Ledger is known for producing highly secure hardware wallets for cryptocurrencies. The Ledger Nano X is the latest and is available to order now for delivery towards the end of May.
The Ledger Nano X has some new features which improve on the previous mode ( Nano S ) this one has Bluetooth, a built-in battery, and additional space for more apps.
As with other Ledger hardware wallets, the Nano X is highly secure, making it perfect for storing private keys and interacting with wallets and Dapps.
You can have as many as 100 applications installed on one device simultaneously so you do not have to pick and choose. Furthermore, it supports more than 1,100 assets, with more being supported each month.
You can view the full list of supported assets on the Ledger website via their Supported Crypto Assets page. This page lets you search an asset to see if it is supported and for each asset, Ledger lists which devices support that asset, with Nano X almost always being included. You can even view the Ledger roadmap from this page to see plans for future asset support.
Ledger Nano Security
One of the many standout features of the Ledger Nano X is its state-of-the-art security. Ledger claims that this hardware wallet uses a strong security model and based on the strong reviews and security specs of previous Ledger wallets, it is not a stretch to believe this claim.
The Bluetooth aspect of the Nano X raises particular concerns, but Ledger planned carefully before including Bluetooth and implements some key security features. The Bluetooth connection remains encrypted, so you get to enjoy the benefits of the connection without any concerns about security.
If the Bluetooth connection would somehow be hacked, then the Secure Element would still protect your crypto by requesting consent before taking any action. It is also crucial that the only data transported by Bluetooth is public. Any critical data, including your seed and private keys, will never ever leave the Nano X.
Furthermore, the Bluetooth implementation on the hardware wallet relies on a state-of-the-art protocol. This ensures authentication via pairing, which is based on numeric comparisons. Additional confidentiality is ensured via AES-based encryption.
For those who still do not feel comfortable using the Bluetooth abilities of the Ledger Nano X, you could also just disable this feature. From there, you would instead use the USB-C cable.
Nano X Architecture & Security Impact
The new architecture of the Nano X is slightly different from the Nano S. There are two chips, the new Secure Element which is state of the art and a dual-core MCUs with their wireless support.
The Secure Element acts as a proxy while the MCU takes charge of the connection with the desktop or smartphone. The Smart Element also drives the screen displaying critical information and getting user input.
It also takes care of security, including storing private keys and the seed, plus implementing cryptographic operations that manage cryptocurrencies.
Even with the above reassurances, most people want to learn more about the Bluetooth and how it impacts the security of the Ledger Nano X. The device uses Bluetooth Low Energy (BLE) and as mentioned, only public information gets transmitted over Bluetooth.
Even if your computer or smartphone get compromised or the Bluetooth link does, or even the STM32 MCU does, the Secure Element will require you to verify the transaction before it is processed. The screen of the Nano X will always show real transaction details and will never send a transaction signature without your consent.
The state-of-the-art Bluetooth protocol used by the Ledger Nano X is a two-phase protocol with for the BLE connection, including a key exchange and using the BLE channel. Both the smartphone and Ledger Nano X generate unique keys with a random generator.
Pending user approval, the two devices will use an Elliptic Curve Diffie Hellman key exchange to determine trust between devices. The Bluetooth protocol includes specific configurations designed to stop Man-in-the-Middle Attacks, which are common on BLE.
Numeric Comparison acts as a state-of-the-art security configuration. Both devices will display a numeric code when the common secret gets generated. You, as the user, verify the code is the same. The code cannot have downgrade or collision attacks since it gets computed via AES-CMAC from public keys plus random nonces. Following the key exchange protocol, the Ledger Nano X and smartphone can establish a secure channel with AES-based encryption.
The BLE stack gets implemented via the ST stack. The security team, Ledger Donjon, evaluated the implementation’s security related to the latest attacks.
Something unique about the Ledger Nano X compared to other similar hardware wallets for crypto keys is that it is truly mobile. Between the Bluetooth capabilities and the Ledger Live mobile application, you can truly manage your cryptocurrency no matter where you are. There is no need to open up your computer to manage your crypto.
Keep in mind that the Nano X cannot operate fully on its own. You need to use a smartphone or desktop computer to install applications, add in accounts, check your account balances, or manage your secure transactions.
It is also important to know that the Ledger Nano X features a 100 mAh battery. This battery can last several hours when in use or several months when idling and fully charged. You cannot replace the battery, but you can easily recharge it with the USB-C port and included cable.
Ledger Live App
Ledger Live is a key aspect of using the Ledger Nano X or any other Ledger device. Using this application streamlines the process of using your hardware wallet and gives you access to all accounts in a single place no matter where you are. The Ledger Live application is available for both smartphones and computers.
With the Ledger Live application, you can securely and easily send or receive cryptocurrency assets no matter where you are. Completing those transactions is very intuitive with step-by-step instructions on the screen.
The application also lets you check your balance of crypto assets using real-time rates, regardless of time or place. Your Nano X does not even need to be connected to take advantage of this feature. Ledger Live also lets you directly install or remove applications from the Ledger Nano X. This lets you tailor applications based on needs while protecting private keys. Accounts will stay safe even if you choose to uninstall an application.
Onboarding of Ledger Live is simple with step-by-step instructions, a quick configuration, and a check of the device authenticity. You can install or remove currencies, find new apps, and manage the leftover space in your Nano X.
