Ledger Nano X vs. Trezor Model T:  The Important Stuff Considered

Ledger Nano X vs. Trezor Model T

The Ledger Nano X vs. Trezor Model T: the two premier heavyweights when it comes to retail crypto cold storage wallet solutions. But how exactly do these two devices compare in a heads up match between each other? 

In today’s article, we are going to explore the similarities and differences between both devices in order to give you – the discriminating crypto investor – a better idea of which you should buy with your hard-earned Satoshis. Take note that this is not a comprehensive review of either product. Rather, this article attempts to compare and contrast the most relevant aspects of each wallet from the perspective of a retail crypto holder. 

The Nano X and the Model T will be reviewed under the following five categories. The categories are listed in order of priority, from most (security) to least (sex appeal (aesthetics)) important. 

  • Security
  • Ease of Use
  • Supported Coins
  • Price 
  • Sex Appeal (Aesthetics)
Ledger Nano XTrezor Model T
SecurityHigh level security for retail investors

Closed-source technology

SE chip 

Marketing data leak exposed customers to phishing attack 
High level security for retail investors

Open-sourced technology 

STM32 chip 

Theoretically better security than Nano X when passphrase enabled. Without passphrase, susceptible to “power glitch” hacks.
Ease of UseMore convenient over Model T due to Bluetooth and internal battery 

Works with desktop, Android, and iOS

Allows for staking on Ledger Live. 
Hardwired connection only and no internal battery

Works with desktop and Android
No staking on Trezor Suite. 
Supported CoinsSupports 5000 currenciesSupports 1800 currencies
Price$150$220
Sex Appeal (Aesthetics)9/10

Heavy USB design with brushed stainless steel
7/10

Stopwatch design with magnetic dock 

Let’s do this. 

Security

Security. It’s the entire reason anyone is buying a crypto cold wallet solution. So how do the Nano X and Model T compare in terms of security? 

Before diving into the details, from a practical perspective, both the Nano X and Model T are incredibly secure. The vast majority of retail investors are extremely well protected when properly using either wallet. Unless you’re Michael Saylor, then know that either will get the job done. 

But if we’re going to nerd out, then let’s nerd out.

Ledger Nano X vs. Trezor Model T: Security Similarities

The Nano X and Model T store and hold critical data (the access PIN, the seed phrase, and the private keys) on only the devices themselves. Neither wallet ever shares this data with any other related software applications. 

Both devices are secured by PIN codes that users manually establish during setup. Ledger allows for codes between 4 to 8 digits. Trezor recommends a 6 digit code, but allows for up to 50 digits long. 

Both systems require transactions to be physically confirmed on the devices themselves. Users set up outgoing transactions on related desktop or mobile software, but they must confirm each transaction by physically pressing inputs on the devices themselves. 

Both devices allow for optional, secondary “secret” wallets. Ledger owners must establish a second PIN for access to this secret wallet, while Trezor owners must establish a passphrase for access to the same. 

Ledger Nano X vs. Trezor Model T: Security Differences

Ledger uses closed-sourced, proprietary software. At the heart of Nano X’s security is the Secure Element (SE) chip. SE chips are extremely secure and sophisticated. The Nano X uses these SE chips to hold and secure the wallet’s critical data.

Ledger Nano X security

Source. 

In contrast, all of the Model T’s hardware and software is completely open-sourced. Trezor has a bug-bounty program and encourages white-hat hackers to inspect and scrutinize the architecture. Trezor uses an STM32 chip to store critical data, which is a more general-purpose chip, and not as secure as an SE chip.

The Ledger Nano X allows for Bluetooth connectivity to desktop, Android, and iOS devices and has a built-in battery. The Model T has no Bluetooth connectivity, no built-in battery, and only works with desktop and Android.  

Security Analysis 

The Nano X has an edge over the Model T in terms of the chips used to secure critical data. In 2019, a Kraken security team was able to extract the PIN and seed phrase from a Model T STM32 chip by performing what’s known as a “power glitch” attack. 

Trezor Model T power glitch

Source. 

Note that this attack required the team to (1) have physical possession of the device, and (2) connect it to some specialized computer equipment. Apparently, power glitch attacks can be successfully used against the Model T, whereast the Nano X’s SE chip are more resilient to such assaults.

