Hardware wallets like the Nano Ledger are one of the safest ways to store your crypto in NZ.
Follow our guide to learn everything you need to know about Ledger hardware wallets in NZ.
What is a Ledger Hardware Wallet ?
This is known as cold-storage, and like the Trezor hardware wallet range, you are required to physically approve any outbound transaction manually, making you immune to remote hacks.
Using a Ledger combats the risk of your private keys being extracted by malware, creating an ‘airlock‘ between your private keys and any device you use to connect to the internet.
Ledgers support over 18,000 coins and tokens, including Bitcoin, Ethereum and Monero.
In the crypto world, it’s all too often new-comers believe a smart-phone is a secure place to store their coins, resulting in unnecessary losses from hackers, bad actors, or malfunction.
With the Ledger wallet, your private keys are stored internally on the device itself, never leaving your hardware wallet. When you wish to make a transaction, you plug it into your phone or computer, launch the Ledger program, and create the transaction from in there. Once you’ve configured the transaction on your computer/phone, your Ledger will prompt you to manually approve the transaction, by holding down a button for about 5 seconds.
After confirming the transaction from your Ledger, approving the transaction with your private keys, it will immediately start being processed by the network.
This is unlike software wallets where you execute your transactions from the one program.
Where to Buy Ledger Hardware Wallets in NZ ?
Our recommendation for buying a ledger hardware wallet in NZ is through Easy Crypto NZ.
However, as Kiwis we are lucky to have a multitude of different places to choose from when it comes to buying a brand new Ledger hardware wallet in NZ, such as the following options:
- Ledger Official Shop – https://shop.ledger.com/
- Easy Crypto NZ – https://shopnz.easycrypto.com/
- Groov NZ – https://crypto.groov.nz/
- Coinstop AU – https://coinstop.io/
- Hardware Wallets AU – https://www.hardwarewallets.com.au/
However It is never recommended to buy a second-hand hardware wallet in any circumstance as they can be tampered with in all sorts of malicious ways. Most brand new hardware wallets come fitted with an anti-tamper seal in an effort to guarantee your hardware wallet’s authenticity and to ensure it hasn’t been tampered with in the time between the device leaving the manufacturer and entering your possession.
As a general rule of thumb, the safest method is to source it directly from the manufacturer. However, in New Zealand we have a number of reputable, authorised retailers. The choice of course is up to you – ordering directly from Ledger is in theory the safest option, but ordering from an authorised retailer within NZ could mean the delivery wait time is far shorter.
Ledgers are manufactured in France, so unless buying locally it can take some time to ship.
~ Frequently Asked Questions ~
- How long will my Ledger take to arrive?
Delivery speeds vary depending on whether you purchase it from a local retailer or directly from the manufacturer overseas. Local delivery times range from 3 days up to around 2 weeks, international delivery can sometimes take months.
- Is a Ledger hardware wallet worth the price? Is it more economical to stick to free wallets ?
If you’re serious on holding Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies long term, you’re going to want to secure your assets in something bulletproof for the long haul. Hardware wallets such as the Ledger are the most bulletproof option.
- Should I buy a Ledger from Trademe instead to save money ?
Due to the price range of Ledger wallets ($129 – $287 NZD), people naturally try to source them from TradeMe or eBay, risking purchasing devices which have been tampered with. Hardware wallets that have been tampered with are not considered secure and that is why all leading hardware wallet manufacturers seal either the device or its packaging with a tamper proof seal.
A perfect example of the importance of sourcing a legitimate hardware wallet from authorised retailers is the Ledger data leak of 2020 where customers whose information had been leaked reported being sent counterfeit hardware wallets as part of a sophisticated scam to steal their cryptocurrency.
Ledger Pros and Cons
- Security – Being a hardware wallet, Ledger wallets offer the highest degree of security for the storage of your crypto assets, by storing your private keys offline.
- Password Protection – Ledger utilises a password protection on all of their hardware wallets, adding an extra layer of security over your funds in the event that your Ledger hardware wallet is lost or falls into the wrong hands.
- Design – The small size and sleek ‘usb stick’ like design of Ledger hardware wallets are a main selling point for their users, this enables them to conveniently use the hardware wallet on the go and means the device is easy to hide in a secure location.
- Price Point – Ledger are one of the cheapest leading manufacturers in the hardware wallets market. Their relatively low price point for the Nano S (and the new Nano S Plus) is a key attributor to drawing in their customers.
- Multi-Currency Wallet – Ledger hardware wallets support over 5500 coins and tokens, however there are limits on how many different tokens you can store on your ledger at one time, depending on the model you choose (more on this below).
- Bluetooth Connectivity – Ledger Nano X hardware wallets can connect to your device via encrypted Bluetooth; Nano S devices do not have the Bluetooth function however they can still be connected to smartphones via a micro-USB cable.
- Small Screen – Although this may not be a con for some users, the screens on both Ledger hardware wallets are quite small relative to their competitors in the market.
