In my last post I wrote about the 5-Step Walk-through for the Ledger Nano S.
Now, I’ve tested the update to the latest firmware 1.6 and wanted to share my experience with it.
If you don’t know what a Ledger is, here’s a short introduction:
The Ledger Nano S is a cryptocurrency hardware wallet, to be more specific you can store your Bitcoins, Ethereum and pretty much any other altcoins on this hardware wallet.
The reason you need a hardware wallet in the first place is because cryptocurrencies are very different from traditional (fiat) currencies.
In the case of paper money, your bank acts as an intermediary and charges you a service charge for putting your money under their care. And in turn, they offer you services and security.
However for cryptocurrencies, you do not need a middle man. You do not need to divulge your personal information nor do you need to verify who you are.
You can safely and securely transfer your monetary value to another person almost instantaneously at a fraction of the cost.
Your private key is held within your Ledger to safeguard whatever coins you may have and can be accessed and carried anywhere in the world.
The significant downside of using a software wallet or a third party app wallet is the risk of phishing and malware attacks. Hackers can easily access your funds because your devices are constantly connected to the internet.
This is precisely why you might want to use a cryptocurrency hardware wallet because it is very secure by design and does not require a huge investment. In fact, you only need to buy one of these and you can store your all your money for a lifetime without those pesky monthly fees and service charges.
The Ledger nano s currently goes for around $99. This makes it cheap when compared to its competitor Trezor which is being sold for around $110.
The way it protects you is by storing the private key inside the device so nobody including yourself would ever know; thus it removes any chance of your private keys falling into the wrong hands
How Many Currencies are Available?
The Ledger Nano S is the Go To Standard for cryptocurrency hardware wallets. You can read why it is here.
The device allows you to hold plenty of cryptocurrencies such as these:
However, you could only install 4 – 5 applications at any one time on the device.
This means if you invest in a new coin, you have to uninstall an existing one before you could hold the new crypto. While your coins are still safe inside your Ledger, the inconvenience of installing and uninstalling applications on a pen-drive like device is tiring work.
With the latest update however, things are looking pretty bright for this tiny thumb like device.
It now allows you to install up to 18 applications at any single moment. No more hunkering and clicking around trying to figure out which app you should uninstall before you could install a new one.
However, I’ve only been able to experiment and install up to 16 applications in total on my device.
Each installation had to be tried multiple times before it registers. It usually shows a big red X, but upon trying again and again and sometimes again, it finally gets installed.
Most cryptocurrencies allowed by the device are basically clones of the Bitcoin blockchain and therefore requires a significantly lower memory. (Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash, Bitcoin Gold, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Dash, Zcash, Komodo, Stratis, PosW, Pivx, Viacoin, Vertcoin, Stealthcoin, Digibyte, QTUM, Hcash)
If you install Ethereum or ripple together with a bunch of other Altcoins, you might find yourself coming in around just under 10 applications.
Why its important to Update
The latest firmware addresses three very specific security issues discovered by the following researches:
- Timothée Isnard – Oracle padding on SCP
- Saleem Rashid – MCU fooling
- Sergei Volokitin – Isolation Exploit
While this is not a mandatory update as the main attack vector is the “Shady Reseller Scam“, an already initialized device would unlikely be compromised.
Anyhow, Ledger support still recommends that you update.
Take some of the extra added features as an incentive to update:
There are various reasons why you should update.
But for the most part its because the latest version offers users the convenience of storing more types of cryptocurrencies simultaneously. If you have many types of cryptos, you’ll understand what I mean.
Moreover updating to the latest firmware bestows new features like user initiated lock screen, cache optimizations and security improvements.
Update Installation Walkthrough
Now before you begin the first thing to keep in mind is that there is always a risk whenever it involves with updates. I’m not responsible for any device failures or coins lost.
This has no impact on your cryptocurrency accounts: you’ll retrieve your balances as soon as the apps are re-installed. As a reminder, uninstalling an app does not impact your coin account, nor does it impact your seed.
Another thing to keep in mind is that if you are updating from an older version (<1.3), then all the data will be removed from the device but your coins are still safe.
Go through the official update page of Ledger, here are tips to ensure your updates run smoothly
(This would take about 15 minutes, make sure you block any distractions and focus on each steps. You do not need to panic)
You may need to completely remove all the apps from your Ledger Nano S (like bitcoin or ethereum).
If everything runs smoothly then all you have to do is reinstall the applications starting with Bitcoin as the pre-requisite and voila you will have all the coins in your Ledger Nano S.
Try installing the other crypto applications. If it shows some kind of error or failure, click the (downward arrow button) and try again. I had to try as many as 5-7 times when installing some apps.
Good Luck. Let me know if you have any questions down below in the comment section.
Wow what a weird coincidence. My first hardware wallet just shipped today. I got a Ledger nano s 🙌🏾. Thanks for the update
Remember guys your coins live on the blockchain. Only your private key lives on the device.