Hands-on with Ledger’s Bluetooth crypto hardware wallet

French startup Ledger unveiled a new hardware wallet at CES this week. While the device isn’t going to ship until March, the company let me play with a prototype version of the device. The Ledger Nano X feels just like using the Nano S, but on mobile. When the company’s previous hardware wallet first came […]

French startup Ledger unveiled a new hardware wallet at CES this week. While the device isn’t going to ship until March, the company let me play with a prototype version of the device. The Ledger Nano X feels just like using the Nano S, but on mobile.

When the company’s previous hardware wallet first came out, that was before the cryptocurrency boom, before Ledger raised $75 million. And the user experience wasn’t great.

You had to install multiple Chrome apps to manage multiple cryptocurrencies, switch between each app when you wanted to access your balance and manage your crypto assets. But things got much better when the company released Ledger Live on macOS, Windows and Linux.

With this new app, you could finally view your portfolio balance and manage multiple crypto assets from the same desktop app. The logical next step was mobile. And you have to get a new hardware wallet for that.

The Ledger Nano X looks more or less like the Ledger Nano S, but slightly bigger. It’s shaped like a USB key and it has a tiny screen to confirm transactions on the device. There’s a tiny 100 mAh battery in it and a slightly bigger screen. The battery should last a couple of months when you’re not using the wallet, and around 8 hours of active use. The microUSB port has been replaced by a USB-C port. The buttons are now on each side of the screen instead of on the side of the device.

After you pair the device with your phone, you can control everything from your iOS or Android phone. You can install apps on the Ledger Nano X, access your wallets and send cryptocurrencies. On iOS, you can lock the app using a password and optionally Face ID or Touch ID.

When you need to validate a transaction on your Ledger Nano X, your phone will pair with your Ledger device over Bluetooth. You can then view transaction information on your Ledger device and approve the transaction on the device itself.

What makes Ledger so secure is that your private keys never leave your Ledger device. Transactions are signed directly on the device. Your private keys are never sent over Bluetooth and your cryptocurrencies remain safe even if your smartphone is compromised.

Ledger now uses an ST33 secure element, which is slightly more secure than the previous version ST31. Now, there’s only a single chip, connected directly to the screen and buttons, which reduces the risk of having someone compromise the information on your screen.

The screen is now twice as tall, which lets you view full public addresses without a scrolling view. You can now install up to 100 different cryptocurrency apps. You can still plug the device into a computer and use the desktop app, as well. The device costs €120 ($138).

Disclosure: I own small amounts of various cryptocurrencies.

CES 2019 coverage - TechCrunch

Ledger announces next-generation cryptocurrency hardware wallet

French startup Ledger unveiled its new hardware wallet to manage your cryptocurrencies. The Ledger Nano X is a Bluetooth-enabled wallet, which means that you’ll be able to send and receive tokens from your phone. The previous version of the device required you to plug the key to your computer using a microUSB cable in order […]

French startup Ledger unveiled its new hardware wallet to manage your cryptocurrencies. The Ledger Nano X is a Bluetooth-enabled wallet, which means that you’ll be able to send and receive tokens from your phone.

The previous version of the device required you to plug the key to your computer using a microUSB cable in order to execute an order. Switching to Bluetooth and opening it up to smartphones is the next logical step.

Ledger is going to launch a full-fledged mobile app called Ledger Live. You’ll find the same features as the ones in the desktop app. You’ll be able to install new apps, check your balances and manage transactions.

The app will be available on January 28th and existing Ledger users will be able to check their balances in read-only mode thanks to public addresses (in case you’re not using Spot). Ledger has sold 1.5 million Ledger Nano S so far. And it sounds like other companies will be able to build mobile apps that work with your Nano X.

The Nano X looks more or less like the Nano S. It’s a USB key-shaped device with a screen and a couple of buttons. The screen is now slightly bigger.

One of the main issues with the Nano S is that you were limited to 18 different cryptocurrencies. You can now store up to 100 different crypto assets on the Nano X — the device supports 1,100 different tokens overall.

Just like other Ledger devices, the private keys never leave your Ledger wallet. It means that even if your computer or mobile phone get hacked, hackers won’t be able to grab your crypto assets.

The company is presenting the new device at CES, I’ll try to play with it to see how it works when it comes to pairing, battery life, etc.

Blockchain partners with Ledger for its hardware wallet

Blockchain startup Blockchain shared its roadmap for the coming months. The company is launching a hardware wallet in partnership with Ledger. Blockchain is also launching a new trading platform called Swap — this platform will find the best trading prices across a variety of exchanges and liquidity pools so that you can exchange tokens at […]

Blockchain startup Blockchain shared its roadmap for the coming months. The company is launching a hardware wallet in partnership with Ledger. Blockchain is also launching a new trading platform called Swap — this platform will find the best trading prices across a variety of exchanges and liquidity pools so that you can exchange tokens at a fair price straight from your Blockchain account.

Blockchain is one of the most successful cryptocurrency wallets out there. The company has built a solid user base with a software wallet for Bitcoin, and now also Ethereum and Bitcoin Cash.

Compared to traditional exchanges, you remain in control of your private keys. Blockchain can’t access your tokens, hackers can’t empty your wallet if Blockchain gets hacked. Blockchain currently manages 30 million wallets, which represent over $200 billion in transaction volume in the last two years.

But a software wallet isn’t as secure as a hardware wallet. There have been countless of phishing attempts and scams to take over your private keys. That’s why Blockchain is going to release its own hardware wallet, sort of.

The company is partnering with French startup Ledger to release the Blockchain Lockbox. It looks exactly like the Ledger Nano S, but with a Blockchain logo. It’ll feature a customer Blockchain firmware and integrate with Blockchain’s wallets.

Just like Ledger’s own app, you’ll be able to check your balance without connecting your hardware wallet to a computer. But as soon as you want to process a transaction, you’ll need to plug your Ledger wallet to confirm the transaction on the device itself.

It’ll be interesting to see how your Blockchain wallet and the one tied to your Blockchain Lockbox work together. The Lockbox could act as a sort of longterm vault while you could keep some coins on your standard Blockchain wallet for frequent transactions.

As for Swap, Blockchain is building its own trading product. It’s not going to be a separate exchange as the company plans to integrate with multiple sources. Eventually, Blockchain hopes to add support for decentralized exchange protocols so that you can exchange tokens without going through an exchange.

The Blockchain Lockbox will cost $99 and start shipping in November. I hope there will be other versions that support Bluetooth and mobile phones in the future as Blockchain is quite popular on mobile.