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Crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger raises over 100M in new Crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger raises over 100M in new


Crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger raises over $100M in new funding round



Crypto wallet maker Ledger has raised the bulk of its planned €100 million ($109 million) by closing its first funding round, according to Bloomberg. The company is now valued by investors at €1.3 billion ($1.4 billion).

Crypto hardware wallet maker Ledger raises over $100M in new funding round

In an official statement, Pascal Gauthier, Chairman and CEO of Ledger, said the funds raised will accelerate the company’s mission to distribute its devices to hundreds of millions of people in the crypto ecosystem. These funds will catalyze a new generation of devices built with security in mind when managing digital assets and other products using blockchain technology.

“Today Ledger announced a funding round. I am grateful for the continued support of our long-term investors and welcome new investors supporting the ongoing undeniable revolution in value and equipment. These funds will accelerate our mission to bring next-generation secure consumer devices to hundreds of millions of people exploring critical blockchain-enabled digital assets and technologies.”

According to the same Bloomberg agency, the French crypto wallet company plans to conduct a second and third round of capital raising simultaneously in April due to high investor interest.

Institutional investors participating in the latest funding round include Morgan Creek, Cité Gestion SPV, Digital Finance Group, VaynerFund, True Global Ventures and 10T.

“Suddenly, people thought that it was actually dangerous to leave cryptocurrencies on an exchange. 2023 is even better for us, because now you can’t even leave money in a Swiss bank,” said Pascal Gauthier.

According to him, Ledger had its best sales in November 2022 after the FTX crash. Ledger Live, an app for buying and selling cryptocurrencies, grew 200% year-on-year in revenue. According to Ledger, now more than 20% of all cryptocurrencies in the world and 30% of NFTs are stored on its devices.

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Blue Origin has become the main potential buyer of United Launch Alliance



Blue Origin has become the main potential buyer of United

Blue Origin, owned by Amazon founder Jeff Bezos, has become a finalist to buy United Launch Alliance (ULA). Lockheed Martin and Boeing, which own ULA, have not yet commented on the possible sale of the company. Representatives for Blue Origin also did not respond to requests for comment.

Blue Origin has become the main potential buyer of United Launch Alliance

The Vulcan rocket launches from a launch pad in Florida in January 2024. Source: United Launch Alliance

Blue Origin is close to buying ULA, two sources said. While neither source has seen the agreements signed, an announcement about the sale is expected to be made in the coming months.

Since reports of the possible sale of ULA, the potential buyer has been the subject of widespread speculation and interest. In November, information appeared in the media that Blue Origin was one of three potential buyers. In December, The Wall Street Journal confirmed that competition was tightening, with Blue Origin and major investment firm Cerberus the most likely bidders.

Several recent events suggest that a sale of ULA is imminent. Several ULA department heads are already looking for new jobs. In addition, Jeff Bezos recently sold Amazon shares worth a total of $2.4 billion and said he could sell up to $9 billion worth of shares over the next year. There are rumors in the space industry that ULA could be acquired for around $3 billion.

United Launch Alliance was created in 2006 as a result of the merger of Boeing Delta and Lockheed Martin’s Atlas family of launchers. Since its founding, ULA has become a profitable enterprise for both aerospace giants, conducting government launches and receiving significant financial subsidies from the U.S. Department of Defense to maintain “launch readiness” for national security missions.

However, ULA’s dominant position in space launches over the past decade has been supplanted by the emergence of SpaceX and its more affordable and reliable Falcon 9 rocket. Tory Bruno, who became ULA’s chief executive in 2014, has taken a number of steps, including cutting staff and shutting down underused platforms to reduce costs and ensure competitiveness.

One of the key questions surrounding the ULA acquisition is the future of ULA’s chief executive officer, Tory Bruno. Bruno demonstrated his leadership skills with an excellent launch record and leading the development of the new large Vulcan launch vehicle, as well as competing with SpaceX. It is not yet known what role Bruno will play if ULA is purchased by Blue Origin, but there is information that he has a good relationship with Jeff Bezos.

ULA and Blue Origin have significant overlap in their business model. Vulcan, a ULA project, and Blue Origin’s New Glenn rocket will compete for government launch contracts and are powered by BE-4 engines developed by Blue Origin. However, the combination of Blue Origin and ULA could become a serious competitor to SpaceX in the space launch market.

ULA has two active launch sites at Cape Canaveral in Florida and Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. The company also has an experienced team of experts in launching and storing cryogenic fuels in space, which will benefit Blue Origin as it plans to launch its New Glenn rocket this year.

