypto exchanges

Trading online with digital currencies, are there risks?

One of the most common risks associated with trading or holding cryptocurrencies is to have your digital cryptocurrency keys and passwords hacked and/or stolen. Another risk is that users simply lose their keys, and due to the nature of the cryptography are subsequently unable to ever get them back, According to Ruben Merre: “at the end of  2018, USD 2.5 billion in crypto was stolen, only rising to a new record in 2021 at USD 14 billion.” Merre continues, “another astonishing fact is that of the total fixed number of available Bitcoins (21 million) approximately 1 out of 5 or 20% are already lost, and most of these Bitcoins will never be recovered.”

To prevent having crypto keys and passwords stolen, users have historically attempted to store them safely in USB sticks, encrypted hard drives, or so-called crypto “hardware wallets”, offline hardware devices dedicated to creating and storing crypto private keys securely, as well as signing crypto transactions offline. Often, these types of wallets are also referred to as “cold wallets”, referring to the offline nature of their use, whereas “hot wallets” are online wallets such as mobile apps or browser extensions. During the last couple of years, the use of different digital crypto wallets securing the users valuable assets has become popular due to the increased need for protection in tandem with increasing value of the market Hence, the number of users owning a digital crypto wallet is likely to correlate strongly with the ongoing hyper-adoption in number of unique users.


Number of blockchain wallet users[2]


What is the link to NEXT Biometrics and our fingerprint sensors?

Since passwords are easy to forget and proven to be highly sensitive to theft, some digital crypto wallet providers have started to integrate biometrics into their hardware wallet devices as an additional measure of security. This is where you find the link to NEXT Biometrics. Our high security (even FBI certified) fingerprint sensors are a perfect way to increase security of crypto wallets. With our great form-factor, NEXT fingerprints sensors are a perfect fit for slim, smart digital crypto-wallet providers. For the latter, this will add yet another layer of security for their users since they all have their unique fingerprint now enabling them to access their digital currency wallets. Customers don’t even need to remember or save passwords, they have the possibility to use their personal and unique fingerprint as credentials.

@NEXT we are proud to have been selected by one of the coldest ultra-secure digital crypto wallets, produced by NGRAVE in Belgium. The NGRAVE “ZERO” wallet has recently been awarded “Crypto Wallet Solution of the Year 2021” for its highest security, design, and ease of use.  We believe in NGRAVE as one of the most promising crypto wallet providers globally. They have entered a high growth market at the right time, with a solution that clearly solves several existing security and usability challenges, well-supporting customers to save their private keys in a secure and convenient offline wallet.

NGRAVE was founded in 2018 by its current CEO, Ruben Merre and co-founders Edouard Vanham (COO) and Xavier Hendrickx (CTO). NGRAVE is a digital asset security provider offering user-friendly maximum-security solutions for blockchain and crypto use cases. Its previously mentioned flagship product — crypto hardware wallet “NGRAVE ZERO” — is the only financial product in the world that features the highest security certification: EAL7. NGRAVE has partnered with the world’s top tier in nano- and chip technology, cryptography and hardware security, and counts among its advisors several blockchain pioneers such as Jean-Jacques Quisquater, famous cryptography professor and second reference of the bitcoin paper.

NGRAVE ZERO including Next Biometrics fingerprint sensor

We asked Ruben what NGRAVE expects from its recent launch of the NGRAVE product suite, going forward. “We are experiencing significant demand and have already sold and shipped our products to 90 countries and counting. At this point, we are effectively sold out and we highly recommend that people sign up for the waiting list so they can receive theirs in time.”, “Our biggest challenge right now is the long lead time of certain important components of the bill of material, we are being very proactive and working hard to overcome this so we can meet the strong demand.”

A few days ago, NGRAVE placed a follow-up recurring order with NEXT Biometrics as ZERO’s demand is increasing significantly with the increasing problem of insecurity in the crypto markets.

@NEXT we love biometrics and we believe that more digital currencies and crypto wallets related to this fast-growing market will benefit from it. Who knows, people might be trading with their digital currencies from their car infotainment system soon, so why not protect your assets with your own unique identity – your own fingerprints both in the car as well as with a digital crypto wallet.

At NEXT we believe that more and more devices that become digital and connected will benefit from biometrics. Today, we tried to provide some insight into a relatively young but fast-growing market and how we are linked to it. But surely as Internet of Things moves ahead, we will all benefit from using biometrics instead of trying to save, remember, store and restore passwords.

Till NEXT Insight


[1] https://www.statista.com/statistics/1202503/global-cryptocurrency-user-base/

[2] https://www.statista.com/statistics/647374/worldwide-blockchain-wallet-users/

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