Hardware Wallets

BIP 39. BIP 39 uses maths to figure out how to use a set of 24 regular words to get a seed – a big random number from which further keys for crypto wallets are later generated.

BIP 39 also defines a way to secure these 24 words with an additional passphrase which counts as word 25. If no passphrase is selected, an empty one is used, so it’s essentially always 24 words + passphrase (empty or not).

Any passphrase in combination with 24 words produces a valid seed, which means you need to take extra care as there are no rules to restrict you in your choice of  a passpharse.

This generated seed number is used to generate a root key for each cryptocurrency you’re interested in. Every blockchain has its own method of generating the root key from the seed, and in the example of bitcoin-BTC  that’s BIP 32 which results in a key like this one:

xprv9s21ZrQH143K3QTDL4LXw2F7HEK3wJUD2nW2nRk4stbPy6cq3jPPqjiChkVvvNKmPGJxWUtg6LnF5kejMRNNU3TGtRBeJgk33yuGBxrMPHi.

This key is then used to generate several private keys which then become cryptocurrency wallets for a different blockchain.
If  you use multiple passphrases, then you will have multiple wallets for a given blockchain.

BIP 39 is the protocol used to pick a certain combination of words, which may or may not be passphrase-protected, which are then used to generate wallets with a formula such as the one described in BIP 32.

Ledger

When you first turn a Ledger device on, it’ll generate the aforementioned 256-bit seed. This seed number will be used to calculate 24 words which are then shown on the device’s screen.

The user should then write these 24 words together with  any passphrases down on a piece of paper which comes in the box with the Ledger, and keep that paper safe, away from the Ledger itself, or better still memorize the 24 words, your primary PIN, your primary passpharase [optional]  and optionally each set of  of  passphrase+/pin [optionally]

If you decide to use passpharases [recommended] then it’s an absolute  must to test out your recoveery procedure with a few dollars each of bitcoin-BCH [$5}, ETH  [$5] and at $5 each of any 2 of these tokens

We send you $8  worth of crypros spread out over your crpto choices and provide you with a check-list for 3 recovery procedures which you must print out in hard copy format.

step 1) We send you $5 BCH to your default wallet, then you load your other 2 wallets and another 2 accounts on your default wallet , after you practice several send / receives to and from your wallets and to and from your primary wallet, you follow our recovery procedure #2 using 3 passphrases, you tick off each step when complete and record the time taken.

step 2) After success of the precious step, we send you $1 ETH, then you successfully recover that with your BCH left after step-1. Again you  tick off each step on checklist #2 and record the time taken to recover.

step 3) After success of step-2, recovery of your BCH/ETH, we send you $1 each of 2  from these tokens PPT, VERI, SALT, OMG, ADX. Again you  tick off each step on checklist #3 as you progress and record the time taken to recover.


CERTIFIED COMPETENT

After you recover the BCH, the ETH and 2 of the chosen tokens, then you are certified competent in the recovery procedure using 3 passphrases. f

 

EXTREME CAUTION


The hww requires the use of a PIN which can have 4 to 8 digits [Ledger].

If, after setting it up, the PIN is wrongly inputted 3 times in a row, the Ledger will self-destruct all data on it. Because of this even if you have a short PIN [4 digits], you must use full concentration when entering the PIN on the FIRST attempt.

Should the hww ever get broken, destroyed, stolen, or lost, the original owner of the device can use the saved / memorized 24 words together with the passphase – to restore its contents – either on a backup Ledger, or a backup Trezor (assuming your chosen cryptos are available on both devices], thus regaining all funds and addresses. This is possible because all you need to regenerate the root key are those 24 words and the 25th passphrase (if not empty).

Passphrases

The Ledger won’t ask you for your passphrase when you turn it on, but it will ask you for your PIN. The passphrase can’t be set when setting up the device for the first time, either – only in Settings can you subsequently add it.

This lets you attach a separate PIN to a passphrase in order to have two (or more). Each PIN will be bound to its own passphrase, and because of the aforementioned fact that 24 words + passphrase always produce a valid seed (there’s no “Incorrect password” warning).

We recommend your default passphrase to hold your petty cash, your next passphrase to get you into your monthly budget and your third pasdsphrase to get you into your savins / investment account.

 

Conclusion

The Ledger is an exceptionally safe way of storing your cryptocurrency. It vastly outperforms any kind of USB-based storage where you just save your key into a file and put it away.

The device has its own processor which calculates the keys, which means your root key never leaves the device – this keeps it safe from potential viruses or auto-transacting malware installed on the computer you’re using it with. In addition to that, the Ledger demands an extra hardware confirmation of any transaction – you need to press a button on the device whenever sending funds, or else it doesn’t work. There’s no sneaky funds siphoning with the Ledger.