In recent years, the cryptocurrency market has expanded enormously, making it easier than ever to purchase crypto. Anybody can create an account on any of the numerous exchanges that support crypto and purchase what they want, including tokens such as Immutable X. Due to the nature of these virtual coins, they cannot be stored as easily as fiat money. For this reason, there are plenty of cryptocurrency wallets available today. People can use physical hardware wallets in addition to the conventional digital wallets that are usually software and online. Ledger wallets are among the most popular and trusted hardware wallets.
What is Ledger?
Ledger, which launched in 2014, was created by a French tech company with the exact same name. A crypto wallet is used to store private keys so that hackers cannot access your assets. Ledger was designed to do just that, but completely offline. It was mentioned above that Ledger products are classified as hardware wallets but what does that mean? What function do they serve in the crypto market?
What is a Hardware or Cold Wallet?
Due to the fact that hardware wallets are entirely offline, they are also referred to as cold wallets.
Wallets that are online and software-based are called hot wallets. Wallets such as these require an internet connection in order to access assets. Unfortunately, access to the internet makes you susceptible to computer malware. It is possible to unintentionally provide hackers access by clicking a link or opening an email. Malware complex enough to get past the firewall can steal your private information and access your hot wallet, misusing it and stealing your coins.
In contrast, cold wallets operate completely offline. They are designed to be as simple as possible. Fewer complexities make them less vulnerable to hackers. Due to the fact that these wallets are not connected to the internet, hackers cannot easily break into them.
These cold wallets have a similar shape to a USB flash drive, like the Ledger Nano S/X. The seed phrase, or a set of random words and a password are usually required to access cold wallets. Once you receive the seed phrase, write it down somewhere safe. The seed phrase should be written on a piece of paper because you don’t want it in a computer, which a hacker might gain access to if you get hacked.
If a cold wallet is completely offline, how would you trade? There is a simple answer. Hardware wallets still need to be connected to computers in order to sign transactions with private keys. Your cold wallet is not in any way vulnerable to online attacks since this is not a direct connection. The wallet is simply connected to the trading platform you use so that it can authorize the trades you request.
Ledger offers two ways to securely hold your crypto assets: Ledger Nano S and Nano X.
Ledger Nano S:
The Ledger Nano S was their first crypto hardware wallet and became one of the most popular available. Newer wallets have been launched on the market since the release of the Ledger Nano S, but it remains among the most popular and highly rated wallets globally.
In terms of cryptocurrency support, the Ledger Nano S is a good choice. The device supports over 100 cryptocurrencies and over 1,000 tokens such as Tether (USDT) and Immutable X (IMX).
The main reason why people choose cold wallets like Ledger Nano S is their security. Your private keys are protected by the Secure Element (SE) chip in the Ledger. This chip works with an OS called Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System (BOLOS).
Each Ledger device undergoes an ANSSI audit aimed at verifying the device’s safety. Additionally, for practical reasons, purchasing crypto involves pressing both buttons on the unit simultaneously, so a hacker would not be able to perform this act unless they had access to actual hardware.
Compared to other wallets, the Ledger Nano S requires a four-digit password and a seed phrase that contains 24 words.
Concerning Ledger’s safety, there was only one concern. Ledger’s customer data was breached in 2020, exposing all of its customers’ names. Information about customers’ wallets was not compromised.
Ledger is one of the cheapest cold wallets on the market compared to other alternatives. Check current price here. Despite being free, hot wallets do not offer the same level of security as Ledger Nano S. This wallet is worth the investment for the added security it brings to investors.
Due to the fact that cryptocurrencies require applications for use, wallets must include space for such applications. Only six crypto apps are supported by the Ledger Nano S. This is its biggest disadvantage.
Even though it may not be considered a downside to others, the display on the Nano S is not the best on the market. To navigate, the device only has two physical buttons. The screen is extremely small, and there are no other physical buttons. This makes the Ledger Nano S a bit difficult to use.
Not So Mobile-Friendly
When you want to trade cryptocurrency, you must connect cold wallets to a device. Due to the fact that it only supports Android devices, Ledger Nano S is not a very suitable option for mobile phones. The device can still be synced with a computer.
Ledger Nano X:
The company followed up Ledger Nano S with Ledger Nano X. Its purpose was to enhance some of the features of Ledger Nano S, as well as add new ones to the Ledger wallet. While the Nano S is an excellent wallet for cryptocurrency holders (HODLERS), the Nano X is designed for active traders as well. This might be due to the fact that the Ledger Nano X involves mobile use, a bigger screen, bluetooth communication, as well as more battery power.
