The ability to not have to trust an institution with your money is a great thing. Non centralized ledgers on the blockchain mean that pretty much no matter what, so long as you hold the key, your assets are safe. Innovation at it’s finest, blockchain protects the assets of individuals without the need for centralized institutions. That said, despite all their faults, institutions such as banks have within their structures some of the best security and insurance physically possible – security way beyond that of the majority of individuals. Lets face it, just about anyone who has gotten into crypto until now has had at the very least a scare or two regarding the safety and security of their cryptocurrency assets. And even for those that have gone completely analog with the old school paper wallet system, when it comes time – and it is coming – to use those said assets to transact in the real world, security will eventually be negated for convenience. As secure as it is, still the major hurdle to crypto viability is the human factor. Visit one malicious website, click on a seemingly nefarious link, or connect to a compromised wifi network on that not so smart as you though phone of yours, and poof, that could just be game over. Although getting much better, unfortunately hacking and crypto theft is a very real issue with this oh so amazing but still relatively new brilliance of decentralized finance known as crypto.
One such solution to this security dilemma came in the form of hardware wallets. Although not the only one, the Ledger Nano S cryptocurrency hardware wallet has become the most synonymous with the notion of what this type of wallet should be and how it should function. This post then for those not in the know will outline the basics of the Ledger Nano S cryptocurrency wallet so you’ll have the knowledge to decide whether or not this is the hardware wallet for you.
Like all hardware wallets, the Ledger Nano S cryptocurrency wallet being a physical device specifically built to store cryptocurrency account private keys represents a safeguard against malware, viruses, or other kinds of attacks typically associated with browser extension, mobile, and even desktop wallet counterparts. Unlike these software based wallets, hardware wallets such as the Ledger Nano S and it’s more recent counterpart the Ledger Nano X, keep your keys safely offline like a usb but with added security of a physically implemented passkey necessary when connecting to and interacting with the blockchain for updates and transactions. Basically, the added component of physical presence to the highly secure hardware aspect adds a few extra layers of security making it much more difficult even for the most sophisticated of hackers to steal your precious crypto funds.
- THE ONLY HARDWARE WALLET FEATURING A SECURE CHIP WITH A CUSTOM OPERATING SYSTEM (OS), FOR NO COMPROMISE BETWEEN SECURITY AND CONVENIENCE
- While many hardware wallets on the market feature a “simple” chip, all Ledger hardware wallets are equipped with a “smartcard chip”, that include a secure element. This kind of chip is used for highly secure applications, such as protecting biometric data on passports or credit card information.
- Very specifically, a secure-element chip is a tamper-resistant hardware platform, capable of securely hosting applications and storing confidential and cryptographic data. In other words, secure element chips are extremely difficult and costly to hack, while “simple” chips, even with software protection, require much less effort.
- Secure-element chips undergo advanced third-@arty evaluation and certification processes, through certification bodies such as Common Criteria and EMVCo, to attest to their robustness & security. Additionally, Ledger has developed it own secure element operating system, named BOLOS – a flexible and open system making it easy to support many crypto assets. This enables Ledger hardware wallets to offer a unique blend of cutting-edge security (secure element) and user convenience (BOLOS), while making sure your crypto assets can resist even sophisticated attacks. (Bulleted Source)
The Ledger hardware crypto wallet Nano S was designed to be ‘as straightforward and easy to use as possible, all while incorporating highly sophisticated security to protect your assets. All actions on the Ledger Nano S are visible on the devices screen, enabling control of what is happening and to securely verify any transaction all controlled by only 2 buttons.’ The device itself is actually really to set up, even for those that might not be all that familiar with traditional cryptocurrencies.
