The cryptocurrency sector has come into the limelight in recent years, rising as a cypherpunk movement among tech-savvy personnel to an established asset class among the mass populace. Centralized exchanges (CEXes) have helped in pushing crypto towards widespread adoption. However, several bankruptcies and hacks have caused exorbitant losses for the average retail investor. Fortunately, these events have intensified the debate around the need for self-custody and away from the reliance on intermediaries to manage one’s crypto. Online hot wallets such as MetaMask, Trust Wallet, and many others have been groundbreaking in making crypto self-custody accessible to all. That said, hardware wallets like the Ledger Nano X provide an extra layer of security as investors’ assets remain offline, away from the threat of cyber attacks.
The Ledger Nano X is a non-custodial hardware wallet that is used for safely storing digital assets like cryptocurrencies and NFTs. Like other hardware wallets, the Nano X prioritizes security by keeping users’ private keys, and by extension, their digital assets entirely offline.
Ledger is a pioneer company advancing security infrastructure and products in the crypto space. The company offers a variety of hardware wallets to empower crypto self-custody. This article focuses on the review of its popular hardware wallet, the Ledger Nano X.
The Ledger company was established in 2014 by experts with backgrounds in cryptocurrency, entrepreneurship, and embedded security. David Balland, Eric Larchevêque, Joel Pobeda, Nicolas Bacca, and Thomas France are among its founding members. While Ledger has its headquarters located in Paris and Vierzon, the company has other branches in New York, Singapore, and London. Almost a decade later, there are more than 800 employees working at Ledger with the sole aim of building and improving security solutions for crypto and web3.
Since its inception, Ledger has reportedly sold over 5 million hardware wallets to customers in over 200 countries. There are currently three available hardware wallets and accessories from Ledger’s website. This includes the Ledger Nano S Plus, the Ledger Nano X, and the recently launched Ledger Stax.
Ledger Stax, our newest device, is here.— Ledger (@Ledger) December 6, 2022
Web3 is changing the world – and Ledger is here to revolutionize how you handle your digital value.
Dive into the details of our next-gen hardware wallet:https://t.co/wZG3GdoSdd pic.twitter.com/CWVYpCNNPW
The three available Ledger hardware devices come in at different price segments. Each hardware wallet also has distinct or additional features to justify their price points. Having said that, Ledger makes it clear that they do not compromise on security between the products. Ledger provides an in-depth comparison guide on their website that clarifies the differences in features and cost between each product.
Ledger Nano X
Released in May 2019, The Ledger Nano X is widely recognized as one of the most reliable and secure hardware wallets in the market today. By using a Nano X, individuals have full control and ownership of their assets thereby effectively mitigating any counterparty concerns. Moreover, a user’s private keys remain on their physical device at all times and are never exposed online.
Users must manually press the physical buttons on the device to verify and validate transactions. This makes remote attacks by malicious actors virtually impossible. Furthermore, the device uses the gold standard Certified Security Element chip (CC EAL 5+), making it a premium cold storage choice for devoted HODLers.
To add another layer of security, users can also set up a PIN code when setting up a new device. In the event that the physical device is lost, users can backup their wallets by purchasing a new Ledger device and configuring it with the 24-word recovery or seed phrase.
The Ledger Nano X offers more than just secure storage of crypto assets. The cold storage wallet is feature-packed through the device’s proprietary companion app, Ledger Live. Users can interact with the hardware device through the Ledger Live app. From setting up the device, sending and receiving crypto, to advanced features like swapping, staking, and buying crypto through seamless fiat on-ramp integrations, the Ledger ecosystem is strengthening accessibility and adoption while placing an emphasis on security.
The Ledger Live app allows you to buy different crypto assets, swap crypto & grow your funds anytime and anywhere, giving you full visibility 24/7.— Ledger (@Ledger) March 13, 2023
You can manage more than 500+ different coins & tokens (including BTC, ETH, USDT, and USDC).
For more: https://t.co/hsdcEAVYAB
Users can access the plethora of features on the Ledger Live app by connecting their physical device to a desktop via a USB type C cable. Furthermore, a unique feature of the Ledger Nano X, that isn’t present in most hardware wallets, is that it is Bluetooth-enabled. This is complemented by the device’s in-built 100 mAH battery. Bluetooth functionality enables users to manage their crypto assets on the go. This is an innovative addition that caters to active traders looking for the highest level of crypto security. Ledger Live is a free application available on IOS, Android and as a desktop application on macOS, Windows and Linux.
