The Ledger Nano S is one of the most popular hardware wallets for Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies. Coming in at under $100 and bringing with it a slew of altcoins that are supported, it’s a solid choice. But with that also come some limitations/quirks you should be aware of.
A Large, Ever-Increasing Selection of Coins
The Ledger supports many different coins. Just as a small list, Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Litecoin, Stellar, Ripple, and Stratis are all included. More are also being added, and the company behind it offers a lot of support and tries to stay on top of things, making it a great system. However, this brings the first quirk: altcoins are supported through apps that are loaded on to the Nano S.
If you want to support Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, Ripple, and Stratis, for example, you will need five apps running on it. However, the device can only support around four installed apps at once. That said, you are able to add and remove apps as you wish, and no coins are lost when doing so. For example, if you swap out the app for Stratis with the one for Dash, then add your Dash coins and swap back, you will still be able to access the Stratis coins (and then Dash again when you reinstall that app in the future). As such, the device does support all of the coins it claims – just not all at once.
It Supports Seeds – This is IMPORTANT
It is not possible to stress just how important seed backups are. This is a code you get when initializing the Nano S, and it will allow you to restore the data on that device, another, or give you the ability to generate private keys through other methods. When it comes to computers, you never know when they are going to fail, and having this key makes that a nonfactor. If the device is destroyed, stolen, or lost and you have the seed, you can instantly restore all access on another device, so you have lost nothing.
At the same time, it’s important to keep this seed safe – just as you can restore coins using it, so can anyone else who might get hold of it.
It is Supported on Android
Connecting the Nano S to an Android-based device, like a phone, you may be able to utilize it to access Bitcoin. Instructions for this are here. Do note that when it comes to this, it’s really going to be hit and miss as to whether or not each device supports it. The same goes for other devices (like memory sticks), so it should not be purchased solely to use on Android unless support specifically declares that the device you’re using will be compatible. That said, it’s a great addition if it does work.
They Get Sold Out Quickly
Ledger devices have been getting sold out very quickly in the past. The Ledger Blue, for example, has been out for months. The Nano S, in comparison, has been out of stock for at least a month. You can preorder one now, but it won’t be shipping until March 27th or later. In other words, going for these sooner, rather than later, is important. They are also sold by third parties, but the prices at them is often through the roof and not worth it. Instead, just ordering the device when you’re ready to get involved in hardware wallets is a good move.
I’ll be reviewing other Bitcoin/cryptocurrency hardware wallets as well. For now, this is a very solid choice, and it’s one many in the crypto community swear by. You can check it out here.