In terms of account management, Ledger Live lets you make use of unlimited accounts from several currencies, view your full transaction history with details for each transaction, make custom settings for every account, view a one-click account overview, and import, restore, or archive accounts. The real-time balances include an overview of your assets, a global countervalue, and smart filters. You can intuitively receive or send funds with step-by-step assistance, visual validation of addresses, and support for custom fees. The personal profile on the account includes custom settings and encrypted local data.
What’s in the Box?
1 hardware wallet
1 USB cable
1 getting started leaflet
3 recovery sheets
1 keychain strap
How to Setup the Ledger Nano X
Inside the box you will find detailed setup instructions which will guide you through the process. If you have setup a Nano device before, the process will be familiar for you.
And also cards for writing down your seed words, these are used as a recovery phrase should you ever need to restore the device.
To begin the setup process you will need the Ledger Live App which you can use on iOS 9 or Android 7 smartphone or a computer with Windows 8 (64-bit), macOS 10.8, or Linux.
Once you have that installed you can begin by following these steps:
Press the button next to the USB port until the Ledger logo appears to turn on the device.
Read the on-screen instructions. Press the right button to proceed or the left button to go back.
Press both simultaneously when Set up as new device is displayed.
Next, you will need to choose a PIN for the device:
Press both buttons when Choose PIN code is displayed on the device.
Press the left or right button to select a digit. Press both buttons to validate a digit.
Enter the PIN code again to confirm it.
You will then need to write down the recover phrase which is a series of 24 words Be careful, your recovery phrase will be displayed only once.
Take the blank Recovery sheet supplied in the box.
Press both buttons when Write down your recovery phrase is displayed.
Write down word #1 on the Recovery sheet. Verify that you have copied it correctly in position 1. Press the right button to move to the next word.
Repeat the process until Word #24 is written down in position 24. Press both buttons on the final screen to proceed.
Press both buttons when Confirm your recovery phrase is shown.
Select the first word that you’ve written down in position 1 on your Recovery sheet. with the left or right button. Validate the word by pressing both buttons. Repeat this to confirm your entire 24-word recovery phrase.
Your device is ready is shown once you’ve successfully completed the setup process. Press both buttons to Access Dashboard. You will then arrive on the Dashboard.
Technical Specs of The Ledger Nano X
The display on the Ledger Nano X is twice the number of pixels as the Nano S, 128×64. This bigger display allows for easier verification of receiving addresses and transaction details.
In order to use the Ledger Nano X, you must have a USB port on a device that you can connect the USB-C cable to for charging. You will also need either a smartphone or computer to use with Ledger Live for updating firmware and installing apps.
There is no waterproof rating for the Ledger Nano X. If it accidentally gets wet, turn it off immediately and dry it fully before you use it again. The Security Element of the Ledger Nano X is rated at CC EAL5+.
Dimensions & weight Size: 72mm x 18.6mm x 11.75mm Weight: 34g
Materials Brushed stainless steel and plastic. 100mAh battery
Microcontrollers & Connector: USB Type-C, Certification level: CC EAL5+, Chips: ST33J2M0 (secure) + STM32WB55
Compatibility 64-bits desktop computer (Windows 8+, macOS 10.8+, Linux), excluding ARM Processors, or smartphone (iOS 9+ or Android 7+)
How Do You Restore Your Ledger Nano X?
Ledger offers specific instructions on how to restore the Nano X using your recovery phrase that lets you clone, replace, or restore a device. You should set it up as a new device if you want to save a new recovery phrase and/or generate new private keys. To start the process, you should install the Ledger Live application on your smartphone or computer. Get your recovery phrase for restoration; there is support for BIP39/BIP44.
From there, you select your PIN code by pressing the button by the USB for three seconds, reading the on-screen instructions, and pressing both buttons to select “Restore from recovery phrase.” Press left or right to choose your digit and validate it by pressing both buttons. The PIN code can be 4 or 8 digits. You must enter it again for confirmation.
Next, you choose your recovery phrase length from 12, 18, or 24 words. Validate it by pressing both buttons. You enter the letters of word 1 using the right and left buttons, validating letters with both buttons. You can choose the word from the suggested list and press both buttons for validation. Repeat this until you have the full recovery phrase. At this point, your private keys should be restored on your Nano X.
Ledger Nano X vs Ledger Nano S?
The Ledger Nano S will continue to be available as each will serve a purpose and appeal to a different type of client. The Ledger Nano X can be used on the go via a smartphone with the Ledger Live application, which is not possible with the Ledger Nano S. As such, some people may choose to have one of each and leave the Nano S at home. The Nano X is also a bit more responsive, but the overall performance is comparable. The architecture of the Nano X is also considered an evolution from the Nano S, thanks to the new Secure Element chip and additional memory.
The Ledger Nano X is the most recent hardware wallet from Ledger. It builds on the features of previous hardware wallets and stands out with Bluetooth connectivity that lets you use it with Ledger Live on your smartphone. Like other Ledger hardware wallets, the Nano X is highly secure with encryption and multiple safety protocols in place to prevent a range of attack types.
Ledger have fast become the most popular Hardware Wallet manufacturer amidst strong competition from their main rival Trezor. But with the launch of the Nano X, they have upped the game and produced and very good product – the setup process can be a little convoluted for complete beginners but most people should be able to set it up following the instructions carefully.
If you are in the market for an additional hardware wallet or looking to purchase your first one, we recommend you check out the Nano X.
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