- Buttons – In order to interact with the hardware wallet you must use the 2 buttons that are built-in to the device. This might not strike as a disadvantage, however depending on how you treat your hardware wallet and where you store it, this could impact the longevity of the device – an accidental drink spillage across your desk could cause those buttons to become sticky or unusable.
- Not open source – Ledger’s firmware is not open source, unlike many of their competitors. It is a hot topic of debate whether this affects the security of private keys stored on Ledger hardware wallets, you can read some arguments for and against in this reddit thread.
Here at Cryptocurrency NZ we are big fans of open source applications as it allows code to be analysed or audited by anyone and everyone.
- Limited storage – Ledger devices have limited storage for ‘apps’, this is important as each different coin you want to store on your Ledger will need an ‘app’ to be downloaded onto the device (e.g. you will need one app for BTC, another for ETH, another for XRP etc). Although Ledger does support over 5500 different tokens, you cannot store 5500 different tokens on the same device at one time – the storage capacity for apps will vary depending on which Ledger model you purchase (more on this below).
Cryptocurrency NZ Ledger Wallet Review
The Ledger company is headquartered in Paris and was founded in 2014 by 8 experts with backgrounds in embedded security, cryptocurrency, and entrepreneurship. The company’s mission is to “secure the new disruptive class of crypto assets” – and in our opinion they have made an exceptional impact in creating awareness around the need to prioritise security in this space.
Ledger are one of the most popular cryptocurrency hardware wallet providers in the world and since the launch of their first hardware wallet in 2016, they have sold over 3 million Ledger hardware wallets worldwide.
With the exception of The July 2020 data breach where the personal information belonging to hundreds of thousands of customers was leaked, Ledger as a company have held a high regard in the public eye and have been given outstanding customer service reviews.
Ledger currently have 3 different models of their Ledger Nano hardware wallet on the market – the Ledger Nano X, the Ledger Nano S, and the new Ledger Nano S Plus.
All 3 models are an extremely safe way to store your crypto assets and far outweigh the use of a traditional software wallet; however their most expensive ‘luxury’ model, the Ledger Nano X is packed with a considerable amount of extra features in comparison to their first model.
Ledger Nano X
The Nano X is the most expensive Ledger hardware wallet on the market. It was released in 2019 and is arguably the best hardware wallet ever made by Ledger to date.
- Price: $287NZD (excluding GST).
- Supports: over 5500 different coins and tokens (including NFT management).
- Connectivity: Connects to your device via USB-C cable as well as via Bluetooth to the Ledger Live app.
- Storage: up to 100 apps at a time.
- Phone Connectivity: Both IOS and Android.
- Battery: 8 hour battery life (in standby mode).
- Screen: 128 x 64 pixels.
- Size: 72mm x 18.6mm x 11.75mm.
- Weight: 34 grams.
Ledger Nano S
The Nano S is the first hardware wallet brought to market by Ledger. It was released back in 2016 and is an excellent, safe & affordable way to store your crypto assets, however if you have a diverse portfolio or tend to favour new technology – you might notice some of the pitfalls of using this device.
- Price: $129 (excluding GST).
- Supports: over 5500 cryptocurrencies.
- Connectivity: Connects to your device via micro-USB cable.
- Storage: 3-7 apps simultaneously (more info below).
- Phone Connectivity: Only Android (through the use of a cable / adaptor).
- Battery: No battery life (as it only connects via cable).
- Screen: 128 x 32 pixels.
- Size: 56.95mm x 17.4mm x 9.1mm.
- Weight: 16.2 grams.
Ledger Nano S Plus
The Nano S Plus is the latest hardware wallet created by Ledger. It was released in Q1 2022 and is an excellent mid-point between their previous two models, achieving all of the shortcomings that came with the Nano S in terms of DeFi and NFT friendliness, while still maintaining an affordable price point.
- Price: $138 (excluding GST).
- Supports: over 5500 digital assets (including NFT management).
- Connectivity: Connects to your device via USB-C cable.
- Storage: up to 100 apps at one time.
- Phone Connectivity: Only Android (through the use of a cable).
- Battery: No battery life (as it only connects via cable).
- Screen: 128 x 64 pixels.
- Size: Unknown.
- Weight: Unknown.
Ledger Hardware Features
When using a Ledger, or any hardware wallet for that matter – private keys are stored on the physical device and there is essentially an ‘air lock’ between the hardware wallet and your phone or computer. This is important because any device which connects to the internet can be infected with malware, which can be used to extract your private keys (if someone knows your private keys, they have full access to your crypto assets).
When you want to make a transaction this is initiated on your phone or laptop (you enter the receiving address, amount of tokens etc) and then the transaction details are sent to the hardware wallet to be externally signed off. Once you confirm the transaction details and sign off on the transaction with your hardware wallet, the signed transaction is sent back to the device where the transaction initiated and from there the network will begin processing it.
