Ledger Nano X Review – Is This The Best Cryptocurrency Wallet?
Taking control over your own crypto is an essential aspect of crypto investing. With decentralization being one of the foundations of the space, you will be by yourself most of the time if any loss of funds were to occur.
While keeping your moving cash in an exchange is perfectly viable, additional security measures need to be taken if you want to keep your long-term holdings safe. When it comes to securing your cryptocurrencies as much as possible, there is a clear winner: Hardware wallets.
Considering this, Ledger has found itself perfectly placed to service this expanding market. With the initial release of the base Ledger Nano S and the improved Ledger Nano X, the company has been able to provide storage solutions for beginner and experienced traders respectively.
In this Ledger Nano X review, we will be looking in-depth at one of the most popular cryptocurrency wallets out there…. While many consider it a hardware wallet made for the experienced trader, it is still pretty accessible to beginners. We’ll be going over its functionality and what it brings to the table.
This means that if you’re looking for a wallet, you’ll be able to make an informed decision on whether or not the Nano X is a solution for you. We’ll be looking at both its pros and cons and how it can add to your crypto life.
We’ll be answering the following questions for you:
- What is the Ledger Nano X?
- Who is the manufacturer of the Nano X?
- What are Ledger Nano X’s technical specifications?
- How does the Ledger Nano X work?
- What cryptocurrencies does the Ledger Nano X support?
- Does the Ledger Nano X charge fees?
- Does Ledger offer good customer service?
- What features does the Ledger Nano X offer?
- Is the Ledger Nano X Secure?
This should help you answer most questions you may have regarding this wallet. You can then judge if the Ledger Nano X is the correct fit for you. Let’s get going.
What Is The Ledger Nano X?
The Ledger Nano X is the latest and improved version of the Ledger Nano S wallet made by Ledger. It was released in 2019 and is a great way to take control and store your crypto.
But what is a Hardware Wallet and why do you need one? It is likely you know but let’s have a quick refresher on this matter. If you would like more in-depth information, we recommend you check out our article, “What is cryptocurrency?”.
One of the essential aspects to know when thinking about crypto is that the coins themselves are not under your ownership but are stored on the blockchain. What you own are the keys that tell the networks that the coins in question are yours. Those keys are known as the private key that assigns the crypto to you.
When you sign up for an exchange and buy crypto over that platform, the exchange saves your private keys for you and gives you access through your exchange username and password.
An external crypto wallet, on the other hand, directly stores the private key for you. In the case of a software wallet, that could be an app. In a hardware wallet, your private keys are stored in a chip that’s disconnected from the internet.
This added fact of it being on a separate device means that these are totally out of reach from any prying eyes. The bad thing is that this disconnection also adds a level of inconvenience. You can’t just have your phone and connect to an exchange and sell. You need to have your hardware wallet with you.
This also means that hardware wallets are mainly intended for one thing: safe and long-term storage. Hardware wallets are the best way to make sure that nobody can come over and swipe your coins from you. This makes these wallets an essential tool in the arsenal of any experienced trader.
The Ledger Nano X is among the most popular hardware wallets that can be found. The device provides support for a plethora of different crypto assets and is easily connected to your phone or computer to get trading in seconds. On top of that, it’s the size of a USB flash drive, making it easily portable so it can be transported anywhere.
What Company Manufactures The Ledger Nano X?
The Ledger Nano X is built by the French-based company Ledger. The company was originally founded by 8 experts in all things cryptocurrencies, cybersecurity, and entrepreneurship.
They originally joined forces behind the idea of creating a secure solution for blockchain applications. With that in mind, they started their venture of creating some of the most secure devices we all know and love.
The company is spearheaded by Pascal Gauthier, the company’s chief executive officer (CEO). From its beginnings, it has now grown to have over 300 employees all over the world including Paris, Vierzon, New York, Zurich, and Singapore.
Ledger has been one of the leaders in creating hardware for crypto security since 2014. Since its inception, it has received over $85 million in funding from leading inventors. In 2018 they were able to raise $75 million to become the leader in crypto hardware. Recently, in 2021, they were able to raise $380 million in funding reaching a valuation of $1.5 billion.