The Ledger Nano X supports more than a thousand cryptocurrencies, just like its predecessor. Investors who diversify largely benefit from this.
Ease of Use
The Ledger Nano X does not look much different than the Nano S, however it is much easier to use. The user interface is simpler and transactions can be easily authorized.
In Ledger Nano X and Ledger Nano S are both extremely secure wallets. They are among the most secure on the market. Since the private keys are physically stored in your hardware wallet, hackers cannot steal them. Even if they got a hold of it, the hacker would still need the password and the 24-word seed phrase. This means your assets are secure as long as the hacker does not force or trick you to input the seed phrase. Store your seed phrase in a safe place!
In contrast to the Nano S, the Ledger Nano X has end-to-end encrypted Bluetooth. Users can easily pair their Ledger Nano X wallet with a Bluetooth device. The Bluetooth connection is secure, not reducing security as some feared since it is encrypted.
Up to 100 Apps
App support is one of the great features of the Ledger Nano X. Unlike the Ledger Nano S, which supports only a few cryptocurrency applications, it supports up to 100 cryptocurrency applications. Despite the fact that some might argue that even the support of 100 apps is limited, it is vastly more than the Nano S and an impressive number for a cold wallet.
Having more features than Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano X is obviously more expensive. Check current price here. Despite seeming expensive, Ledger Nano X’s added features, such as Bluetooth, app storage, ease of use and a lot more make it a worthwhile purchase.
A rather minor disadvantage of the Ledger Nano X is that it is heavier than the Ledger Nano S. Some users find this to be insignificant, but others claim that it is not convenient to carry around all the time.
Confusing to New Users
If you’ve never used a cold wallet before and the Ledger Nano X wallet is your first one, it may seem a bit complex at first. Nevertheless, once you learn all its functions, it won’t seem so difficult.
Another disadvantage of Ledger Nano X is that its battery cannot be replaced. This means you’ll need to buy another wallet if the battery gets damaged. The battery is expected to last about five years.
We evaluated the Ledger Nano S vs. Ledger Nano X wallets based on their ease of use, security, currencies supported, price, and device features. In addition, we considered the type of user who might find either wallet more appealing.
Both the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Nano X are similar in that they enable users to store and manage crypto securely. The Ledger Nano S seems like the best option for most people, especially new users. The Ledger Nano X is a good option for those interested in trading many different cryptocurrencies through the Ledger Live app.
Getting started with the Ledger wallet
Once you get your wallet, you have to download the Ledger Live app either on your mobile device or computer. Connect the wallet with the device when you open the Ledger Live app.
There, you will be asked to create a PIN for your wallet. Once you set up a PIN, the app will display the 24-word seed phrase, with each word coming one by one. Make sure to type the seed phrase in the correct order. Once you write down your seed phrase, you must store it somewhere really safe. Ledger has another product called the Cryptosteel Capsule, which is a solid capsule you can use to store your seed phrase. This capsule is designed to resist “extreme conditions”.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
How to change my Ledger Nano X password?
To change the PIN of your Ledger wallet, you should type the PIN incorrectly three times so that the device resets. Once it is reset, you should type the 24-word seed phrase to restore your private keys, and then you can set a new PIN.
How to turn off Bluetooth in Ledger Nano X?
You can use the USB cable if you do not prefer using Bluetooth. Simply hold both buttons to open Control Center. Then, you can easily turn off Bluetooth.
What is the battery life of Ledger Nano X?
Ledger Nano X has a 100mAh battery. It can last months if the wallet is not used and idle. If it is regularly used, the battery can last hours. If you want to recharge you may use the USB cable that comes with the wallet.
Are Ledger wallets waterproof?
No, Ledger wallets are not waterproof and you should keep them away from water. If there is contact with water, do not use your wallet until it is completely dried.
Does Ledger need to be plugged in to receive crypto?
No, you can receive funds in your Ledger wallet without connecting them to a device.
Who Should Use Ledger Nano S vs. Ledger Nano X?
Just about anyone interested in a secure hardware wallet can use the Ledger Nano S. It’s one of the most popular wallets on the market, suitable for both beginners and more advanced users. For those who can afford it and want the extra features, the Ledger Nano X might be a better choice.