Tech company Ledger is launching a new hardware wallet in March. The Ledger Nano X is an improved version of the existing Ledger Nano S. It adds bluetooth support, a bigger screen and more storage space for apps. The device has a built-in battery and can also be used for payments on a mobile device. They revealed this at the Consumer Electronics Show in Las Vegas.
Current version of the Ledger Nano S require the hardware wallet to be connected to a PC, using an USB-cable. The Nano X can be connected to a phone or computer through bluetooth. The Ledger Live app that’s already available for desktops, will also come to Android and iOS. Thanks to its increased storage space, the Nano X can store up to 100 apps.
The Nano X will cost $199 and is already available for pre-order.
Bluetooth doesn’t make the Ledger Nano X more vulnerable to attacks. The tech company assumes a bluetooth connection is compromised, and therefore always requires manual input from a person using the hardware wallet. Button inputs are directly connected to the secure element of the wallet, and can therefore not be reached by external parties.
“The Nano X operates with the assumption that the Bluetooth connection (which is a bearer, exactly like USB) is compromised. The addition of BLE doesn’t impact the security model. Transactions must always be physically verified on device by pressing both buttons. Moreover, on the Nano X screens and buttons are directly connected to the Secure Element (single chip architecture), which is also an enhancement of the general security design.”
But Ledger CEO Eric Larcheveque did add that nothing is unbreakable…
Of course nothing is unbreakable, so ultimately the security model requires the user to do the address validation on device. Our UX, documentation and best practices heavily push on this point. If you always verify transaction parameters on device, you are safe whatever happens.
In December a group of hackers managed to crack the Ledger Nano S and other hardware wallets. However, the circumstances that are required to perform these hacks are very unnatural and time consuming.
Currently Ledger and Trezor are the biggest names in the business of hardware wallets. However, Sony has been working on their own version as well. At the same time, phone companies like HTC and of course the blockchain phone from Sirin Labs, have built-in hardware wallets.
We’ve been seeing more companies moving into the mobile space in recent months. Now Opera has a build-in wallet, Metamask is coming to mobile devices and Bit.Tube is releasing its mobile browser extension later this year.
Also published on Medium.