Ledger, the company behind popular hardware cryptocurrency wallet Ledger Nano S, has a new product coming: The Ledger Nano X.
The wallet is a USB stick, just like the company’s popular Nano S, but it has a very important new feature: Bluetooth connectivity.
With Bluetooth on board, users will be able to connect with their computer wirelessly, and thanks to the company’s new Ledger Live Mobile app, they’ll be able to send and receive cryptocurrencies from their Nano X using their phone, too.
Other improvements on the new Nano X include a bigger screen than the one on the Nano S, as well as support for more crypto assets (up to 100).
Hardware cryptocurrency wallets are devices which keep your crypto private keys and let you securely access your cryptocoins with a simple PIN, without worrying that the computer you’re doing it from is in some way compromised.
Ledger captured a big chunk of that market by selling 1.5 million units of the USB stick-sized Nano S (the Nano Blue, a more powerful, pricier device with a bigger screen, hasn’t been as popular). And while the Nano S is both secure and pretty simple to use, its cramped screen and very limited number of cryptocoins it can hold at the same time (four) were annoying issues.The new Nano X fixes all these and adds the Bluetooth/mobile support, which is absolutely huge for anyone who deals with cryptocurrencies on a daily basis.
The addition of Bluetooth poses new questions, though. I spoke to Ledger CEO Eric Larchevêque in December via a video call and he assured me that Bluetooth doesn’t compromise the Nano X’s security in any way. “The private keys don’t leave the device, whether you connect via Bluetooth or via USB cable. And even if someone could somehow hack your Bluetooth connection, you still see which address you’re sending coins to on the device’s screen itself,” he told me.
Also, the Nano X will still work via USB — just like the Nano S — and it will also charge that way, so battery life shouldn’t be a problem as USB ports are ubiquitous these days.
One minor qualm I’ve had with the Nano S is that it is sometimes slow. Larchevêque tells me that the Nano X’s hardware has been thoroughly improved, so speed shouldn’t be an issue anymore.
While I haven’t had a chance to try the Nano X out yet, I’ve seen a video of a prototype being set up via a phone, and the software does indeed seem quite snappy. The larger screen makes everything a lot clearer and easier than on the Nano S. Finally, the Bluetooth pairing process is as simple as pairing any Bluetooth device with your computer or phone
The Ledger Nano X will cost $119 (shipping included) when it becomes available in March 2019, with pre-orders starting on Jan. 7. The Ledger Live mobile app will hit the App Store and Google Play on Jan. 28. (Update: Ledger originally told me the date was Jan. 16 but changed its mind shortly after publishing).
If that price sounds like a lot (the Nano S costs $64 right now), don’t worry: The Nano S will remain a part of the company’s lineup. While I couldn’t get the details on its future pricing, Larchevêque tells me the Nano S will certainly be a good deal when the Nano X hits the stores.