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Ledger Hardware Wallet

| April 30, 2024

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Hardware wallets, such as those offered by Ledger, belong to a distinct category of bitcoin wallets. They are designed to store a user’s private and personal keys within a secure hardware device. Ledger hardware wallets provide users with various advantages. These advantages are not available in standard software wallets. For instance, private keys are typically stored in the protected section of the device’s microcontroller. Thus, preventing them from being moved in plaintext and enhancing overall security.

Key Takeaways

  • Ledger wallets are cryptocurrency hardware wallets manufactured by Ledger. These wallets, created by the company, are multicurrency and securely store private keys for cryptocurrencies offline.

What is a Ledge Hardware Wallet?

Ledger is a firm specializing in the production of physical cryptocurrency wallets, resembling USB drives or other storage devices. Providing users with a range of hardware and cold wallet options, Ledger assures the safety and security of crypto asset storage. Headquartered in France, with operations in San Francisco, the company was founded by eight professionals with expertise in embedded security, cryptocurrencies, and entrepreneurship. Ledger is dedicated to crafting secure solutions for blockchain applications.

How Ledger Wallets Work

Ledger provides cold, non-custodial hardware wallets. These wallets offer a secure solution for storing private keys offline on dedicated hardware devices. These wallets utilize storage mechanisms like USB drives. Thus, making it challenging for hackers to access private keys from an online location. The private key is securely transferred to a certified chip by the device’s software and Ledger’s application.

The company presents three distinct hardware wallet models: Ledger Nano S Plus, Ledger Nano X, and Ledger Stax. Integrated with the Ledger Live app, users can access keys, manage crypto assets, and initiate transactions. Every transaction requires user authorization.

These storage wallets facilitate various functions, including cryptocurrency transfers, receipt of funds, and the use of two-factor authentication (2FA) applications.

Ledger products incorporate a Secure Element and a proprietary operating system designed to safeguard users’ cryptocurrency assets. A 24-word, 96-character backup recovery phrase is generated to access cryptocurrencies in case of device loss or theft.

Fundamental Security Guidelines

The necessity of accessing your recovery phrase typically arises in two situations:

1. Loss or Damage to Your Hardware Wallet:

In such cases, entering your recovery phrase on a new device facilitates the complete recovery of access to your crypto assets.

2. Cloning to a New Device:

Entering the 24 words on another device enables the possession of two independent hardware wallets, suitable for separate locations like home and office, or when upgrading to a newer model.

It’s crucial to understand that anyone gaining access to these 24 words would gain immediate control over your crypto assets. The PIN code on your hardware wallet solely protects your device and is irrelevant to private key recovery.

Therefore, securing your recovery phase is of paramount importance, as any compromise could lead to catastrophic losses. Follow these security measures:

  1. Never take a picture of your recovery sheet, as smartphones are insecure, and images may automatically be uploaded to cloud storage.
  2. Never enter your recovery phrase on any computer or smartphone to avoid potential keyloggers.
  3. Never share or show your 24 words with anyone, even friends or family, as it grants them potential access to all your crypto assets.
  4. Safeguard your recovery sheet in a secure place, protected from sunlight, humidity, and fire. If damaged, promptly transfer your crypto to a newly set up hardware wallet.
  5. Ensure that you personally generate the 24-word recovery phrase. Never use a preconfigured device or a set of 24 words provided elsewhere than on the device itself. Maintain exclusive knowledge of your specific recovery phrase.

Given the critical nature of your recovery phrase, it is advisable to verify its accuracy and readability. For Ledger Nano S users, the Recovery Check app allows you to enter your 24-word recovery phrase and confirm its match with the private keys on your device. Refer to the dedicated video for further guidance.