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What is a hardware wallet?
A hardware wallet is a cryptocurrency wallet that stores the user's private keys (a critical piece of information used to authorize outgoing transactions on the blockchain network) in a secure hardware device. The main principle behind hardware wallets is to provide full isolation between the private keys and your easy-to-hack computer or smartphone.
The most common question we receive relates to the location of the cryptocurrencies. When you own cryptocurrencies, what you really own is a “private key.”
Your “private key” is comparable to an actual key: this key unlocks the right for its owner to spend the associated cryptocurrencies.
As it provides access to your cryptocurrencies, it should – as the name suggests – remain private. In the same way you wouldn’t share the key to your bank safe with anyone, you should not share this private key with anyone.
In addition to a private key, there is also a public key.
There is a cryptographic link between the public key and the private key. It’s possible to recover the public key if you own the private key. However, it’s impossible to find the private key using only the public key.
When you save a picture on your phone, there is a file stored in the phone’s memory. When you use Outlook there is a local copy of your emails on your computer.
Your crypto assets are not physically present anywhere, nor stored in any folder. There is no physical entity representing your cryptocurrencies.
Instead, there is a relation between the public key and the associated coins, much like a certain amount is held within your bank safe. Blockchain technology makes it possible to know the balances associated with a public key.
This information is distributed and replicated across a network of computer machines (for instance, several thousand in the case of the Bitcoin network).
Learn more about Ledger’s technology
Ledger is a hardware wallet technology that provides the highest level of security for crypto assets. Ledger products combine a Secure Element and a proprietary OS designed specifically to protect your assets.
Ledger hardware wallets empower you with the ownership and control of your private keys.
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