Hardware Wallets: Ledgers. What Are They?

Why don’t cryptocurrency hardware wallets ever go broke? Because they always keep a ‘bit’ of ‘coin’ stashed away!

Jokes aside, let’s delve into the world of cryptocurrency ledger hardware, also known as hardware wallets. These are physical electronic devices designed to safeguard crypto coins by isolating users’ private keys from the internet. As cryptocurrency continues to surge in popularity, these wallets are becoming increasingly vital for enhanced security.

Security is the prime advantage of hardware wallets. Storing cryptocurrencies online opens them up to potential attacks, from phishing to malware. Hardware wallets, such as those produced by Ledger, interact with your computer and wallet interface to sign transactions, but crucially, the private keys never leave the device. This makes it exceedingly difficult for would-be thieves to access them. Some wallets even use secure chips akin to those in credit cards for added protection.

Beyond security, hardware wallets offer versatility and recovery benefits. They typically support a broad spectrum of cryptocurrencies, suiting users who hold or trade multiple coin types. Plus, if the wallet gets lost or damaged, all is not lost. Users are given a recovery phrase (usually 12-24 words) upon setup, which can restore the entire wallet, including all private keys, to a new device if needed.

Despite these advantages, hardware wallets come with their challenges. They can be a tad complex for beginners to use, and unlike many digital wallets, they aren’t free. Furthermore, while the private keys are secure in the hardware wallet, the recovery phrase can be a vulnerability if not stored securely.

Isolating private keys from insecure environments, supporting numerous cryptocurrencies, and offering loss recovery options, they provide a shield against many common forms of cyber theft, are all benefits of owning a hardware wallet.

Check out our previous article on ledgers – but not the hardware!

Latest stories

You might also like...