Overall, with their main products being their Ledger Nano S and the Nano X, the company has sold over 3 million wallets. On the software side, 1.5 million users make use of Ledger Live monthly. All in all, they claim to secure around 15% of all global crypto assets.
This growth is understandable in the current global market and the ever-expanding crypto space. As more people gain familiarity with digital currencies, more will be looking to keep theirs safe. It’s easy to see why a company like Ledger has become one of the mainstays in hardware wallets and crypto security.
What Are The Ledger Nano X’s Technical Specifications?
Let’s take a look at the technical specifications of the Ledger Nano X. In terms of size, it’s relatively small and could be confused for your typical USB flash drive.
Looking at the construction materials, the brushed stainless steel cover protects the plastic body of the wallet. This plate gives the wallet a sleek look and a great feel. The only real giveaway of it not being another flash drive is the Ledger Logo that’s engraved on the cover.
The Nano X is only 72mm × 18.6mm × 11.75mm. In terms of weight, it weighs only 34g. All this considered, it is a little larger and heavier than the smaller Nano S.
This extra size is worthwhile though. The extra size accommodates a 128 x 64-pixel screen in addition to added Bluetooth functionality and a battery that can hold a charge for 8 hours in standby mode.
On the wallet, you’ll find two little buttons that surround the screen. These are what you’ll be using to approve any transactions directly on the Nano X.
Powering The Nano X
In terms of the insides of the Nano X, the wallet is built on a dual-chip system:
- A state-of-the-art Secure Element (ST33J2M0)
- A dual-core MCUs with wireless support (STM32WB55)
The secure element chip is the one that holds all the sensitive data. This includes such information as your 24-word recovery phrase, your private keys, and your PIN code.
The microcontroller or MCU on the other hand simply works as the connection between your device and the secure element. This MCU does not gain access to any data that is stored on the secure element. This means that should it be compromised, it would not be able to do any harm.
All this means that the dual-chip system is very secure. This is reflected by the CC EAL5+ verification that the Nano X proudly holds.
Opening The Box.
When you first open your Ledger Nano X, you’ll be greeted with the following things:
- The Nano X wallet.
- A USB-C cable.
- A Keychain strap.
- The Multilingual fast-start guide.
- Three recovery sheets
- Additional stickers.
These are all very basic items that you expect to get when you buy any electronic device. Should you be looking to connect your Nano X to your phone through an OTG cable, you will have to buy that separately.
Connecting Your Wallet
Connecting your wallet is easy enough. The provided Bluetooth functionality makes it simple to be able to interact with your computer or phone.
Should you wish to forgo Bluetooth when connecting, you can make use of the USB – C connector.
Alternatively, should you want to, you can connect your Nano X to your smartphone. This can easily be done using Bluetooth capabilities or through an OTG cable that the company offers on its site. iPhone users will be happy to know that both Android (Android 7+) and iOS ( iOS 9+) are supported operating systems. This is a step up from the Nano S that only supported Android.
How does the Ledger Nano X work?
Let’s take a look at how the Ledger Nano X works. As we previously mentioned, the Nano X works on a dual-chip system. One of the chips is the ‘Secure Element’ that holds confidential information while the other is the microprocessor that connects your device to your applications.
These chips run on Ledger’s proprietary operating system, BOLOS. This operating system communicates your apps with the Secure Element and your private keys. All this ensures the total security of your private keys and crypto-assets.
So now suppose you have your Nano X and want to set it up. What happens here?
When you first open your Nano X, you will need to go through the setup process. After having installed the Ledger Live application, you will be able to configure it as a new device. This setup process consists of setting up 2 different security measures.
The first security measure is your PIN – code. This is a 4-8 digit code that you will be prompted to generate and confirm. Do make sure to keep your PIN code private and remember it. Should you lose or forget the PIN code used, you will lose access to your wallet.
