DEFINITION of Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S is a hardware wallet that is used for the storage of and transactions in popular cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin, Ethereum and other popular altcoins like Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, and ZCash. Powered by USB connectivity, Ledger Nano S includes firmware-level support for companion apps for various cryptocurrencies that allow users to send and receive cryptocurrency payments, check their accounts, and manage multiple addresses for each cryptocurrency from the same device. (See also, What are the Safest Ways to Store Bitcoin?)
BREAKING DOWN Ledger Nano S
The device looks like a standard USB pen drive and can be connected to any compatible computing device through the accompanying USB cable. It can be used for Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and other altcoins. It offers a suitably-sized built-in display offering real-time messages and views to check and confirm funds and transactions on the device using physical buttons.
It protects the cryptocurrency holdings and wallet addresses. A user’s private keys are hard locked in the Secure Element of the device, making it foolproof. A 4-digit secret PIN code is required each time the device is plugged in for any transaction or queries, which prohibits any misuse in case of loss or theft. The device also supports FIDO® Universal Second Factor standard, which is used to simplify the authentication process on compatible and popular online services like Dashlane, Dropbox, GMail and GitHub.
At present, Ledger Nano S supports more than two dozen dedicated companion apps for various cryptocurrencies and security features. Since these companion apps are enabled for firmware updates and browsing through the apps catalog, they offer an enhanced level of security and protection from malicious attempts. The device is also compatible with various ledger wallet apps, which are compatible software wallets of popular cryptocurrencies that can be installed on computing devices like a PC.
Ledger Nano S allows for the secure import and export of recovery sheets for easy backup and restoration on any ledger device or compatible wallets with the BIP39/BIP44 standards. The device claims to be malware-proof, and is compatible with Windows (7+ versions), Mac (10.9+ versions), Linux or Chrome operating system. It derives the necessary power from USB, and no batteries are required to operate the hardware wallet.
Ledger Nano S is a competitor to another popular wallet device called KeepKey. (For more, see KeepKey (Cryptocurrency) Definition.)