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Blog posts, Product | 06/06/2019

Supporting and Improving the Ledger Nano S

Hardware Wallet Ledger Ledger Nano S
Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S was launched in June 2016 with the objective of creating a new security standard for safeguarding crypto assets. Three years later, and with more than 1.5 million units sold, it’s clear that the Nano S has revolutionized cryptocurrency cold storage.

Since 2016, technology — especially in the crypto market — has come a long way. Hundreds of new cryptocurrencies have been launched and completely new blockchain protocols have been introduced. The industry has made tremendous progress in these three years, requiring us to innovate to keep pace. That’s why we introduced the Ledger Nano X.

When we designed the Nano S, the available flash memory space for secure elements was quite limited: the ST31H320, being the best choice security wise, had only 320kb storage space for firmware and apps combined. At the time, this was not an issue: there weren’t that many different crypto assets with a large market cap, and other potential projects where basically clones of Bitcoin, allowing supporting apps to be quite small by using a shared library.

3 years later, the situation has changed quite a bit. The crypto market has seen massive growth, requiring new cryptographic libraries to support this growth. This resulted in a scissors effect: users wanting top security along with new crypto assets being added, requiring more new apps, each being larger in size to integrate the new crypto primitives.

Today, Ledger Nano S users can install 3 to 7 apps among the current market cap’s Top 20 at the same time (e.g. BTC, ETH, XRP, BCH, LTC, DASH, ETC at the same time on a single device), or up to 20 dependent apps, on their device, depending on the app size (See here for examples of app combinations).

Here are some examples of key apps combinations we tested and you can install on your Nano S today:

situation as of June 4, 2019 – subject to modification in apps and firmware sizes

You have three possible ways to manage multiple crypto-assets:

  • Using one Nano S: While not the most convenient method, a solution for managing more crypto is installing and uninstalling apps as needed. This method is completely safe and will not impact your crypto assets.
  • Using multiple Nano S: You can setup all your Nano S with the same 24 word recovery phrase and PIN code to make them perfect clones. Each Nano S can be used for a different set of apps, so you can select the device depending on the crypto you wish to use. We have lowered the price of our Nano S to 59€/$59 so it’s much more affordable, and the special color editions can help you to easily distinguish them
  • Upgrading to a Nano X: Our latest hardware wallet has been designed with the latest generation of secure element which has 2048kb available, currently giving enough space to host up to 100 apps at the same time. With its capacity improvement and Bluetooth connectivity, the Nano X is our next generation hardware wallet that was specifically built for today’s market

For those who want to manage a large number of crypto-assets, we recommend to use the Ledger Nano X for capacity reasons.

As with any major technological advancement, the Nano X improves on the Nano S, but that does not at all mean we will stop supporting and improving the Nano S. Our Nano S users are a vital part of our community, and in the past few months we have rolled out new features to continue supporting the product including:

  • Ensuring that the Ledger Live mobile app is fully compatible with the Nano S on Android
  • Introducing new applications (such as Cardano and Binance Chain) for the Nano S through our open source platform with the support of our developers’ community
  • Halving the size of the Ethereum app to increase capacity

In addition, during the summer we will roll out a new firmware update to continue enhancing security along with new HSMs to improve application management performance. We are also working on adding ERC-20 tokens in Ledger Live.   

The Ledger Nano S community will always be important to Ledger. We are committed to continuing to support and improve the Nano S, but we are aware that as technology advances, a product developed in 2016 unfortunately has its limits.

When we developed the Nano S, secure elements with the space capacity needed to today’s crypto market simply didn’t yet exist. As the world’s leading crypto security company, we pushed ourselves to ensure this in the Ledger Nano X. Both products will continue to be improved and supported by our world-class team.

Ledger Nano X

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