The second phase in the setup process is the generation of your 24-word recovery phrase. Once you’ve written it down, you will be asked to confirm it. Keep in mind that your phrase will be needed to recover your crypto should your hardware wallet become lost or destroyed. If we told you that remembering your PIN was important, this is even more so.
Ledger provides you with 3 recovery sheets to write down your recovery phrase on setup. If you decide to use them, make sure to keep them entirely private and secure. Remember if anyone can gain access to these, they can simply clone your wallet and gain access to your crypto.
Ledger Live App
The Ledger Live application is the control center that you’ll use to interface with your wallet, install applications and control your crypto.
Once you’ve set up your wallet you can connect it to Ledger Live. The same will prompt you to make a security check to confirm that your wallet is genuine. This is important to make sure that you’ve not been cheated and your funds are safe.
After this step, you will be able to set up a password to fully secure your application. This last step is entirely optional but highly recommended.
Does the optional password mean that anyone with access to your computer will be able to move your crypto? Not exactly. Remember that the Nano X holds the keys to the funds. Simply accessing the Ledger Live account does not mean access to your crypto. All transactions must be confirmed on the wallet itself. Funds cannot be moved without this verification.
After you’ve followed the setup steps, you should be well on your way to the next step:
The way that Ledger devices work is that they use applications to manage cryptocurrencies. For each different cryptocurrency or network, there’s a dedicated app that can be installed on your hardware wallet.
The app on your hardware wallet calculates the private keys that are used based on your 24-word recovery phrase. These are then used for the specific blockchain network of the crypto asset.
What this means is that you cannot just store your Bitcoin and Cardano in your wallet directly. You would need to first install the different apps for those blockchains before using them. In this manner, with the Nano X, you can store up to 100 different applications.
This is significantly more than what is possible with the smaller Nano S that only has the capacity for up to 6 different apps. Most users would not ever need to uninstall any applications because you have enough space to store most use cases.
If you are an edge case, you may find yourself running out of space and decide to uninstall an application. Does that mean that the private key for your crypto has been lost forever? Not at all. Remember that the private keys are calculated based on the 24-word recovery phrase. If your recovery phrase stays the same, the private key generated will also remain constant.
Once you’ve set up, you can add an account to start moving your funds. Crypto that is directly supported in Ledger Live can be done over that same platform. For any other crypto, you can simply add an external wallet to it.
And that’s it. With all this, your Nano X should be fully set up and functional. You can now easily start moving your crypto into your cold storage. Let’s continue with this Ledger Nano X review by looking at the features and coins the wallet supports.
What cryptocurrencies does the Ledger Nano X support?
When we’re looking at support for different currencies, the Ledger Nano X does provide you with a great variety so that you can have all your needs met. At this time, the Ledger Nano X offers support for over 1,800 different currencies with this list ever-expanding.
Among the supported tokens, you will find all ERC20 assets. These are tokens that reside on the Ethereum blockchain. All of the tokens using this standard are directly supported on Ledger Live.
That being said, not all ERC20 tokens are supported by Ledger Live App. This is an important distinction to consider as there are many people confused about the ERC20 capabilities of the device.
Non-supported ERC20 tokens will not show in Ledger Live and will not create a transaction record. This void is filled with the Ledger Live alternative, MyEtherWallet (MEW). This option is specially designed for Ethereum assets and covers a wider variety of ERC20 tokens than Ledger Live.
This means that even if you are looking to interact with your smallest and most eccentric ERC20 tokens, you’re covered. You should still be able to hold them in the wallet without any problems and use other apps to transact with them.
All in all, you can rest assured that you will have nearly all your needs covered when using the Ledger Nano X. You can feel free to use most of your currencies and store your assets without having to think of whether your wallet will be able to hold it.
Does the Ledger Nano X charge fees?
Being a hardware wallet does have its downsides compared to software wallets. While you can gain access to a software wallet for free, the physical devices that a Hardware wallet consists of will have to be paid for.
In this regard, the Ledger Nano X will set you back $119 at the time of writing. This is not exactly on the cheaper side of the spectrum but is a good middle-ground. However, the Nano X is significantly cheaper than its direct competitor the Trezor Model T, which costs $170.