The Ledger Live app has a neat user interface that makes navigating the platform easy and intuitive. Apart from the many DeFi and web3 functionalities integrated within the application, it also works as a nifty portfolio tracker.
The Ledger Nano X provides support for over 5,500 crypto assets and NFTs. With a storage capacity of 1.8 Mb, users can store and manage a maximum of 100 applications or different cryptocurrencies simultaneously.
The Ledger Nano X is priced at 149$ and represents the mid-range hardware wallet in Ledger’s current product line. While there are cheaper hardware wallets in the market such as the Ledger Nano S plus, Trezor Model One, and Safepal, the Nano X comes in at a competitive price point considering the many features it offers. Read this article to learn about other top crypto hardware wallets in the market.
The Ledger Nano X can be purchased from Ledger’s official website or from authorized resellers listed by Ledger. Purchasing Ledger devices from unauthorized sellers on Amazon or eBay are strongly discouraged as these can be second-hand devices. There have been reports in the past of users’ funds being stolen with the original owner siphoning assets by keeping a copy of the recovery phrase.
Setting Up a Ledger Nano X
Inside the Ledger Nano X packaging, users can find the compact hardware device, a USB type C cable, a keychain strap, an instruction manual and three blank sheets to note the recovery or seed phrase.
The Ledger Nano X setup process is straightforward, but it does necessitate that users carefully follow each step in a private setting. The following section provides a guide for setting up a new Ledger Nano X:
- Download the Ledger Live app and configure it as a new device: Download the companion Ledger Live application for the hardware device from the official Ledger website. After reading and accepting the terms and conditions, proceed by selecting the device, which in this case is the Nano X and then click on “set up as new Nano X”.
- Connect the Nano X to a desktop or laptop: Press the button next to the USB C port to power on the device. Subsequently, Connect the Nano X device to a laptop or computer by using the provided USB type C Cable. Navigate to the option that says “set up as new device” by using the right button to move forward and the left button to go back. When the option “set up as new device” appears on the screen, select this by pressing both buttons at the same time.
- Select a PIN code: The next step is setting up a PIN code. Users can set up either a 4 or 8 digit numeric code. By clicking the left and right buttons, user’s can find an appropriate number and confirm it by pressing both buttons together.
- Write down the recovery phrase: This is the most time-consuming part of the entire setup process. However, it is the most important step for ensuring that assets remain secured on the device. The device will display 24 randomly generated words or phrases in chronological order. Note down the words in the correct order by using the recovery sheet provided in the box. The recovery or seed phrase should be treated as a password to a user’s private keys. Therefore, the importance of storing these words offline and keeping the recovery sheet in a secure place cannot be stated enough.
- Verify the recovery phrase: After noting down the 24 words, the device will then prompt the user to verify each word in order once again. Use the left and right buttons to navigate until the correct word is displayed on the device and press both buttons together to confirm. This process is repeated until word number 24. The Ledger Nano X is ready to use and successfully set up once each word is accurately verified by the user.
- Add applications or accounts: Users must install apps on the device depending on the cryptocurrencies they want to store on the hardware wallet. Installation of apps can be done via the Ledger Live dashboard. For instance, users intending to receive, store, and manage Ethereum on their Nano X must download an Ethereum application. Read this article to learn how to send and receive crypto using non-custodial wallets.
- Synchronize data with the ledger live mobile application: After downloading the Ledger Live mobile application either on IOS or Android, users can integrate their real-time portfolio data onto their smartphones. This is done by selecting settings on the Ledger Live desktop app, followed by accounts and export accounts. After clicking on export, a Live QR code will appear on the screen along with certain instructions to scan the code using the mobile application.
The subject of self-custody is front and center in the crypto space. Users opting to store crypto or NFTs on a Ledger Nano X have complete authority and ownership of their private keys and, consequently, their digital assets. Hardware wallets like the Nano X uphold cryptocurrency’s core tenet of self-sovereignty.
Be your own bank.— Ledger (@Ledger) March 12, 2023
Overall, the Ledger Nano X not only provides the security of an offline hardware wallet and the convenience of managing funds on the go through Bluetooth connectivity, but also the integration of robust web3 dApps with the multifaceted Ledger Live application. Therefore, the Nano X represents not only a haven to store digital assets but also a secure gateway to the future of finance and the web.