Ledger Blue: Hose to Use Review, Better than Ledger Nano S and Nano X?
The crypto market has started recovering from its post 2017 slump. As a result, we’re seeing more trading and cash flow. This has led to the increased demand for crypto hardware wallets that are useful for storing cryptos safely. One of these wallets is Ledger Blue.
What is Ledger Blue?
This is a premium cryptocurrency hardware wallet that comes with a large touchscreen. This interface distinguishes it from some of the other known hardware wallets such as Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X.
The first time you see this hardware wallet, the first thing that jumps out at you is its superior quality and finish. Of course, the others are nice, but this looks and feels a lot better.
The second thing that piques your curiosity will most likely be its price. Priced at $359 CAD or $300 USD, this is the more expensive of its predecessors.
Which is why potential buyers want to know why it’s so expensive. Is the new device worth the extra cost? Or should I just stick with its older siblings? This is the question you hear people asking regarding the device.
The Ledger Blue hardware wallet is manufactured by a France based crypto security company called Ledger. The company is also responsible for the other ledger hardware wallets and have sold over a million hardware wallet devices.
The Ledger Blue which was released in 2016, is the latest of their offerings. Featuring a bold screen and user interface as well as a metallic finish, this is different from smaller, simpler Ledger Nano S.
Because it boasts of a wide array of features, it comes at a steep price compared to its predecessors. In fact, the device is currently priced at 600 percent of the Ledger Nano S, and is the most expensive hardware wallet in the market.
Which is probably why quite a few hardware wallet users are skeptical of its value, even though it promises higher end security.
How is it Different from Other Hardware Wallets?
For starters, it looks more like a smartphone than a regular hardware wallet. The older generation hardware wallets are smaller and look more like USB drives. This one is different.
The metallic casing is a Zamak metal alloy frame. The back has a plastic casing, while the screen itself is a glass based touchscreen where all the navigational features are displayed. It also has neodymium magnets.
All of these are combined together to provide an impressive premium feel. In fact, this is currently the only premium hardware wallet in the market that looks and feels like it. While this is definitely the best looking hardware wallet in the market, the truth is it could be better.
In an era where bezel less touchscreen devices are the order of the day, once would expect that kind of tech to be incorporated into a wallet that’s this expensive. Maybe the company will introduce this in the future. For now though, users will just have to live with it.
What are its Key Features?
Here’s a quick summary of all its features:
- Dimensions: 97 mm x 68 x 10 mm
- Weight: 90 g
- Connection: USB Type Micro-B
- CPU: ST31G480 (Secure) + STM32L476
- Display: 3.5 inch LCD
- Currency Support: 30 Currencies and counting
- Supported OS: 64-bit Windows, 64-bit Mac OS, and 64-bit Linux.
- Price: ~ $359 CAD
Ledger Blue First Impressions
The hardware wallet is packaged compactly. The first thing you’ll probably notice once you unbox it is the lack of tamper-proof features.
That’s because the company secures its device using a chip. As a result, no one will be able access the device even if they get access to it.
The tamper-proof chip makes it really impossible for anyone except the customer to use the device. It’s set up so that if someone tampers with it before the buyer, it’ll notify them during the initial set up.
Once you open the box, you’ll find the device placed on top in a manner to similar to cellphone packages these days. Underneath the hardware device are the accessories which consist of a carry case, a micro USB cable and a recovery phrase sheet. All of these are typical of hardware wallets everywhere.
And herein lies another issue. One would expect that because of the price, it would have more luxury or premium accessories, but it doesn’t. Everything is pretty average.
Compared to other cheaper hardware wallets like KeepKey whose USB cable has a luxurious feel to it, and the Trezor Model-T that has a magnetic docking station.
So, What Makes it So Expensive?
Honestly, it all comes down to a handful of features. These include the touchscreen which makes it super easy to interact with your hardware wallet. Then, the multi-asset feature which allows the device to manage and run 11 different apps on it.
The third major feature is the secure chip feature which makes the device hacker-proof. It comes with a very robust, secure chip that’s backed by Ledger’s proprietary BOLOS military grade security.
This is one device that can foist even the most sophisticated hack attacks. Oh, and its tamper proof feature is a nice addition.
What Coins Does it Support?
While Ledger’s first and second generation hardware wallets support almost 1200 tokens, the Ledger Blue only supports 30+ tokens and majority of the ethereum based ERC-20 tokens.
In fact, it supports far less tokens than the considerably cheaper Ledger Nano S. Some of the tokens supported by the Nano S, but not the Ledger Blue include Cardano, Monero, IOTA, Nano, Lisk and EOS.
However, the company is apparently working on adding more token support, but for now, its token support is only restricted to the aforementioned.
Until this coin support deficit is fixed, Nano S will continue to sell more. Currently it’s sold almost 1.5 million units, while the Blue has only sold 10,000 units. Admittedly, the Blue is a newer product, but still it would have sold more if it didn’t have those restrictions.
What are Ledger Blue’s Security Features?
Apart from the tamper proof chip that comes with it, the hardware wallet runs on Ledger’s BOLOS hardware framework.
This framework runs a top notch security setup for the device. Transactions on the device requires manual authentication which has to be entered on the device.
How to Set Up Ledger Blue
Ledger is great with manufacturing devices that are very user friendly. You don’t have to be geek or techie to set it up and run it. Users only need to download the Ledger Live platform to set it up.
This platform makes it easy to just plug the USB cable connected to the device. Once connected, users can send and receive tokens from and to their wallets.
This same platform allows for the installation and running of other approved apps on the device. Users only need to follow the prompts to carry out their transactions. Of course, all transactions executed on this interface require manual consent.
Ledger Blue Pros and Cons
As with all hardware wallets, Ledger Blue has its fair share of advantages and cons.
Some of the pros of Ledger Blue include:
- User friendly user interface
- Touchscreen which makes navigation easier
- Comes with the tamper-free chip technology
- Design is in tune with modern day devices
Some of the cons of Ledger Blue include:
- It’s outrageously expensive for its pretty limited functionalities and token support
- Has far fewer token support than its predecessor, the Ledger Nano S
- Has no open source code –this is pretty standard with all Ledger devices
- It’s pretty big compared to the Nano S and Nano X. This makes it bulky to carry around on your person
To Buy Ledger Blue Hardware Wallet or Not?
Honestly, you’d have to weigh the pros and cons as listed above. Its intuitive interface, as well as its security makes it a good buy. But its lack of support for more robust crypto assets makes it a pretty expensive device.
As far as we’re concerned, it has pretty limiting features for its price point. Maybe if it was priced cheaper, it wouldn’t be such a bad idea.
However, if ease of use is a huge priority and money’s not a problem, it’s a better option than Nano S and X. High volume traders who do a lot of transactions will find this satisfactory as the process of moving tokens to cold storage is pretty swift and easy.
This is particularly great when you need to quickly execute transactions and move tokens between your hot and cold wallets.
At the end of the day, it all comes down to user preferences, utility and affordability. If you hardly do high volume transactions, and just need a cold wallet that’s just as secure, but not as fancy, the Nano S is a good option. It’s cheaper and works just as well.
But, if you’re a professional trader who frequently moves tokens from hot to cold wallet and vice versa, just get the Ledger Blue hardware wallet device.