Ledger Wallet Review
While there are various ways you can store your private keys, non-custodial options are still considered the safest bet. A hardware wallet provides this functionality to crypto holders by offering them a secure means to self-custody cryptocurrencies and still enjoy some of the perks available to software wallet users. Herein lies the core workings of Ledger.
The company has designed some of the most reputable and flexible hardware wallets since it launched in 2014. Its operations center around the creation of an agnostic platform that provides security systems for a wide array of cryptocurrencies. In this guide, we will explore more about Ledger and the service it provides.
What is Ledger?
Ledger is a French startup founded in 2014 with the sole aim of providing advanced security solutions for blockchain, cryptocurrency, and IoT systems. The core objective of the company is to deliver top-notch security services that are compatible with new-generation technologies. While Ledger’s goal entails vast knowledge in the security architectures of innovative technologies, it is its exploits within the crypto industry that have impressed.
In essence, Ledger is popularly known as a hardware wallet provider. And it has begun to leverage its status in the crypto industry to expand to other security niches. That said, we will be restricting this Ledger guide to its crypto and blockchain solutions.
What is Ledger Proposing?
Ledger is a firm believer that self-custody is the best approach to crypto security. The company has developed a sophisticated system that lets users store their private keys on offline hardware devices. In other words, its wallet solution ensures that the private keys remain offline so that users would not fall victim to hacks or lose their digital assets to coordinated attacks.
The Ledger security architecture involves the syncing of hardware wallets with the Ledger Live app to enable a secure digital asset management solution for over 27 cryptocurrencies and an additional 1,500 tokens. With this, Ledger looks to offer users sovereign control of all their digital assets.
In its 7 years of operation, Ledger has evolved into a juggernaut in the crypto security sector with over 1.5 million ledger wallets already sold. Its clientele is spread across 165 countries making Ledger a global brand.
What Are Its offerings?
Since Ledger focuses on providing hardware wallet services, it has designed and created two iterations of flash drive-like devices that provide compact and convenient digital asset storage functions. These devices are Ledger Nano s and Ledger Nano X.
Ledger Nano X
Ledger Nano X provides intuitive means of securing a plethora of crypto assets on a single device. The product allows users to manage 27 cryptocurrencies and over 1,500 tokens with simple but heavily fortified processes. By connecting this device to the Ledger Live application on your smartphone or computer, you can sell, buy, swap, stake, lend and track your crypto holdings without breaking a sweat.
The Nano X comes with in-built Bluetooth for even more seamless connectivity and instant accessibility. There is an option that allows users to download up to 100 applications on this device for more compatibility with diverse arrays of digital assets. It is also worth mentioning that the wallet is compatible with some third-party software wallets. This functionality exposes Nano X’s users to more features.
As a purpose-built device, Nano X allows users to monitor transactions on its built-in display and confirm them by pressing two physical buttons. This setup ensures that all confirmations are done manually. Another security feature is the automatic wallet backup which allows users to restore lost wallets with a 24-word recovery phase.
Interestingly, Nano X comes with a 100 mAh battery that lasts for several hours during continuous use. When it is idle, the battery can last for months. The Nano X currently sells for $144 on the Ledger website. it is important to purchase this product from the website or trusted resellers to ascertain that the device has not been infected with malware before it gets to you.
Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is the light version of Nano X as it provides a cheaper and less complicated digital asset management system. Like Nano X, Nano S also supports 27 cryptocurrencies and 1,500 digital tokens, including Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP, Litecoin, and Bitcoin Cash. Note that there is no built-in Bluetooth for wireless connections to smartphones and computers. Instead, users can only connect the Nano S via USB port to a computer to execute transactions or manage crypto holdings.
However, it offers a pin code layer of protection as well as a 24-word recovery phase. Users must create a pin code to serve as the major authentication system for the Nano S. The device will request this code each time you want access to the wallet. If you are unable to provide this code, you can use your backup phrase to recover the content of the wallet.
Furthermore, the Nano S is built to last. This is why it comes with a stainless-steel cover to protect against physical damages. Also, it is way cheaper than Nano X. You can purchase a Nano S wallet for $59 on the Ledger website. You can buy multiple wallet devices as a package at a cheaper rate.
