Ledger released a new hardware wallet – the Ledger Nano X. This new device protects your cryptocurrencies with military grade protection and prevents digital theft and hackers. These are the key new features of the Ledger Nano X:
- Large HD screen – Displays address of receiver in full without scrolling
- Mobile support – (Android and iOS) support via Ledger Live Mobile
- More storage space – Install up to 100 different apps for different coins.
- Rechargable Battery – allows the device to be powered-on without a cable.
This guide will help you setup your Ledger Nano X and teach you the important features. In addition, we the most important question: Is Bluetooth Safe?
Ledger Live Mobile
One of the biggest features of the Ledger Nano X is the support mobile phones (both Android and iPhone). The new Ledger Live app allows for both sending and receiving of all supported cryptocurrencies on the go.
The app connects directly to the Nano X via bluetooth, so no cable is required. The device has a battery that allows it to be actively powered on for more than 8 hours (depending on use), so the Nano X can be brought out to send cryptocurrency on the go.
Portfolio mode allows Ledger Live to display all available balances that is stored on the Ledger Nano X. This is accessible even if the hardware wallet is not present, so you can conveniently browse the portfolio. To send cryptocurrencies, the device must be present to sign the transaction via Bluetooth. It is important to remember that the private key to sign transactions never leaves the device or is transmitted via Bluetooth – only the signed transaction which cannot be altered (secure).
Ledger Live Mobile also supports the installation of various apps for different cryptocurrencies via Ledger Manager. Ledger has told us that this list of apps will be the same as the PC version (however as we are in the beta test mode we couldn’t access the full list).
How Add or remove apps on the Ledger Nano X
To use different cryptocurrencies on the Ledger Nano X, the app for that coin needs to be installed on the Ledger first. This is done via the Ledger Live app on either Windows, MacOS, Android or iOS. First install Ledger Live, connect the Nano X and enter the “Manager” interface. The app will require you to unlock the Ledger by entering your pin and entering the home screen. You will need to authorize Ledger Live by confirming “Allow Ledger Manager”. Once you are connected, you will see a list of different apps that are ready to be installed (If you’re list is shorter than in the following image, update the firmware of the Ledger Nano X).
Is Bluetooth Safe?
The simple answer is: Yes. One of the initial concerns (reddit) about the Ledger Nano X is communication via Bluetooth, a form of radio communication. The previous model (Ledger Nano S) only had cable connectivity, which would not expose the device to nearby attackers. Bluetooth is safe to use in this case because the device is never controlled via Bluetooth – instead it is only used to send unsigned and signed transactions. This means the private key (the key to all the funds) is not exposed and does not leave the device.
On top of this, the Ledger Nano X functions assuming the Bluetooth is in “compromised” mode. This means it will never give any control to other external devices and communication is limited to transaction signing only.
Keep your Recovery Phrase Safe!
There will be a sheet where you can write down your 20-word recovery phrase. This is the most important part because it acts as a backup to the device. You will need to keep it very safe because if someone gets access to that paper it is essentially the same as stealing your wallet.
Do not take a photo or have a digital copy of that list!
- Choose a 4-digit PIN code and confirm.
- Write down your 20-word recovery phrase. The order of the words is also important.
- After setting up the device, with it still plugged in, visit the Ledger Live website and download the app you want to use.
- Follow the instructions on the site and use.
Note: after setting it up you will be navigating the device on your computer.
You can receive cryptocurrency even when the device is offline. It’s only when you want to send that you need to connect the device and enter your PIN and login.
After inputting all the transaction details on your computer, as an additional security measure, you can double check the details on the device. Make sure the address and amount are correct and confirm.
Why use a Hardware Wallet
With traditional currencies, you, the user, are the most important person. If you have ever lost your bank card, you can always go to the bank with some sort of identification and request for access back to your account.
Cryptocurrencies, however, don’t care about the physical person but rather the private key associated with the wallet. The private key is used to verify the account and transactions. Anyone who has access to this key can send funds and that is why you must keep it safe. Another thing is that cryptocurrency transactions cannot be reversed.
Hardware wallets can protect you against these things. They add an extra layer of security by storing the private key on the device itself. The only way to hack it would be to have physical access to the hardware wallet or with the backup phrase.
Paper wallets offer arguably even more security. However, the process for setting them up and using it is very complicated. Hardware wallets strike a nice balance between security and convenience.
Worth the Upgrade?
At a higher price-point, may users are asking the question “Is the Ledger Nano X worth the Upgrade“. For us, the answer is depends.
If you use more than 3 apps, then consider upgrading. Coming at with a much larger memory space, Nano X is able to store a lot more applications than the Ledger Nano S. As of writing, the Ledger Nano S is only able to store 2-3 applications with Firmware 1.5.5 (such as Bitcoin and Ethereum app). Whilst you can get around this limitation by uninstalling unused apps, the constant switching often leads to confusion and time wasting.
If you need to send large amounts of Cryptocurrencies on the go. With Bluetooth support, the new Ledger can be used with android and iPhones.
If more apps and mobility is not a big concern for you, stick with the Ledger Nano S.
Updated 20 November 2019