During the early days of crypto, major tokens were used as a form of payment. Users could send crypto to their friends across the blockchain. However, crypto has evolved in the past several years. Most coins no longer function just as a form of payment. Instead, they can be staked, earned and used for governance. These new uses have forced users to move their crypto into wallets for heightened security.
Wallets function as a place to store crypto away from any single entity. In addition to a slew of large hacks in the past several years, hackers continually find new ways to steal crypto directly from users who don’t use hardware wallets. In early 2021, a crypto exchange was hacked and lost $80 million from its admin account.
While these larger hacks make the front page, thousands of average crypto users are getting their precious assets stolen daily. Because of this, many are looking towards more secure ways of storing their crypto. Ledger is a brand of hardware wallet looking to accomplish this.
Hardware and Software Cryptocurrency Wallets Explained
Wallets are a place users can store crypto and have full custody over their funds. These differ from a cryptocurrency trading platform in that most trading platforms have custody over your funds. There are two main types of wallets: hardware and software.
Software wallets exist entirely online. Each software wallet is given a unique address that is stored on the blockchain. All assets associated with this address are also stored on the blockchain. When a user wants to send crypto from a software wallet, they have to approve the transaction through their account. However, this process causes an issue as hackers could get access to the account and send crypto to themselves.
Hardware wallets are physical devices that store the private keys needed to approve the sending of crypto. Without the physical device, crypto cannot be sent. Hardware wallets are nearly impossible to hack as a hacker would need the physical device or seed phrase in order to steal crypto. Hardware wallets can be connected to a software wallet, too. This feature lets you secure software wallets offline. The hardware wallet approves the transactions while the software wallet executes them.
Software wallets are known for their ease of use. Users can approve transactions with a click. Because of this, software wallets are great for beginners looking to explore crypto.
Hardware wallets are much safer but a bit more complicated. The wallets themselves can be a bit confusing for newcomers, but they offer powerful security.
Ledger Nano S Overview
The Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet that offers unique safety features. Though it looks like a simple USB stick, it may save your crypto from getting stolen.
The Ledger Nano S comes in at $59 and supports over 1,800 tokens. It is compatible with an Android and iOS mobile app as well as a desktop app. The Nano S has limited storage when compared to the Ledger Nano X. However, most investors will find the Nano S supports all the tokens they need.
The Nano S uses an integrated computer chip that stores your private keys. This chip has been audited by the French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems, who approved the device's security.
To send crypto with the Nano S, a user must have their Nano S plugged into their android or desktop device, enter in their pin code and press both buttons at the same time to verify the transaction.
Ledger Nano X Overview
The Ledger Nano X looks very similar to the Nano S but offers several advanced features that can assist with ease of use.
The Nano X is more expensive, coming in at $149. It supports all the same currencies as the Nano S, but can also support more cryptocurrencies than the Nano S.
The Nano X has several features that can make the device easier to use. It offers bluetooth connectivity, so the only time a cord is involved is when the device is charging. However, it has a 100mAh battery that supports the device for several hours of use, so charging is not needed often. The Nano X has a much larger screen that is twice the size of the Nano S, making it easier to read. Lastly, the Nano X can be used with an iOS app, in addition to the devices the Nano S can be used on. The Nano S is not compatible with iOS devices, whereas the Nano X is.
The Nano X has all the same security features, such as the integrated computer chip, but offers several features that make the device easier to use. It also has more storage, allowing for the device to be used in a variety of situations.
Ledger Live App
A hardware wallet stores the private keys needed to send crypto. To send crypto, you need a software wallet that can execute the trades. Ledger Live is an application that acts as a compatible software wallet for Ledger devices.
Connecting a Ledger device to a traditional software wallet can be tedious and difficult. Ledger Live combats this by easily integrating its own software wallet to make Ledger devices easier to use.
On Ledger Live, users can buy, sell, earn and swap cryptocurrencies. This feature allows for a single place to use crypto in a variety of ways. Users can buy over 40 differing cryptocurrencies including Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH) and swap more than 5000 different coins and tokens on the application. Staking is also supported for selected assets such as ETH , DOT and ATOM.
The platform is also secure and uses many of the same safety features as the devices themselves. Combining a Ledger device with Ledger Live is extremely safe.
Ledger Nano S vs. Ledger Nano X
While both hardware wallets provide powerful security, the device you should choose depends on your intended use of the wallet.
If you are looking to secure a few cryptocurrencies, then the Nano S may be the right choice. It is cheaper and provides all of the necessary security features to keep your crypto safe.
The Nano X may be better for more advanced users. If you are looking to trade on more than three blockchains and want to quickly and efficiently approve transactions, the Nano X may be the way to go.
Is The Ledger Nano X Worth The Price?
The Nano X costs $149 but could save you thousands. However, it may be a bit of overkill if you are only looking to use a few different blockchains. The Nano S is $59 and is perfectly suitable for those looking to add security for just a few blockchains. If you are looking for something that is easy to use and can support all your favorite tokens at once, the Nano X is certainly worth the price.
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