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Ledger: Control Your Crypto, No Matter What

Read 6 min
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— Blockchain is about self-custody: owning the private keys for your crypto means nobody can stand between you and your assets. Ever.

— How you manage your private keys will define your experience, and your security, as you interact with crypto and the world of Web3.

— Ledger exists to make you completely autonomous – the Nano gives you absolute control over your private keys (and therefore your crypto) at all times, while keeping them secure from online threats.

— Ledger’s ecosystem comprises not only our hardware wallet for military grade security of your assets, but also the Ledger Live interface to allow you secure and convenient access all of your favourite dApps

Blockchain is about restoring control and autonomy to you, the user – and Ledger makes sure the power stays in your hands.

Crypto is all about having control of your own value. In 2009, Satoshi Nakamoto revolutionized the financial world by developing the first ever digital currency that is not reliant on any centralized institution, such as banks, governments, or a company that acts as a guardian for keeping asset holdings and transactions. 

This was a direct jab at banks, as Nakamoto eternalized his view on the centralized banking system and fiat money in the Bitcoin genesis block. His problem was that the traditional banking and finance system is built entirely on trust. Throughout history, this trust has been shattered more often than not. 

The last instance of this was during the financial crisis of 2007/08. This brought up many trust issues, such as misappropriated funds, falsified corporate reports, losses due to inadequate investment advice, customers who were unable to withdraw their bank deposits, and bankers who stuffed their own pockets over the biggest financial disaster of the early 21st century.  

Thanks to its design, Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies function in a completely trustless fashion without any of these centralized middlemen. Finally, you can be your own bank. With crypto, you can receive, hold, and send money without needing a third party to facilitate these transactions. 

Over time, a whole new financial system has emerged in the form of decentralized finance (DeFi), which has the ambitious goal to fix the various shortcomings of the traditional, centralized financial world. Thanks to all of this, you can already enjoy an unprecedented level of financial freedom and the development of the cryptoeconomy is far from over.

Would you give your car key to a stranger?

When you hold any of the many different digital assets that are recorded on a public blockchain, you are already on your way to financial freedom. This puts you in the driver’s seat of your personal finances and provides you with a plethora of opportunities that you can use in order to grow your wealth. But what good does it to be in the driver’s seat, if you can’t start the car? If you really want to maximize your financial freedom, there are some pitfalls that you need to avoid.

Remember, financial freedom also means freedom from banks and other financial service providers. Thanks to crypto, you can be your own bank, but this requires some extra work on your behalf. Your cryptocurrency wallet is secured by two cryptographic pairs: a public and a private one. While you are free to hand out your public key to others, so that they can send you money, you should make absolutely sure that nobody else but you knows and owns your private key.

Most services that facilitate crypto dealings are at least partially centralized. Essentially, every time you give your crypto into custody at one of these service providers, you are giving away control over your coins and the private key that secures your coins. Always remember, if you don’t own the private key, you don’t own your money. 

Think of the private key as the key for your car. When you give the only key to someone else, that other person can get in your car at will and drive away. In the worst case, you will never see that other person and your car again. At the same time, if you want to drive away yourself, you have to ask the person who has the key for permission and there is no way to make sure that you will be allowed to drive off. If you keep your key, you are free to do whatever you want.

Not your key? Not your coins!

Exactly the same applies to your crypto funds. The threat of losing your funds on custodial providers is very real. From exchange hacks and insolvencies to embezzlement on behalf of the exchange owner, numerous people have lost a good amount of money, just because they trusted the wrong custodian.

When you first bought crypto, you likely used a centralized exchange for this purpose. If you decide to keep your coins on the exchange, the exchange is in control of your funds. Always when you give crypto into custody, the custodian owns the money, instead of you.

Like with banks, you have to absolutely trust these service providers to handle your money with the necessary care. Very often, this trust has been shattered by hackers or unethical business practices on behalf of the service provider. The most secure and trusted way to keep ownership of your private key and thus your digital assets is to use a hardware wallet, such as Ledger Nano S or Ledger Nano X.

Introducing Ledger Live

Ledger created a solution that enables you to secure, own and control your private key. On top of that, we have developed the Ledger Live interface, which gives you easy access to all functions that are needed to control your funds. Our hardware wallet, combined with Ledger Live is the best way to secure your funds while giving you the freedom to manage everything on your own.

With Ledger Live you can manage 27 different crypto coins and over 1500 tokens that comply with widely used standards such as Ethereum’s ERC-20, all in the same place. This also includes several Proof of Stake coins, such as TRON (TRX), Tezos (XTZ), Cosmos (ATOM), and Algorand (ALGO). You can instantly stake these coins and start earning passive income through the Ledger Live interface, without ever having to take these coins out of your secure hardware wallet. 

Thanks to our payments partner Coinify, you can buy and sell crypto in exchange for fiat money. Coinify sends and receives your crypto directly to and from your hardware wallet. This means that you never have to worry about having to hold your crypto on a centralized exchange, or having to withdraw it to your hardware wallet.

The same applies if you want to exchange a digital asset for another. Thanks to our partnership with Changelly, you can issue instant swaps without having to send your crypto to a centralized exchange first. This makes non-custodial trading both easy and secure. At the current time, Changelly supports over 80 digital assets. 

In conjunction with Coinify, you can for example buy one cryptocurrency for fiat and then diversify your portfolio by swapping in different coins, all from the security and comfort of your Ledger device. Likewise, you can execute trades, or buy stablecoins, which can instantly be invested in DeFi, without compromising the security of your hardware wallet and completely without having to use any centralized exchange.

Your one-stop platform for financial freedom

Thanks to Ledger Live, you have all of these tools in one place. Your funds are secured by your Ledger device at all times, combining the ease of use of a single one-stop crypto platform with the security and self-custody of a hardware wallet.

With your Ledger hardware wallet and Ledger Live, you are well-equipped on your way to personal financial freedom. No third parties needed. We have also released a series of videos explaining the various features of Ledger Live in detail. If you want to learn how you can get started with your Ledger wallet and the various decentralized investment opportunities on Ledger Live, feel free to check out this video.

Knowledge is power

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