Your private keys never leave the hardware wallet, and it is impossible to extract the private keys without your 12 word recovery phrase, making it safe to use your hardware wallet on a malware infected computer.
The LCD screen on Ledger devices are a vital part of how you operate the hardware wallet. The screen enables you to view and verify the receiving address and number of tokens before you sign off on a transaction.
The screen size and design of the Nano S and Nano X differ greatly. The Nano S has a screen size of 128 x 32 pixels and there is a noticeable border where the screen and the plastic meet. The Nano X and Nano S Plus on the other hand, as expected being the newer and more expensive models, have a bigger and better design – they boasts a screen size of 128 x 64 pixels and have more of a seamless border where the screen and plastic meet.
Using the buttons found on the side of the Ledger device is how you enter your password and interact with the hardware wallet. The left and right buttons are used to make selections or move along a list of options, pressing both buttons will confirm an action and move to the next step or confirm a selection.
The Ledger Nano S model has buttons located on the side of the device. Though this looks perfectly functional in the picture above, it falls short in comparison to the Ledger Nano X, whose buttons are rounded and sit flush into the front facing design.
Ledger Software Features
Although Ledger use a unique blockchain open ledger operating system (BOLOS) which is open source software, we do not classify their products as being completely open source. The device uses firmware which is closed source, therefore third parties are unable to review it and test for vulnerabilities.
Having open source software and firmware is crucial in the crypto space. Here at Cryptocurrency NZ we strongly believe that due to the decentralised nature of cryptocurrency, when it comes to the safety and security of people’s money, it is a major safeguard to have all products and services unrestrictedly examined and stress tested around the world by experts and developers alike.
Apps and Storage:
(For the technologically inclined)
To fully understand why storage limits within a hardware wallet might be a negative factor, you must first understand what Ledger’s apps are and what they are used for.
Ledger hardware wallets require applications to be downloaded onto the device, these apps play a vital role in the management of your crypto assets. The applications can be downloaded within the Ledger Live app when the device is plugged in and Ledger have a dedicated app for each cryptocurrency that can be stored within their wallet.
When these apps are on the Ledger wallet it calculates the private keys relative to what apps are downloaded, 100% based on the 24 word recovery phrase. Apps also enable the verification of receiving addresses and transactions (on the device’s screen).
As we mentioned above, hardware wallets calculate the corresponding private keys based on the 24-word recovery phrase. This is done through the use of a specific parameter called a derivation path; the specifics are not hugely important to this guide, however this does mean that if an app is removed from the Ledger and then re-downloaded again, the private keys would be the same and ownership of the corresponding cryptocurrency address would be provable, meaning you will still have access to those funds (provided the 24 word recovery phrase hasn’t changed).
All Ledger Nano wallets have limited storage built into their hardware, the Ledger Nano S can store between 3 and 7 apps simultaneously depending on the size of the app, and the Nano X and S Plus can store up to 100 apps simultaneously.
Baring in mind that you can delete and re-download apps on Ledger hardware wallets at your convenience, in our opinion the Nano X and S Plus are still at a significant advantage; however using the Nano S and moving around the apps as needed might be the best option for Kiwis looking to find a cheaper alternative to the latest generation of hardware wallets.
Ledger Wallet UI
Ledger Live is the default software wallet intended to be used alongside all Ledger hardware wallets. Within the Ledger Live application you can see an in depth view of your portfolio, manage your assets, exchange currencies (although we do not recommend using this feature), and of course send and receive transactions.
We do not recommend using the in-house exchange feature as these typically incur a much higher fee than you would otherwise pay on a typical exchange. However this feature is extremely convenient and it is ultimately up to the individual to decide whether they prefer lower fees or convenience.
Third Party Wallets
One beneficial feature of Ledger hardware wallets is that they are compatible with many third party software wallets; that means if for any reason you do not wish to use the Ledger Live interface, you can choose from a plethora of third party wallets such as Metamask, MyEtherWallet, Coinbase, among many more.
It is commendable that Ledger enables compatibility with software wallets other than their own version as it promotes freedom of choice as well as serving as an excellent backup option in the event of Ledger Live having downtime etc. Using a Ledger hardware wallet in conjunction with a legitimate third party UI is perfectly safe and secure, since the private keys do not leave the device.
Whether you’re a seasoned veteran or a newcomer in the crypto space, we cannot stress enough the importance of using a hardware wallet. There are far too many stories of people losing their funds due to hackers, bad actors, or from exchanges going bankrupt – all of which are preventable through the use of a hardware wallet.
We acknowledge that for some people, purchasing a hardware wallet may seem like an unnecessary additional cost – if you find yourself in that frame of mind, we would urge you to think about how you would feel if you lost access to your assets and it was preventable by spending a few hundred dollars. Not to mention how you would feel in the future when the value of your lost crypto assets has increased by 10x, 20x, etc.
Here at Cryptocurrency NZ, we all use hardware wallets to secure our long term holdings as we are extremely bullish and are serious about the protection of our crypto assets.