Ledger and Casa: Enhanced security for bitcoin and ethereum
Ledger sits at the cutting edge of digital asset security and infrastructure. The company is most well-known for its array of hardware wallets. These devices are powered by secure elements — "black-box" hardware chips that prevent unauthorized access to encrypted data.
With Casa, you can enhance the already great protection of a Ledger device by protecting your assets with multiple keys. Here’s an overview of Ledger and how to make the most of your cold storage.
Ledger offers more than just hardware products. It also offers flanking software and cloud services to create an end-to-end secure ecosystem for the protection and use of digital assets.
In 2016, Ledger released its BOLOS Operating System (Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System). This is a firmware operating system designed to empower developers to create applications for Ledger devices while maintaining the "black box" nature of the secure elements on these devices.
The Ledger Live app creates a secure gateway from your Ledger device to the world of digital assets, whether it's for exchanging cryptocurrency, accessing DeFi services, or investing in NFTs. The app lets you exchange cryptocurrencies without leaving the secure Ledger ecosystem.
Ledger's signature devices are in its Nano series. The Nano S, released in 2016, lets you store between three and 20 applications.
These Ledger-specific applications let you interact with each of the cryptocurrencies in your wallet. The apps run entirely separate from each other because of the Ledger BOLOS. The Nano X was launched in 2019, bringing with it the option to install many more applications.
In 2022, Ledger released the Nano S Plus that maintained the device's small size but increased its memory and the number of apps — and therefore cryptocurrencies — that the app can manage. This means you can secure both bitcoin and ethereum with the same device.
Its most ambitious product is yet to come, however. The Ledger Stax, designed by the same person who designed the iPod, will start shipping to preorder buyers in April. This device puts design and usability at the forefront, with its curved lines and E Ink display. The Ledger Stax incorporates all of Ledger's formidable technology of digital asset security, and it also makes that technology accessible to the lay user.
Tips to protect your hardware wallets
No matter how secure a hardware wallet itself is, human error and oversight could lead to breaches. Here are some key pointers on how to keep your devices secure from hackers and loss:
Consider the physical environment
Avoid taking your hardware wallet out in crowded spaces. Completely aside from theft, dropping a small Ledger Nano device in the middle of early-morning New York foot traffic could result in the device being lost forever. It could fall in someone's pocket or be inadvertently kicked into a sewer grating.
The same is true of wooded and wildlife areas. Dropping the device in an area of thick grass, or near a river, could be equally fatal. Taking the device out while standing outside on a cruise ship is absolutely not recommended, particularly in high winds.
If the room you're in is not access-controlled, you could be interrupted in your actions, leading to errors. Areas that are not access-controlled can also be compromised by criminals. Always note any recording devices in the room. Take your time. And always consider the physical environment before taking your Ledger device out and interacting with it.
Don’t neglect device health
Keep your Ledger firmware up to date. Many compromises of systems occur because those systems contain unpatched flaws. Keeping your Ledger device up to date will ensure it has the latest security patches installed.
When updating your Ledger, verify on our Support Center that the update has been vetted by Casa's support team. And only use the USB cables provided with the device itself. Some advanced cyberattacks can be built into makeshift cables.
Storing keys and passwords
It’s best to set a PIN for your device. PINs prevent other people from using the device if they somehow stumble across it. Once you set up your Ledger, keep the device, PIN, and seed phrase out of sight.
Long-term storage is best done by putting the device in a Faraday bag. These bags protect devices from wireless and radio frequencies that could potentially interfere with the device's health.
If you want to know more about how to further protect your Ledger device, have a look through our comprehensive guide below.
Ledger multisig with Casa
Multiple keys offer the highest level of security for BTC and ETH wallets. This technology known as multisig is similar to two-factor authentication but much more robust.
Casa implements this solution in two ways in combination with Ledger devices:
- Gold: One hardware wallet, a mobile key, and Casa Recovery Key
- Platinum: Three hardware wallets, a mobile key, and Casa Recovery Key
In both cases, we eliminate the single point of failure. Users can lose a single key and yet still be able to access their cryptocurrency by using the rest of their keys.
Multiple keys also secure assets against theft. If criminals happen to steal your Ledger device along with its PIN, they still won't be able to access your BTC or ETH without your other key(s).
And our team is here to help at any point with your security, whether you’re just getting started or recovering your assets with the rest of the keys.
Integrate Casa with your Ledger device
Ledger offers some of the most secure devices and services around for interacting with your digital assets. Adding more keys is the surest way to protect your digital assets from theft or accidental loss. Get started here.