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Home » Ledger on Algorand: Do You Need a Hardware Wallet?

Ledger on Algorand: Do You Need a Hardware Wallet?

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Ledger is a France based company that is currently the largest creator of crypto hardware wallets in the world. Their wallets support Algorand, and they are currently the only hardware wallet company which does so. They strive to create wallets that have the highest level of security and ownership for the individual, and their hardware wallets are competitive solutions to self-custody hot wallets such as the Coinbase Wallet, Metamask, or MyAlgo/Pera/Defly on Algorand.

So do you need one? That depends on you and your crypto priorities. I own three— with a Ledger Stax on the way. Ledger Wallets provide the highest level of security and ownership of any wallet, but they do trade off speed and accessibility in exchange. I personally believe that keeping your valued crypto assets on a Ledger is must, but in this article we’ll discuss the pros and cons of such philosophy.

Table of Contents

Ledger Wallet on Algorand Pros
Ledger Wallet on Algorand Cons
Types of Ledger Wallets

Benefits of a Ledger Wallet on Algorand

Source: Ledger

Private Key and Seed Phrase Storage

Hardware wallets are the most secure way to store your crypto and $ALGO. The most important thing they do is keep your private key and seed phrase completely offline, meaning that there is no way for a scammer to get access to those. In this sense, Ledger and hardware wallets are known as cold wallets, since they never put your private key at risk to the internet,

2-Factor Authentication with Ledger

Ledger Wallets are physical devices, meaning that they are tangible pieces of technology which you buy and store. They also serve as 2-factor authentication, since you must physically confirm transactions using your ledger. This adds an extra layer of protection against remote tampering.

Ledger Wallets are commonly used to store larger amounts of crypto, because they provide maximal security and ownership. As long as you keep your seed phrase safe, you can be certain that no one can access your funds. Some common ways that ledger users like to protect their seed phrase is by keeping it in a vault or bank security deposit box— others use security devices such as cryptosteel.

Ledger, Web3, and the Algorand Ecosystem

Using a Ledger does not limit your access to Web3 either. You can connect a Ledger to both MyAlgo and Pera Wallet and securely interact with the Algorand Ecosystem while taking advantage of the wallet management features offered by both those hot wallets. It’s a win-win, with the only trade off being that transactions are a bit slower to sign since you do have to physically confirm them.

Ledger and Algorand Governance

Using a Ledger for Governance on Algorand is a natural synergy. By connecting your Ledger device to MyAlgo, it becomes very straightforward to commit to governance. You can follow step by step instructions here. Using a ledger device to commit $ALGO that you already did not plan to touch is an easy way to ensure that you never dip under the commitment minimum.

Disadvantages of Ledger Wallets on Algorand

Hardware wallets are not for everyone, and they are certainly not a necessity for every user— especially if using a wallet with low or medium sized funds.

Security and Convenience of Hot Wallets

Just because Ledger wallets provide maximal security, it does not meet that other options have poor security. While I would certainly agree that you should keep your crypto off exchanges (see FTX), hot wallets like Metamask, Coinbase Wallet, MyAlgo and Defly are very secure and do not put your seed phrases/private keys at risk.

Hot wallets are also more convenient, and allow you to access more features and sign transactions faster. If you plan to use gaming wallets or otherwise need to frequently transact, then it is unlikely a ledger would best serve your needs.

Hot Wallets are Better for Beginners

Hardware wallets are also not my recommendation for your first wallet. If you are just starting to move funds off an exchange, I would start with a hot wallet and get used to interacting with Web3/DeFi first. Buying a ledger is a bit of an investment, and it isn’t one you need to make unless you are holding a significant amount of value. It is also something that you can transfer to at any time, so there is no rush to start using one until you feel you need to.

Types of Ledger Wallets: The Stax, Nano X, and Nano S Plus

When it comes to selecting and buying a Ledger wallet, you have a couple of options at different price ranges. All three ledger wallets can be used with Algorand and have Ledger live, so that is not something to worry about. The decision about which wallet is best for you comes down to a couple factors, and so we will do a side-by-side comparison of the three products

Ledger Nano S Plus: Beginner Wallet for Desktop Users

Nano S Plus Ledger on Algorand
Ledger Nano S Plus

The Ledger Nano S Plus is the cheapest of Ledger wallets and has most core features. It needs to be directly connected to your computer and cannot connect to mobile devices. At a price point of $79, it is the most affordable option and best if you are looking for a place to park and forget about your $ALGO.

Nano S+ Pros

  • Cheapest, costs $79
  • Has all the important security functions
  • Has access to Ledger Live
  • Compatible with most cross-chain coins
  • Has no battery

Nano S+ Cons

  • Does not have mobile bluetooth support, cannot use with Pera Wallet.
  • USB-C port can be finicky and a bit of a pain to use.
  • Must be plugged in to use

Ledger Nano X: Best for Mobile and Desktop Use

Ledger Nano X on Algorand
Ledger Nano X

The Ledger Nano X is my personal choice of Ledger and the intermediate price point. At $149, it provides all the benefits of the Nano S plus mobile support and integration with Pera. If you want to buy a ledger wallet to use with Algorand and not worry about advanced features or missing accessibility, the Ledger Nano X is optimal.

Nano X Pros

Nano X Cons

  • Twice the cost of the Nano S Plus
  • Battery life of 8 hours

Ledger Stax: Crypto meets… Apple?

Ledger Stax on Algorand
Ledger Stax

I was pretty surprised when I heard the announcement of the new Ledger Stax, which is a touchscreen iPod-esque product with advanced functionality. It is pretty cool, but at $280 it sits at nearly double the price of the Ledger Nano X. It can currently only be pre-ordered until April 2023, but if you are the type of person that loves exploring new product features and enjoy touch screens, you may want to consider looking into the Ledger Stax. I have pre-ordered the Stax and am excited to try it out, but skeptical that it is really necessary.

Stax Pros

  • Curved E Ink Touchscreen
  • Most benefits of previous Ledgers
  • Wireless charging, screen customization

Stax Cons

  • at $280, it is 2x the cost of the Nano X, 4x of the Nano S Plus
  • Features are not necessary for most purposes
  • 4 months+ until launch

Thanks for Reading! Want to learn more about Algorand?

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Keeping up with this blog and reading other articles is a great way to learn about the ecosystem. Here are the most popular articles I’ve written.

  1. Stake $ALGO and Maximize Algorand APR Rewards (2023)
  2. Algorand Explained: Without Using A Single Crypto Term
  3. The Ultimate Guide to Easing Into the Algorand Ecosystem
  4. Crypto Wallets on Algorand: Exchange, Self-Custodial and Ledger

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