Ledger Wallet, the €29.00 hardware Bitcoin wallet

Andreas Brekken
Dec 17, 2014 · 4 min read

I ordered the Ledger Wallet as soon as I heard about it on r/bitcoin. Ledger Wallet is a cheap alternative to the Trezor ($119), especially because I pre-ordered the Trezor for 1 BTC.

Delivery was quick, only a few days to my door in Norway.

The packaging looks very professional and I proceeded to rip it open.

The box itself contains a card for writing down the mneomnic recovery phrase (24 words), a security card (dictionary that maps all characters in the set a-z, A-Z, 0–9 to other characters in the same set) and the actual device, a tiny USB dongle.

Like any programmer, I ignore all the instructions and head over to LedgerWallet.com and click on My Wallet. I’m asked to install a Chrome extension which opens up a Chrome Application. Inserting the device does not seem to work, so I restart Chrome. Perfect! I’m asked to write down a list of words. I’m guessing this is a BIP39 compatible seed.

No time to waste — let’s fund this wallet! I click on Receive and get my first receive address. I’m not sure what the HD-wallet path for this address is, but let’s give it a shot.

I send over 0.5 BTC from my Trezor device and wait patiently. Nothing happens. I head over to blockchain.info to see that my transaction has been broadcasted, which it has. Okay, let’s get patient. Maybe in the next block.

After a few minutes, I’m out of patience. Okay, let’s try the recovery functionality. I purposefully enter my PIN number wrongly 3 times and am now locked out.

I start up the Ledger Wallet application again and am able to start the recovery process. After entering the mnemonic words I’m presented with an error. Shit! I just burned 0.5 BTC and a hardware wallet. After reading over my word list again, I see i mistook the word “mouth” for “mouse”. Come on…. Yes!

After recovery, I see my transaction has been picked up the Ledger Wallet app.

Okay, let’s try getting some money out. I generate a new receiving address on my Trezor and send 0.1 BTC there from my Ledger Wallet. Okay. now things get weird. I need to enter characters using my security card. It takes nearly a minute to figure this out. “So Z equals 3. 5 equals B, and S equals U”. Do I have to do this every time I want to send coins? I guess so. That means I need to keep the security card in my wallet at all times.

UPDATE: The security card can soon be replaced with a mobile app!

In conclusion, the Ledger Wallet, is a lot better than using an online wallet or messing around with paper wallets, but less convenient than my Trezor. I also feel less secure without the hardware display of my Trezor.

FULL DISCLOSURE: I am in no way affiliated with Ledger Wallet or Trezor.

If you enjoyed this review, please Recommend it here on Medium.

Andreas Brekken

Personal blog of Andreas Brekken

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