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Ledger Connect: Cross-Chain Browser Extension for Web3

Read 6 min
Today’s Key Takeaways:
— Ledger Connect is a Web3 browser extension compatible with Ethereum and Solana based dApps – with more blockchains to come.

— Ledger Connect seamlessly connects your hardware wallet to dApps, and offers unique security features to protect your crypto as you transact.

— The Transaction Simulation option allows you to see the impact of signing a transaction on your wallet, before you complete the transaction. It makes the impact of your transaction transparent, even when you can’t see full smart contract details.

— Web3 Check detects suspicious apps and alerts you the moment you connect your wallet with them, giving you advance warning of risks as you explore.

— Ledger Connect is the new security baseline for Web3, creating a seamless and safe browsing experience as you engage with the next generation of the internet.

Ledger Connect has landed – and it’s changing the way you use Web3. Are you ready for a smoother, safer Web3 experience – without the friction?

Oh there you are! We’ve been expecting you.

When you’re browsing the internet, chances are you’re not thinking too much about what you’re doing. Web2 is a seamless experience, with virtually no barriers to entry beyond having an internet connection and a computer. That’s why you’re here now, reading our page. One simple click is all you need.

But Web3 is different – it’s powered by value. That means connecting your crypto wallet (via a browser extension) in order to explore different platforms, and understanding that process enough to stay safe as you do it. So despite the incredible new options it gives, Web3 also presents some unique frictions, making it hard to unlock its potential for yourself. The need to use multiple browser extensions is one of those frictions.

In this article, we’ll explain browser extensions, their limitations – and how Ledger Connect is sidestepping these to make Web3 easier than ever to navigate from the safety of your hardware wallet.

It’s…kind of a big deal. Are you ready?!

First thing’s first: What Exactly is a Browser Extension?

Web 3’s decentralized applications may well exist online, but regular Web2 browsers are unable to support them. Simply put, Web2 and Web3 speak two different languages, and this means your crypto wallet can’t engage with the world of dApps through a regular web browser, no matter how much crypto you have.

We need a “translator”, and this is where Web3 browser extensions come in; in a digital world that is still Web2-centric, these extensions act as a medium, allowing your wallet to “speak with” the unique structure of decentralized applications online.

But there Are Different Languages

Sounds simple, right? Well, not exactly. 

Web3 uses more than one blockchain as its foundation – there are several. For example, one minute you might be enjoying the world of DeFi on Ethereum; the next, you might need to connect to Solanart marketplace to trade a Solana-based NFT from your collection. Different blockchains speak different languages and, you guessed it, this means you’ll need multiple different browser extensions to interact fully with all of the options.

The Problem With Browser Extensions

The need for Web3 browser extensions poses a couple of different challenges for users, depending on how you’re using them.

Connecting with a Hardware Wallet is Tricky

An offline key is the only key, right? We couldn’t agree more!

But it can pose a challenge for Web3: connecting your hardware device to different browser extensions can be a cumbersome process – and one you’ll find yourself doing often as you explore different blockchain ecosystems. It’s not exactly a slick process…and we’d forgive you for finding it downright complicated at times.

So although your keys may be safely tucked away, your Web3 experience is anything but seamless – and that’s enough to hold anyone back.

Lack of Transparency

Would you sign a contract you couldn’t really see?

Web3 browser extensions might enable you to transact with dApps, but they also introduce some security risks: man-in-the-middle attacks, for example, let hackers tamper with the display of the extension, meaning you can never truly be sure of what you’re signing – or exactly what you’re giving access to.

For example, you might think you’re confirming a transaction to buy an NFT, when in reality you’re agreeing to give a nefarious third party access to your collection. There is simply no way of knowing for sure.

This, unfortunately, is a norm of Web3, but that doesn’t mean it’s OK.

So in short, transparency issues and the not-so-seamless nature of browser extensions make them a barrier to exploring Web3, limiting your security and the evolution of the space as a whole.

That’s where Ledger Connect comes in.