24-WORD RECOVERY PHRASE TO REGAIN ACCESS TO YOUR ASSETS
“Your Ledger hardware wallet stores your private keys, which enable you to authorize transactions using Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ripple or any compatible crypto asset. The assets themselves, however, remain on the blockchain. If your Ledger hardware wallet gets stolen, lost or you lose access to your crypto accounts, you can easily restore your accounts. Simply use the 24-word recovery phrase provided during the initialization of your device to restore your accounts on another Ledger device. Your accounts will be restored instantly and you will again be able to securely manage your crypto assets.” (https://shop.ledger.com/products/ledger-nano-s)
Ledger Nano S and Other Products: Exactly How Do They Work
As relayed on the the official Ledger Support site, Ledger Nano S and other products enable individuals to remain completely in control and manage their crypto assets assets securely.
Take control of your private keys
- Owning crypto assets comes down to managing your private keys. To first receive your assets, you request a transaction to a public address created from your private key. To spend the crypto assets, you digitally sign a transaction using your private key as well.
- By using a service that holds your crypto assets, you are putting trust in the service to keep the private keys secure from theft and to send your crypto assets when you request so. As long as you’re not managing your own private keys, you don’t really own your crypto.
Manage your private keys. Securely
- Ledger hardware wallets enable easy and secure private key management. When you set up your device, a unique master private key is created by Ledger’s secure hardware and software. As all your private keys and public addresses arise from your master private key, you can manage many accounts and crypto assets with a single device.
- You transact by verifying and signing transactions on the device. To withdraw from an exchange, you request your crypto assets to be sent to a public address provided by your hardware wallet. That’s how you become the legitimate owner of your crypto.
Save the recovery phrase, it’s your only backup
- When setting up your Ledger hardware wallet, it will provide a 24-word recovery phrase for you to write down carefully. This is the only backup of your master private key. It allows you to restore your master private key if you can’t access your hardware wallet.
- You must write down your 24-word recovery phrase precisely and in the correct order before storing it securely. Do not put it on a computer or phone. Anyone who gets your recovery phrase can take your crypto assets. Ledger does not store your private keys, nor ever asks for it.
***Directly quoted hyperlinks and all from How to own your crypto on the official Ledger Support site.
For additional information on setting up a new device, updating firmware, restoring from a recovery phrase, securing your PIN and recovery phrase be sure to explore the Ledger Nano S Support threads linked above
The Ledger Nano S On the Go: aka The Ledger Nano X
As with all things in the techno sphere, no one was expecting Ledger to stop with the Nano S. Enter the Ledger Nano X dubbed by some as the Ledger Nano S on the go. Running about double the price of the Nano S, the Ledger Nano X’s most striking differentiation between its precursor is the bluetooth enabled connectivity. For those already in possession of a Ledger Nano S, the utilization of the Ledger Live companion app makes it almost too easy to transfer your assets from the Nano S to the Nano X. The best part about this is that because of the competitive pricing of the Nano S in comparison to the more mobile friendly bluetooth enabled Nano X, leaving the Ledger Nano S at home under lock and key while utilizing the functionality of the Nano X on the go allows for an even better overall Ledger Nano experience.
“The Ledger Nano X features Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) connectivity enabling it to be used with Android or iOS devices without the need of a cable. While this feature greatly improves the user experience, it raised some concerns about the security of the wireless connection. We would like to address these
- Only public data is transported by Bluetooth; critical data (such as private keys and seed) never leave the device.
- Even if the Bluetooth connection would be hacked, the security of the Ledger Nano X relies on the Secure Element (SE) which will request your consent for any action.
- The Ledger Nano X Bluetooth implementation uses a state-of-the-art Bluetooth protocol. This Bluetooth protocol ensures authentication by using pairing. This is numeric comparison based and confidentiality is ensured using AES-based encryption.
- If ever, you’re not comfortable using your Nano X with a wireless connection, you can disable the Bluetooth and use the USB type-C cable.
Bluetooth connection is only used as a transport layer for public information. The secret keys or seed are never exposed to the BLE stack and never, ever leave the Secure Element.”
- For more a complete breakdown of the security revolving around the Ledger Nano X & Bluetooth Security Model, please see the original source of the above citation here: https://www.ledger.com/ledger-nano-x-bluetooth-security-model-of-a-wireless-hardware-wallet/
Managing Ledger Nano Devices with Ledger Live
The Ledger Live companion application compatible with Mac OS, Windows, Linux, iOS, and Android ‘includes simple step-by-step processes designed to help with interaction of the device securely and easily’.