For some time before the co-owners closed the program, ULA was developing an innovative upper stage, ACES (Advanced Cryogenic Evolved Stage). This upper stage was to be reusable and run on liquid oxygen and liquid hydrogen. This is exactly the kind of technology Blue Origin will need when developing a lunar lander and a space tug that uses the same fuel.

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SpaceX requests increased flight frequency ahead of Starship’s March launch



SpaceX requests increased flight frequency ahead of Starships March launch

SpaceX is actively preparing for the launch of the Starship spacecraft, which may take place in three weeks from Starbase in South Texas. In this regard, the company appealed to regulatory authorities with a requirement to increase the frequency of flights.

This week, a press conference was held at which the administrator of the Federal Aviation Administration’s commercial space launch division, Kelvin Coleman, announced that the agency is collaborating with SpaceX to simplify the licensing process for Starship launches.

SpaceX requests increased flight frequency ahead of Starship's March launch

Starship on the launch pad at Starbase in South Texas. Source: SpaceX

SpaceX plans to conduct at least nine launches this year, posing a major challenge for regulators in processing so many licenses. Coleman emphasized that the FAA is in constant contact with SpaceX, including around the clock, to develop the most effective ways to simplify the process. He also emphasized the agency’s high interest in SpaceX and its readiness to continue cooperation with it.

SpaceX’s five-year history in Texas began with the need to undergo extensive environmental review before launching and landing Starship. In June 2022, the company passed the final programmatic environmental assessment process, allowing SpaceX to receive approval for five annual launches from South Texas. Due to the desire to increase the frequency of flights, the company is currently actively fighting to change the limit and obtain permission for an additional five launches.

However, the first attempt to launch Starship in April 2023 led to serious consequences. The largest rocket damaged the spaceport near Boca Chica beach and caused environmental problems. Coleman said the investigation and regulatory review process following the launch took about six months.

The second launch attempt in November of the same year was more successful – although the Super Heavy launch vehicle was sent on a nominal flight, the upper stage separated from the launch vehicle before the accident and did not harm the ground.

The founder and head of SpaceX, Elon Musk, announced plans to conduct a third attempt to launch Starship in early to mid-March. Coleman noted that from a regulatory perspective, this launch schedule is “about right.”

Last October, SpaceX Vice President of Assembly and Flight Reliability Bill Gerstenmaier testified before Congress and said he wanted the U.S. House of Representatives and Senate to give the FAA more resources for its license review processes.

With the number of U.S. launches growing and new companies looking to pursue space activities, the agency plans to license more than 150 launches and re-entries this year.

Coleman noted that since he joined the FAA in 1996, the organization’s workforce has increased severalfold. If 25 years ago the organization employed 40 people, now their number is 143, and the company aims to increase the staff to 157 employees in the near future.

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Gemini AI is now available in Google Chrome for effective content creation



Gemini AI is now available in Google Chrome for effective

Google Chrome has received a new feature – a letter generator with artificial intelligence. At its core, the tool is Gemini-based, a “Help Me Write” feature built into Gmail but extended across the web and based on one of Google’s latest Gemini AI models. The company first announced the tool in January, and it remains in the “experimental” stage.

Gemini AI is now available in Google Chrome for effective content creation

Source: Tim Mason/Getty Images

To activate this feature, you need to go to the Chrome settings menu and find the “Experimental AI” page. From there, you can enable this feature, as well as Google’s new automatic tab organizer. Currently, AI Writer is only available in English on Windows, Mac and Linux.

To use the function, you need to right-click on any text field and select “Help me write” from the context menu. You can use the function to create new content, or Gemini can rewrite existing text.

The functionality is mainly intended for small volumes, such as emails or support requests, and for larger volumes the model may not be of much help.

Gemini AI is now available in Google Chrome for effective content creation

Source: Google

One of the great features is that the tool will take into account the site the user is on. “The tool will understand the context of the webpage you are on and suggest relevant content. For example, if you’re writing a review of sneakers, Chrome will pull out key features from the product page and make the text more valuable to potential buyers,” writes Google CTO Adriana Porter Felt.

As with Gmail’s Help Me Write feature, the length and length of the results is fairly easy to change.

The text, content and URL of the page on which the feature is used will be sent to Google in accordance with its existing privacy policy. Google notes that the information is “used to improve this feature, which includes research into generative models and machine learning technologies,” which includes a human review process.

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