Ledger Connect: Multi-chain Browser Extension

Ledger Connect is a multi-chain browser extension that gives you seamless and secure access to Web3, direct from your hardware wallet. If that sounds a bit jargon-y, don’t worry – we’re breaking down exactly what it means for you here.

Frictionless Web3 Exploration

Are you using multiple different browser extensions as you interact with Web3? Ledger Connect is making that a thing of the past – soon, you’ll only need one.

Ledger Connect can interact with dApps on Ethereum and Solana blockchains (the only browser extension that serves both), with more networks to be added. This means you’ll only need one extension, no matter what network you’re interacting with. 

To make the “transition” between different networks a thing of the past, Ledger Connect will also have a blockchain detection feature; the extension will automatically recognise the network you’re interacting with and connect it with the correct crypto wallet via your Nano. For you, this means you can navigate Web3 without worrying about connecting the right wallet or going through a process each time you’re in a new ecosystem.

Let’s say you’re interacting with a Solana based DeFi platform; Ledger Connect will automatically connect with the application using the Solana account in your wallet. And if you want to go check out your favourite Ethereum DeFi platforms after that – no problem, Ledger Connect is compatible with both, and will be able to switch seamlessly between your crypto wallets for a friction-free Web3 browsing experience.

Interested? To connect your wallet to a new app, simply select the Ledger button from the wallet provider button on-screen. No set-up, no complex processes and no figuring out how all the parts fit together. Just the click of a button: it’s now that easy to connect your Nano to Web3.

Greater Transparency 

Ledger Connect is also overcoming some key Web3 security issues, by bringing greater transparency to your transactions. There are three key features you should know about:

  • Web3 Check: A Unique Security System

Web3 Check is a unique security layer only offered by Ledger Connect. It detects and flags suspicious apps the moment you connect with them by looking at essential details of the dApp’s underlying smart contract. This unique feature gives you increased control over how you’re interacting by flagging areas of concern from the outset.

  • Clear Signing

Any app featured in the discovery section of Ledger Live can be clear signed using Ledger Connect: in other words, instead of trusting your transaction, you can verify its details on the trusted screen of your Nano. To benefit from complete transparency, simply install the relevant app plugin from the Manager section on Ledger Live and you’ll be able to seamlessly clear sign all of your interactions with that platform. Paraswap and 1inch are both great examples of dApps where Ledger Connect enables clear signing.

And our plug-in list will be constantly expanding, bringing you absolute transparency with an increasing number of dApps as you connect to Web3 from your Nano.

  • Transaction Simulation

And that’s not all. One of the key vulnerabilities crypto users face is that every transaction is immutable – if you make a mistake, your crypto’s gone. No wonder people are cautious about Web3!

But what if you could preview your transactions before hitting confirm?

That’s exactly what Ledger Wallet’s transaction simulation is for, allowing you to do a “test run” of each transaction on your wallet before it’s finalized, to understand exactly what you’re agreeing to and how it will impact your wallet.

Transaction Simulation is a functionality unique to Ledger Connect. This exciting feature brings you a new standard of Web3 security, leaving you with greater peace of mind as you explore what it has to offer.

Where other browser extensions are tricky to use and leave users unable to really see what they’re giving permission for, Ledger’s browser extension makes Web3 secure, transparent and more accessible than ever – and you can be an early adopter yourself by signing up for our Beta right here.

Ledger Connect: The New Baseline for Web3

With every wave of new technology, users face the challenge of understanding new tools and threats in order to benefit – but at Ledger, we see it as our job to make those disappear.

Ledger Connect is a new security baseline for anyone using Web3, not only maximising your security by enabling you to transact from your hardware wallet, but also giving you greater transparency and a better user experience than any other browser extension.

Web3 is about restoring power to individuals, and we’re helping bring that power to as many people as possible by removing unnecessary frictions and grey spots – making sure you’re always in control of your crypto, your data and all parts of your digital life.

Knowledge is power.

Blind signing – we might be making it slowly disappear, but in the meantime, knowing how it works is an essential Web3 skill. School of Block has you covered.

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