Hosting 22 natively supported crypto at present, with 1,100+ more hosted through third party wallets such as MyEtherWallet, TronScan, NEO Wallet, Owallet, Electru, MyHPB Wallet, and more, whats not to love about the Ledger Live updated crypto wallet Nano S (and Nano X) from the Ledger team. A complete and up to date list of Ledger Nano S supported cryptocurrencies and Ledger Nano S supported crypto third party wallets can be found at https://shop.ledger.com/pages/supported-crypto-assets. Although the use of Ledger Live is not necessary to interact with Ledger Nano series devices, considering the ease of set-up and use, there seems to really be no reason not to for the assets that are fully supported.
- For more on how to set-up, utilize, interact with, troubleshooting, and other features pertaining to Ledger Live on your various devices, please check out the Ledger Live Desktop and Ledger Live Mobile official Ledger Support information and tutorials.
Another great thing about Ledger Live is that allows almost seamless integration with exchanges such as Binance, Coinbase, Polinex, and Kraken. To see just how simplified this process has become, check out this video showcasing how to utilize the Ledger Live portal to interact with the Binance exchange.
How to Get Nano Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallets and Other Supported Products
It should be noted that Ledger Nano X and Ledger Nano S cryptocurrency hardware wallet eBay, Amazon, or any other online or physical purchases besides the official site are highly discouraged, as no matter how unlikely, there is always a chance that the device has been tampered with. Likewise, even when purchasing from the official site (https://shop.ledger.com/products/), ensure that the factory wrap is original and intact when the device is received, as in endeavors like this it is far better to be safe than regretful of easily preventable negligence at a later date. In addition to actual hardware wallets, accessories such as connectivity cables, the Ledger Live download, Ledger Blue, and even the combination Ledger Nano S and X bundle pack are all available direct from here, so for your own piece of mind in regards to safety and security, likely no need to look any further than this for your Ledger products.
Why choose Ledger? Beyond keeping your crypto assets safe under your very own lock and key, the Ledger Nano S has proved itself to be a fan favorite thus far. Although past president is not guarantee for future success, considering all that Ledger has in the past and continues to do, it seems pretty likely that there is a lot more to come. For those wanting more information on the technical specs of various Ledger products introduced in this brief piece, I do suggest you take the time to check out the official links provided in this post as the amount of documentation behind this project is truly massive. Despite the recent release of the Ledger Nano X, it seems that the Ledger Nano S will remain at least for the time being ingrained in the hearts and hands of users both past and new as a go to for home crypto asset security and in all actuality, more than likely work in tandem with the the bluetooth enabled ‘on the go’ upgrade due to the easy management enabled across devices with the Ledger Live management system.
With that then I shall lead to ponder not which ledger may be best for you, but rather should you not have a hardware wallet of any sort, why not look a little more into this one and decide over all are Ledger products right for you?
Your Trybalist in creative arms, Jimmy D
Interested in more guides on TRYBE.ONE regarding blockchain and cryptocurrencies? If so, be sure to check out How to Get Bitcoins, Where to Trade Cryptocurrency, Best Places for Trading Bitcoin and Cryptocurrencies, How to Trade Bitcoin: A Not So Brief Overtly Technical Overview, How to Purchase Ripple XRP, HOW TO BUY NEO, HOW TO BUY EOS, and Is Ethereum a Good Investment?
- Please note: Although I have to the best of my ability done my due diligence in researching this piece, I am not a financial advisor and assume no responsibility for any losses incurred on the readers part for any investments or products supported obtained from this post. Please understand that it is the readers responsibility to look after and maintain their own finances and perform all due diligence on their own part for their personal and financial well being and safety and not rely on myself or others in this space to keep them safe.
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Jimmy D is a verified member of CryptoPilots, a community devoted to Quality Content in Crypto. Find me also on TRYBE.ONE, Minds.com, PublishOx, Twitter, Jimmy D Presents Facebook Group, and Murmur (kansaikrypto).