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What is a Ledger wallet?


A Ledger wallet is defined as a hardware wallet in which cryptocurrency users can store their private keys securely. They’re developed by Paris-based The Ledger Company.

Ledger was launched in 2014 by eight experts with backgrounds in embedded security, cryptocurrency markets and entrepreneurship. The French company’s mission is to create secure solutions for blockchain applications. The Ledger Wallet now has over 300 employees in Paris, Vierzon, New York, Zurich and Singapore.

How does a Ledger wallet work?

A private key authorises outgoing transactions on the blockchain network. Anyone with access to this key can spend the funds linked to it.

There are four types of wallets for storing private keys. There’s an online wallet. It allows users to access their cryptocurrencies from any browser connected to the internet. Easy access can make online wallets prone to hacking attacks. In addition, the wallet provider controls the private keys, not the user.

Users can also manage their cryptocurrencies by installing software wallet applications on their computers or smartphones. In this case, they control their private keys because they’re not being shared with a third party. However, a software wallet is still vulnerable to a cyberattack because it connects to the internet.

Another option is a paper wallet. The wallet simply prints the private keys on a piece of paper for offline storage. However, it requires great care because the paper can get lost or destroyed.

Users can also keep private keys in a secure physical device. It allows them to verify transaction details on the device screen using private keys offline. This method limits the risk of a hack. However, hardware wallets are still vulnerable to various attacks, including disrupting the wallet’s chip.

Ledger hardware wallets use encrypted chips to protect against attacks and host various apps.  The company uses Secure Element (SE) chips, which cryptographically protect chips used in passports and SIM cards. This way, users' private keys remain safe and isolated inside the secure element.

Ledger hardware wallets are combined with the Ledger Live app that enables users to complete transactions securely with their crypto assets. 


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