Ledger Live is the official application of the Ledger ecosystem that unlocks more features for the Ledger hardware devices. It provides the interface to execute different digital asset management operations like crypto staking, lending, buying, selling, and swapping. Ledger has introduced this application to give its users a bit more freedom as regards how they use their cryptocurrency to earn extra income or connect to more crypto opportunities.
The desktop version of this application is compatible with macOS, Windows, and Linux operating software. It also has mobile versions that support Android and iOS devices. Ensure that you download these applications from the official website of Ledger.
Security and Hack Protection
The Ledger hardware wallets are embedded with hack proof chips that store private keys. Remarkably, Ledger goes a step further to create a custom operating system, called BOLOS, that provides added protection against malicious attacks. Besides, the company has developed a system for checking whether wallets have been compromised by a third party. It is advisable to update your wallet as soon as new patches are available.
Both iterations of Ledger’s hardware wallets utilize pin code as an authentication system. If the wrong pin code is entered after the third attempt, the wallet automatically switches to a timed lockout mode. When this happens, you will have to enter your recovery phrase to unlock it. While all these implementations showcase the advanced security system of Ledger, it does not however guarantee 100% protection from all security threats.
In 2020, Ledger announced that it suffered a hack and lost the details of its users to a third party. Ever since this event, Ledger wallet users have increasingly become targets of phishing scams. Scammers are using the personal information of Ledger users to create campaigns designed to lure them to give up their 24-word recovery passphrases. You can find a list of the phishing scam formats commonly used to bait hardware wallet owners on the Ledger website.
The Ledger website has a page dedicated to customer support. You can access answers to frequently asked questions. There are also comprehensive details about the products, including the hardware wallets and the Ledger Live applications. The page contains shipping details and every other information you might need to order a hardware wallet directly from the website. Other customer support channels include live chat, an email ticket system, and social media support.
What Are the Pros and Cons of Ledger Wallet?
Having explored the workings of Ledger, it is imperative to capture the strengths and weaknesses of the wallet provider.
What Are the Pros Of Ledger?
It offers non-custodial wallet services
The fact that users retain full ownership of their private keys makes Ledger wallets the ideal option for a decentralized based economy. What this means is that crypto holders will not likely fall victim to security breaches as a result of the negligence of the wallet providers. This coupled with the fact that private keys are stored offline bodes well for Ledger users.
It supports multiple cryptocurrencies
With over 1,500 digital assets supported, Ledger wallets are a perfect fit for individuals looking to hold a diversified crypto portfolio on a single wallet. It helps that Ledger wallets are compatible with established software wallets for even more compatibility.
It allows advanced digital asset management features
Not only can you store your digital assets on Ledger wallets, but you can also stake your holdings for extra income or lend it out to generate interest. Besides, you can swap your cryptocurrency with other digital assets, buy popular coins, or sell them.
It offers quality customer support
It is always a good sign when a company puts in the work to provide its users with all of the materials and infrastructures they need to understand its features and other technicalities involved. Ledger scored some points for creating a comprehensive customer support page, fully loaded with informative articles, an email ticket system, and live chat. You can also contact Ledger on social media networks.
It has a functioning app that is compatible with multiple operating systems
Ledger Live is the software application of the Ledger wallets that provides extra functionalities for the hardware devices. Remarkably, the application is compatible with major desktop and mobile operating systems.
What Are the Cons of Ledger Wallets?
It suffered a security crisis that exposed users to scams
In mid-2020, Ledger discovered that it had suffered a hack, which allowed hackers to steal the information of users. Subsequently, the attackers sold the stolen data to other illicit entities which have since targeted Ledger wallet owners in various scam-related campaigns. Following this major security breach, Ledger has strived to educate its users on the nuances of phishing scams. However, this does not change the fact that the actions or inactions of Ledger have exposed its users to threats.
Pros & Cons
- It offers non-custodial wallet services
- It supports multiple cryptocurrencies
- It allows advanced digital asset management features
- It offers quality customer support
- It has a functioning app that is compatible with multiple operating systems
- A cheaper alternative to Trezor and supports more cryptocurrencies
- The private key stored on the device itself
- Recovery mechanism in case the device is lost or stolen.
- It suffered a security crisis that exposed users to scams
- Has not been established as long as Trezor
- More difficult to use than Trezor