What is a Hardware Wallet? How To Safely Store Your Crypto.

hardware wallet

Ledger Wallet is one of the leading hardware wallet manufacturers and blockchain software providers in the space. If you’re not familiar, a hardware wallet is a device that stores private keys offline on a physical unit.

Hardware wallets are a necessary tool for securing and storing your cryptocurrency. A hardware wallet provides this level of security by isolating information from hackable devices like cell phones and computers. This way if your device is compromised you won’t lose your funds because the key to access those funds is stored on your hardware wallet, not your computer or phone.

To get started using Ledger you’ll need to first purchase a Hardware Device. It’s highly recommended that you only purchase your device from the Official Ledger Website and not a third-party provider like Amazon, as some devices purchased from online retailers have been compromised to run specialized phishing software. Always buy your hardware wallets from their official manufacturers. 

Setting up your Ledger Wallet

After purchasing your hardware device, you’ll need to download and install the Official Ledger Live Software. This is available for both mobile and desktop devices. All newer versions of Ledger hardware devices include bluetooth. Old devices are not compatible with the mobile app. Ledger Live supports every major cryptocurrency currently being traded and new coins are consistently being integrated into the list of over 5,000 Supported Coins & Tokens on Ledger Live. 

1. Open the Ledger Live app

When you’re ready, open the Ledger Live app to receive the first steps in setting up your new hardware device and click “get started” to continue.

*If you don’t already have a device the Welcome screen will prompt you with the option to purchase one from the official Ledger website.

what is a hardware wallet

2. Terms & conditions

You’ll need to accept Ledgers terms of use to continue. These are required to set up your ledger device. Ledger does not store any private or identifying information on Hardware device users. 

wallet

3. Choose device

Next, you’ll need to choose your hardware device from the list. For this example, I’ll be using the Ledger Nano X. 

hardware

4. Set up a new device

Since this is your first time using your Ledger you’ll want to choose the first available option to “Set up a New Device”.

how to safely store your crypto

5. User tutorial

Next, you’ll receive a small slideshow explaining the device and its uses. Click “Let’s do this!” when you’re ready to move on to the next step. 

store your crypto

6. Find a quiet spot and get started

As noted in the on-screen directions. You’ll want to have at least 30 minutes set aside in order to take your time and properly set up your device. While it shouldn’t take the full amount of time. It’s a good habit to do this process without any distractions and at a leisurely pace, not when dinner is on the stove. Choose a quiet place and something to write with then click “Ok, I’m Ready!”.

crypto wallet

7. Connect your device

Turn on your device and connect it to your computer using the provided cable only. Keep this cable close and use it only for your Ledger device. This is where you will begin to interact with the hardware devices display screen. Follow the instructions on the device to set up a new device and click “Next Step” when prompted. 

what is a crypto wallet

8. Create a PIN code

Next, you’ll need to create a PIN code for your device. This is essential because it secures access on your device to its private key. It’s highly recommended that you use all 8 digits to create your pin code. While 4 is allowed, it’s highly discouraged for numerous security reasons. Check the box and choose “Set up PIN code” to continue.

crypto

9. Confirm your PIN

Follow the on-screen instructions on your Ledger device to create your PIN code. Once you’ve confirmed your PIN you can choose to move on to the “Next step”.

cryptocurrency

10. Set up your recovery phrase

Now it’s time to set up your device’s recovery phrase. Given to you with your Ledger Device is a recovery phrase sheet. Use this to write down and store your recovery phrase. This is a unique phrase that if lost, can NOT be recovered. If you were to repeat this process a thousand times you would receive one thousand different recovery phrases, making it crucial for you to secure and store it in a safe place. Preferably in a fire-proof container. 

ledger live

11. Write down your recovery phrase

Follow the device’s on-screen instructions, write down, and verify your recovery phrase. Make sure to write them down in the correct order 1-24 as shown in the illustration. 

ledger

12. Verify your recovery phrase

In order to verify you’ve written down the correct recovery phrase, you’ll need to verify each word on your device. Follow the instructions on the device to verify your Ledgers private key. 

set up a ledger

13. Secure your recovery phrase

After verifying your Recovery Phrase don’t forget to secure it in a safe place.

use a ledger

14. Time for a quick quiz

Next, you’ll be given a short quiz to test your crypto knowledge. Just remember that your crypto is always stored on the blockchain, not your device. Anyone who knows your recovery phrase can steal your crypto and that your private key always remains offline. You’ll do just fine.

ledger wallet

15. Diagnostic & verification test

After completing the quiz Ledger Live will run a diagnostic and verification test on the device you have connected.

using a ledger

16. Security check

Allow Ledger Manager on your device to begin the security check.  If this genuine check happens to fail, unplug your device and Contact Ledger for a replacement. Do not continue with a compromised device.

using a ledger wallet

Congrats! Your device is set up and ready to go!

ledger set up

Adding Crypto Wallets

Once you’ve completed the setup process you’ll be dropped onto the “Portfolio” homepage.

1. Download Wallet Apps

In order to begin sending and receiving blockchain assets, you’ll need to add the wallet for your chosen crypto. On Ledger devices, this is done by downloading Wallet Apps onto the ledger device. This way you have access to only the cryptocurrency you use the most. To add your first wallet choose “Manager” from the tabs on the left.

downloading wallets

2. Download the selected wallet

This will take you to the Ledger Manager where you can add and remove wallets whenever you like. Simply type the name of your favorite crypto into the search bar and choose to Install the wallet. Once you’ve downloaded your wallet, head back to the “Portfolio” tab.

downloading wallets on ledger

3. Add account

Next, choose to “Add Account” to your Ledger device.

downloading crypto wallet

4. Choose wallet

Choose from the list of your downloaded wallets to begin adding a new wallet account.

ledger wallet help

5. Add new account

Choose from the “Add New Account” category by clicking the box on the right.

ledger wallet how to

Now that your wallet account has been added successfully you can begin sending and receiving your favorite crypto.

adding accounts on ledger

Sending & Recieving Crypto

To send or receive funds choose the “Accounts” tab from the menu on your left. To send funds, choose “Send” and to accept funds choose “Recieve”.

sending and receiving crypto

Receiving Crypto

Receiving funds and accessing your public address is easy. Once you choose to “receive” you’ll be given on-screen instructions on your Ledger device. Allow the Ledger device to connect and you’ll be shown your public address to receive funds. This address will also be shown on your ledger device. To copy your address click on the copy icon to the right of your address. 

receiving crypto

Sending Crypto

1. Enter address

To send funds you’ll need to enter the address you would like to send your funds to. Once you’re sure the address you would like to send to is correct, click continue. 

sending crypto

2. Choose amount & speed

Next, you will need to choose the amount of cryptocurrency you’d like to send and how fast your transaction will settle. Medium is the standard default for most cryptocurrencies and doesn’t need to be changed. Once you’ve chosen the amount you would like to send click continue.

sending crypto on hardware wallet

3. Review & finalize

You’ll now be able to review your transaction before finalizing it. Make sure the amount of crypto you’re sending is correct, as well as the address you’re sending the funds to.

Once you’ve verified, choose to continue. This will then bring your transaction to your Ledger device screen where you will confirm and finalize the transaction. 

sending crypto on ledger

You’ll now be able to review your transaction before finalizing it. Make sure the amount of crypto you’re sending is correct, as well as the address you’re sending the funds to. Once you’ve verified choose to continue. This will then bring your transaction to your Ledger device screen where you will confirm and finalize the transaction. 

What is a Hardware Wallet? How To Safely Store Your Crypto. - - 2022

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