Compared with other Ledger Products, the Nano X is quite a bit more expensive than the more accessible $59 Nano S. While this does seem like a big difference, the Nano X does provide significantly more features and power that are worth the price.
You can also get a three-pack bundle with their Family Pack X. This bundle will cost you $299. This option may be of interest to you should you be looking to get holiday gifts for your crypto friends. It is important to share the benefits of crypto with the world, after all!
One thing that you should make sure of whenever you are buying any hardware wallet is that you get it directly from the manufacturer. Buying such wallets from third parties and secondhand (e.g. Amazon, eBay) can be risky and you cannot be sure that these have not been tampered with.
Given the ties of the wallet with Ledger Live, let’s look at that. The service does not in itself charge transaction fees. You will however still be required to pay network fees to the network that is processing the transactions. This is the case with any type of wallet, so it is not a drawback of the Ledger Nano X itself.
The fees you offer determine your priority in the queue of pending transactions. On that note, LedgerLive dynamically estimates three levels of fees or even lets you set custom fees for it.
The three levels found are:
- High: Where your transaction will be included in the next block
- Medium: Where it will be included within the next 3 blocks
- Low: Where the transaction will be included within the next 6 blocks.
Ledger Live also allows you to directly buy cryptocurrencies with their partners: Coinify and Wyre. Given the restrictions on where Coinify can provide services, US users will be required to use the latter.
Coinify users can be looking at the following when making a purchase:
- A handling fee of between 1% and 5%
- A conversion fee of 0.50% for all purchases made with currencies that are not USD.
US-based users can be looking at the following transaction fees with Wyre when making a purchase:
- $5 minimum fee or 2.9% + 30c, whichever is greater
These fees tend to be on the higher side of the spectrum for what one can pay. That being said, the service is quite convenient to use. You do also avoid the transaction fees of moving your crypto from an exchange to your wallet. The high fees do still make looking elsewhere, such as Binance, worth it.
Does the Ledger Nano X offer good customer service?
In terms of Customer Service and learning devices, the company has put quite a lot of emphasis on its top-tier Ledger Academy. This is a one-stop-shop for you to get acquainted with all things crypto. On top of that, the Help Center also provides extensive knowledge on your Ledger devices, software, and apps.
In the Help Center, you can also find a pseudo-FAQ page that covers solutions to the most common issues. Should you not find the help you need, you can always contact their Customer Support directly.
When you first hit their Support page, you will find a Chatbot that should be able to resolve the easiest concerns that you may have. If you do need further assistance, the bot will move to create a customer support ticket for you.
On the other hand, should you want to contact them directly, you can do so over E-Mail tickets or social media. At this time they do not provide phone support.
On the topic of support tickets, the waiting times can be on the slower side. This is nothing out of ordinary in the crypto world and patience will be required. That being said, it seems that once they do respond, the support received is top-notch. Ledger is known for its excellent support staff and the great help provided.
For any news and updates, it would be a good idea to keep an eye on the social media pages. You should keep a special eye on their Twitter page: @Ledger_Support. This page is updated regularly and provides relevant information for any temporary outages or issues that you may be seeing.
All that said, you’ll be happy to know that Ledger’s Customer Support is as good as its products. Rest assured that if you do have any issues, you will be able to find the solution to them relatively easily.
What features does the Ledger Nano X offer?
The Ledger Nano X provides a great number of features for a hardware wallet. The integration with Ledger Live and their associated applications means that Nano X users will have a great variety of different options that they can take advantage of.
Having your crypto in cold storage doesn’t mean that it won’t work for you though. On top of simply gaining value with the market, users can stake coins and even lend them away to accrue interest.
Staking can be achieved either directly through Ledger Live or even through external wallets. The supported coins over Ledger Live are Ethereum, Polkadot, Tezos, Cosmos, Algorand, and Tron. Users can expect to be able to stake up to 7 different coins at once.
Ledger also lets you earn interest on what you have passively by lending through Ledger’s partnership with Compound. When lending, you deposit your crypto into a smart contract in exchange for cTokens. These cTokens represent your ownership of the lent assets.
