Introduction to Bitcoin Wallets
In order to successfully complete any cryptocurrency transaction, cryptocurrency wallets are absolutely indispensable. Basically, a cryptocurrency wallet is a digital address where the cryptocurrency is transferred, after being verified in the blockchain. In simple words, if a physical wallet keeps your plastic cards and bank notes with you, a cryptocurrency wallet keeps your balance of different kinds of digital cryptocurrency.
Cryptocurrency wallets can be broadly categorized into two types, which include
-Online Wallets: where the cryptocurrency details are saved in an address inside the servers of a wallet service provider
-Offline Wallets: where the cryptocurrency details are saved exclusively in a physical device and at the owner’s behest
If you believe in the advice of many cryptocurrency experts, offline wallets are still the lot safer means of securing your cryptocurrency balances. An offline wallet can be as simple as a paper wallet, which is simply a QR code of a lengthy collection of case sensitive characters or a software that you can install in your computer or smartphone. But the physical vulnerability of papers and technological vulnerabilities of ordinary devices software as well as the risk of theft mean that the risk of losing your valuable cryptocurrency balance is always present in those mediums. To mitigate such problems, there are now purpose-built hi-tech USB-compatible devices in the market where this balance is kept offline after a transaction is verified in the blockchain. One of the most popular manufacturers of such devices in the world is the French Company Ledger LAS. If you have been wondering how to use Ledger Wallet, this article is definitely going to help you a lot.
Ledger LAS is a company specializing in the production and distribution of blockchain and cryptocurrency wallet solutions to different organizations around the world. The company was established in 2014 and is currently headed by the Eric Larcheveque. The company manufactures primarily manufactures offline wallets and also provides enterprise-level wallet management solutions for larger scale firms. Over the years, the company has produced various models of cryptocurrency wallets but lately limits its manufacturing to two models. In this Ledger Wallet review, these two highly popular offline cryptocurrency hardware wallet that includes the Ledger Nano S and the Ledger Blue will be discussed in detail.
- Ledger Nano S
Since its launch in 2016, Ledger Nano S has consistently been one of the most popular hardware wallets in the world, with hundreds of thousands of units sold to customers in every continent. At first glance, it looks like an ordinary USB memory stick with a small OLED screen. But this very device is considered by experts to be one of the safest hardware wallets available in the market. One of the reasons why the device is very safe is that the private keys are not exposed to the internet at all, which makes any unauthorized access to your bitcoin next to impossible.
There are also several secondary security features which make the Ledger Nano S a very reliable device for your cryptocurrency storage. Firstly, for confirming and completing any transaction on the blockchain and saving your cryptocurrency on the Ledger Nano S, you need to press the two buttons on the device together, meaning that no one who isn’t physically present at the place of the transaction can actually tamper with the device. Additionally, a 4-8 digit PIN also needs to be set initially and entered every time the device is used. So if wrong PIN codes are entered more than 3 times, the device reverts to the factory mode, which can be however be recovered with the help of the 24-word security code present with the user. This is why users need to be very careful about keeping the security code of the wallet private and secure. The device also comes with a tamper-proof tape around the package, with guaranteed replacement provisions in case the device is known to be tempered before delivery to the end user.
The device support several types of cryptocurrency including the most popular ones like Bitcoin, Ethereum and Ripple. However, users will need to download the special Ledger supported software to use each currency and expert users advise to use not more than 4 currencies at once in one device. The transactions are done with the help of special Google Chrome browser plugins offered the company.
The device costs €79, which amount to around $125 (AUD). Experts strongly suggest buying the device only from the official Ledger Website or Amazon. In fact, the use of second-hand devices is absolutely discouraged.
- Ledger Blue
Another popular wallet sold by Ledger LAS is the Ledger Blue, which is comparatively more advanced than Ledger Nano S. Some experts proclaim that it’s the most advanced hardware wallet in the world. The Ledger Blue has an appearance similar to a small mobile phone with a touchscreen. Similar to Nano S, the wallet comes equipped with advanced security features with which your cryptocurrency balance is stored safely and securely. However, the Ledger Blue also comes with Bluetooth Connectivity options, meaning that you more easily make transactions on the go.
However, to get one user to need to spend at least $360 (AUD), easily making it one of the most expensive hardware wallets in the market. But despite the price, the device supports fewer varieties of alt-coins than the Nano S, which may discourage some users to choose this instead of the Ledger Nano S.
Customer Service of the company
Ledger LAS can be contacted primarily through their website’s through email. Like most other services, 24-hours is the standard response time. However, they also have active social media channels through Facebook, Twitter, and LinkedIn.
Considering the very high stakes involved in the trading of cryptocurrency, hackers frequently abuse their tools and skills to get unauthorized access to users and exchanges. A handful of times, such hacking episodes have completely obliterated several multi-million dollar exchanges as well. Thus, it’s essential to apply extra security while dealing and storing your cryptocurrency. There are online wallets that employ very stringent measures to make the storage of cryptocurrency safe for investors in their platform. However, more often than not, users need to hand over their identity details to avail of such services, or even pay annual charges. Thus, rather than take all these hassles, it’s indeed wise to leave your precious money’s security to a more trustworthy hardware like the Ledger Wallet. Of course, the user will still have to be careful about many things while using a Ledger Wallet device, ranging from security of their internet network to the safety of the security code and device. Meanwhile, products from Ledger Wallet will require a good sum of money at the start. Yet, despite the cost, if you believe the opinion of data security experts, the Ledger Nano S and Ledger Blue are definitely worth the money in the long run to an avid investor.