If you’re looking for a secure hardware wallet you can use to store your bitcoin (BTC), Ether (ETH) or other cryptocurrency holdings, the Ledger Blue is worth a closer look. Launched in December 2016, the Blue is a battery-powered hardware wallet designed to operate with any computer or smartphone.
It features a 3.5-inch colour touchscreen, Bluetooth and the ability to store a wide range of digital currencies. But is the Ledger Blue worth the hefty price tag of well over $250? Read on to find out.
What is the Ledger Blue?
The Ledger Blue is a handheld hardware wallet designed to store cryptocurrency. Built around a secure element, it features a 3.5-inch touchscreen along with Bluetooth and USB connectivity. The Blue is designed to run multiple companion apps in full isolation on top of its firmware, allowing you to store private keys for bitcoin, Ether, Dash (DASH), Litecoin (LTC) and a range of other digital currencies.
Compatible with any PC or smartphone, the Ledger Blue supports two-factor authentication and a number of other security features. If you order this device, here’s what you’ll get in the box.
- Ledger Blue
- USB cable
- Recovery sheet
- Operating systems. Windows (7+), Mac (10.9+), Linux or Chrome OS. Requires Google Chrome or Chromium, and one USB port where you can plug in your Ledger Blue.
- Ledger apps. Ledger offers its own cryptocurrency wallet interfaces: Ledger Wallet Bitcoin & Altcoins, Ledger Wallet Ethereum, Ledger Wallet Ripple.
- Software wallets. The Ledger Blue is also compatible with the following software wallets: Copay, Electrum, Mycelium, MyEtherWallet, GreenBits and BitGo.
Which currencies can I store?
The Ledger Blue provides secure storage for:
- Bitcoin Cash (BCH)
- Bitcoin Gold (BTG)
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Dash (DASH)
- Digibyte (DGB)
- Dogecoin (DOGE)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Ethereum Classic (ETC)
- Expanse (EXP)
- Hcash (HSR)
- Komodo (KMD)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Neo (NEO)
- PivX (PIVX)
- Qtum (QTUM)
- Ripple (XRP)
- Stealthcoin (XST)
- Stratis (STRAT)
- Ubiq (UBQ)
- Vertcoin (VTC)
- Viacoin (VIA)
- Zcash (ZEC)
Note: Ethereum ERC20 tokens not included in the list of supported currencies can also be managed through the Ledger Blue using MyEtherWallet.
How do I add currency to my wallet?
The Ledger Blue, like other hardware wallets, doesn’t actually store any of your crypto coins or tokens on the device itself. Instead, it is used to store the private keys needed to access your digital currency, and it tracks your holdings on the blockchain.
When first setting up your device, you can configure and install any companion wallet apps you need to manage your funds. You can then open the relevant app for your chosen digital currency and follow the instructions to generate a wallet address and receive funds.
To set up the device, complete the following steps:
1. Turn on your Ledger Blue and follow the on-screen instructions
2. Choose a PIN code
3. Back up your recovery phrase
4. Install apps
5. Start sending and receiving payments
How do I make payments with my Ledger Blue?
If you want to start sending payments from your Ledger Blue, you’ll need to use the relevant app for the currency you want to transfer. For example, if you’re sending bitcoin, you can do so by completing the following steps:
1. Connect your Ledger Blue to your computer via USB
2. Enter your PIN code
3. Open the Bitcoin app on your Blue
4. Launch the Bitcoin Chrome application on your computer
5. Click on "Send" and enter your transaction information (such as amount, recipient address and fees) in the pop-up that appears
6. Click "Send"
7. Check the details of your transaction to make sure everything is correct, then tap "Confirm" on your Blue to manually authorize the transaction
8. Wait until your Chrome app displays "Validated"
How secure is the Ledger Blue?
The Ledger Blue includes a range of security features designed to provide safe storage for your crypto coins and tokens. Highlights include:
- Offline storage. Hardware wallets allow you to store your private data offline, protecting your funds against the risk of hacking.
- PIN code. The data on your device is locked by a secure PIN code of between four and eight digits.
- WYSIWYS. The Ledger Blue uses What You See Is What You Sign to ensure the integrity of transactions and protect against risks such as malware, viruses and man-in-the-middle attacks.
- Touchscreen. As well as increasing the user-friendliness of the Blue, the color touchscreen is used to double-check and manually validate transactions.
- Modular architecture. This allows the Blue to run dedicated companion apps in full isolation on top of its firmware. This means you can add currency to your wallet or new apps to your device without the risk of compromising the master seed.
- Backup and restoration. You can back up your device using a 24-word recovery phrase.
- High level of security for your crypto holdings
- Compatible with a wide range of devices
- User-friendly interface
- Great touchscreen is easy to use and increases security
- Support for multiple currencies
- The hefty price tag
- Out of stock at time of writing
- Not as portable as other hardware wallets on the market
- You may want to compare it to other, cheaper hardware wallets
Where can I get the Ledger Blue?
The Ledger Blue is available on the official Ledger website. You can also find Ledger devices for sale on Amazon and from members of its official reseller network.