Blockchain Security & Beyond

10/18/2019 | Blog posts

Security is paramount to everything we do at Ledger.

Before establishing the company in 2014, our core team of founders contemplated the thought that if Bitcoin were to become successful and used by the masses, there will undeniably be a need to create a simple and secure way to protect user’s private keys.

What fueled this notion of protecting private keys was inspired by a small, yet powerful, piece of technology – the smartchip.

To understand how Ledger has evolved into the global blockchain security company it is today, we must first take a look back to where it all began.

Secure Element




The smartchip – or better known as the memory card — was invented in 1974 by French engineer Roland Moreno with the intention to more securely manage access to sensitive private data. The concept of a chip storing sensitive information was what inspired the creation of the Secure Element, the chip embedded in Ledger’s hardware wallets that generates and stores user’s private keys.

As security experts and early adopters of crypto, we were inspired by Morena’s smartchip technology and created two security elements that are crucial to Ledger’s main security infrastructure – the Secure Element – and our proprietary operating system – BOLOS – which helps leverage added security features of the Secure Element. 

To date, Ledger is the only hardware wallet that utilizes both a Secure Element with a custom Operating System and is the first and only certified hardware wallet on the market. The French cybersecurity agency ANSSI recently recognized both the Ledger Nano S and X  as certified crypto hardware wallets, which marks another milestone as our hardware products were put through multiple attack scenarios to challenge their security infrastructure and passed each test to earn this accolade. 

Certified hardware wallets

We essentially took the best of smartchip technology and added proprietary elements to build the security infrastructure consistent in all our products from the Ledger Nano S and X to Ledger Vault.

Though, with all of our industry achievements, we don’t see our mission of improving the security measures for digital assets as absolute. As more people and institutions enter the crypto space, attacks will only become more prevalent and damaging. And with that, our work of tirelessly challenging our products by conducting rigorous security audits becomes more important as we raise the bar of security for the entire ecosystem.

The intention of our Donjon security team is not to attack and undermine other security efforts, but to bring the highest level of security to the blockchain without ever compromising financial sovereignty. We do this by routinely auditing the security of our devices and software as well as those of our competitors, and responsibly disclosing vulnerabilities when we uncover them.

Unyielding security and certifying our devices are the starting points of an ambitious effort to bring a trusted level of digital asset security to not only the blockchain ecosystem but to all industries in the business of working with critical information.

As we continue to grow as a company, we look forward to enhancing our practices and introducing our security infrastructure beyond the digital asset community 🚀.

Ledger Nano X limited edition