To do this, you simply need to install the app for the coin you want to lend. Enable your account to allow the Compound protocol. Select the amount you want to lend and wait for your interest to accrue. The funds placed into the smart contract can be removed at any time.
Which coins you can lend through Ledger Live is something you should keep an eye on. The coins you can lend are limited to USDT, USDC, and DAI.
Other functionality is also available with different apps. This ranges from different DeFi services to securing your NFTs and access to different exchanges.
You can also find a variety of different applications that are not related to crypto. Among these you can find a password manager and even ‘Windows Hello’, letting you unlock your Windows device using the Hello app.
Unlike with the Nano S, Nano X users won’t have to pick and choose which applications they can have loaded at the same time. With the capacity of storing 100 different applications, you should be able to make full use of your Nano X. You can see why there’s a premium on the price.
Is the Ledger Nano X Secure?
The Ledger Nano X is known for being among the cutting edge in terms of security. They achieve this through the dual-chip design we previously mentioned. These are both built on the proprietary operating system BOLOS.
The secure element is the one that keeps all the secure information and gets user inputs. It even drives the screen where critical information is shown. The Microprocessor or MCU is the one that will connect the device to your computer or smartphone. This keeps your Secure Element entirely isolated from any malicious software that may be running on a device.
To get the most use of the wallet, Ledger has implemented their BOLOS Operating system. This was built from the ground up as being multi-application by design. This increases security and has allowed third parties to be able to develop apps for the OS safely.
How exactly is this achieved? By keeping these separate. Any applications installed are kept isolated from each other and your 24-word recovery phrase. This gives the least trust to any application. Should an app be in any other way harmful, it won’t gain access to your recovery phrase or other apps.
On top of this, should someone be able to try to make a transaction, they will not necessarily be able to. All transactions have to be physically confirmed on the Nano X before being able to be processed. In addition, the details of the transaction will be shown on the wallet screen.
This means that even if your computer screen should be manipulated by a hacker, the transaction would not go through.
Now one aspect that the Nano X has that is not available on the Nano S is Bluetooth connectivity. One could easily believe that this is a point of vulnerability. This is not necessarily true for a couple of reasons:
- First, remember that the MCU does not have access to what is stored on the secure element. Now the MCU is what would be communicating through Bluetooth. This means that even if the Bluetooth connection were compromised, it does not have access to your recovery phrase.
- Secondly, you would still need to confirm your transaction over the screen of the Nano X.
In addition, should you still feel uncomfortable using a Bluetooth connection, you can revert to communicating the devices through USB.
One downside of the BOLOS operating system is that it’s closed source. This means that reporting vulnerabilities is not possible.
Outside developers cannot easily provide their feedback on what they see as potential security breaches. That being said, Ledger devices go through an audit from the French National Agency for the Security of Information Systems or ANSII and are certified by this agency.
We can see that Ledger systems have been built from the ground up to be secure devices and limit any potential vulnerabilities. This makes them deserve their high regard in the crypto community.
If you’re still here after having read this Ledger Nano X review, you’ve probably come to realize that the wallet is quite a neat device.
You’re sure to have all your storage needs covered while still being able to use your crypto. Having such a great variety of different currencies supported is a great boost to the product. You really won’t be worried about whether or not your Cold Wallet will hold it.
The large capacity for applications means that you’ll be able to make full use of your wallet all in the same place. This app system also lets you use your wallet for things that are not necessarily entirely crypto-related.
In terms of security, you’re also set. It’s clear to see why it’s one of the premier devices in the crypto space.
If you do think that the price tag is on the steep side though, you may be looking at its smaller brother, the Nano S. This smaller system can provide you with the same security measures while satisfying the base needs for applications.
In any case, it’s clear to see why the Ledger Nano X is in such high regard in the crypto community. It easily covers all the needs that any advanced trader can have. If you would like to see other reviews like this Ledger Nano X review but for other devices, we recommend you check our “Wallets” section.
After all, while the Ledger Nano X is one of the best hardware wallets out there, you might have different needs.
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