The good news is Model T users can prevent such attacks by setting up a passphrase for a secondary secret wallet. This is because (for technical reasons beyond the scope of this article) passphrases are actually not stored on the devices themselves. Thus, passphrases act as an additional barrier of defense and cannot be extracted by attacking the device itself. 

Apart from the power glitch issue, the Model T seems to have less theoretical vulnerabilities as compared to the Nano X. The Model T’s open-sourced technology is a security strength. The idea is that open-sourcing everything allows the good guys to catch and fix any vulnerabilities before the bad guys do. Not allowing for Bluetooth connectivity and not having an internal battery (the Model T can only be powered up by being physically plugged into a computer) appears to remove theoretical security vulnerabilities.

To be fair, the Nano X’s Bluetooth software is AES encryption based, can be turned off (users can elect to only use a wired connection), and the critical data never leaves the SD chip anyways. So this likely shouldn’t be a concern for 99.9% of people. 

Finally, it should be noted that Ledger suffered from a marketing data leak in mid-2020. Customer email and phone information was exposed, and phishing attacks occurred as a result. While this is not technically relevant to the security of the Nano X, it’s something to keep in mind, especially since Ledger uses closed-source technology. 

So which is more secure? I would say for the average retail investor, both are roughly comparable. For someone storing millions of dollars worth of crypto, the Model T with an enabled secondary passphrase likely affords maximum security. 

Ease of Use

Both wallets are easy to set up and use with their respective software applications, but in terms of which is most easy and convenient, the clear winner here is the Nano X. 

The distinguishing feature is the Nano X’s Bluetooth connectivity and battery. Users can wirelessly connect their device to Ledger Live via desktop or mobile (iOS and Android) to do business. The built-in battery can go five hours without a recharge, which provides the Nano X with some independence from an external power source. 

There is no bluetooth connectivity or internal battery with the Model T. The device must be plugged into a desktop or Android via a USB-C cable in order to give it life. And the device is not compatible with iOS mobile devices. 

Trezor Model T connection

Source. 

Ledger’s software application, Ledger Live, has the edge over Trezor’s counterpart, Trezor Suite. The reason is because Ledger Live allows users to stake multiple crypto assets on their device. Trezor currently does not support staking. Note however that both devices can connect to third-party software wallets for additional staking options and NFT support.

Otherwise, Ledger Live and Trezor Suite are very compatible in terms of their core product offering: sending and receiving cryptos and making swaps. Both software platforms allow users to swap crypto via third-party DEXs that don’t require KYC.

Supported Coins

The Nano X supports 5000 cryptocurrencies, whereas the Model T supports 1800 cryptocurrencies.

Price

The Nano X costs $150 compared to Model T’s price tag of $220. 

Sex Appeal (Aesthetics)

Both devices are attractive, but if you want to impress the ladies (or fellas), then whipping out your Nano X and flashing it around at the club might get you more points than with the Model T. 

Ledger Nano X vs. Trezor Model T device

Source. 

The Nano X resembles a USB flash-drive, built with brushed stainless steel and black plastic. The device opens with a switchblade swivel and features a small LED screen. The Nano X weighs 34 grams and is 72 mm x 18.6 mm x 11.75 mm in size. It’s straight up sleek and sexy. 

Ledger Nano X vs. Trezor Model T device

Source. 

The Model T is shaped like a stopwatch, made of hard black plastic, and features a large color touchscreen. The device weighs 22 grams and is 64 mm x 39 mm x 10 mm in size. It comes with a magnetic dock, which gives users some creative options in terms of concealment. The Model T is a good looking device, but just doesn’t have that same pop as the Nano X. 

Conclusion 

People buy crypto wallets for security. So for the vast majority of retail investors, both the Nano X and Model T will adequately protect from external threats. Thus, the deciding factor will probably be considerations other than security. 

And while we’re on the subject, know that these devices are analogous to home defense firearms. You probably want one, but if you misuse it, you’re more likely to hurt yourself than from an external threat. But how to not shoot yourself with your Nano X or Model T will be the subject of another article. 

If you’re going to purchase either device, choose the one you personally like the most. You won’t go wrong with either. 

Ledger Nano X vs. Trezor Model T:  The Important Stuff Considered - - 2023

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