Ledger Making Major Announcement On January 7 as the Case for Cold Storage Grows
2017 was a breakthrough year for cryptocurrencies. Many traders were able to generate incredible, life-changing profits. And while not everyone was able to maintain those profits, the excitement led many to seek out the safest ways to protect their assets. Even now, after experiencing a massive drop in crypto valuations, asset protection is still a major issue. This is especially true given all the wallet and exchange hacks that have occurred during the past 12 months. A few of the most notable hacks that have occurred are:
- Coincheck – January 2018 – $530 million loss
- BitGrail – February 2018 – $195 million loss
- Bithumb – June 2018 – $31 million loss
These are just a few examples of significant losses that have crypto traders have suffered. A report from blockchain security firm, CipherTrace, estimated that hackers stole $927 million from cryptocurrency related platforms during the first nine months in 2018. Although the lack of regulation is normally cited as a benefit by cryptocurrency proponents, it also creates major security concerns for those with valuable crypto portfolios. So, what’s the best way for traders to protect themselves? Cold storage.
What is Cold Storage?
The one place that traders should not keep their assets is direct on the exchanges. Given all the exchange hack attacks, especially the ones cited in this article, a better option is available. Cold storage means keeping digital assets offline (i.e. away from internet access). By storing assets offline, the assets are significantly less susceptible to being hacked and/or stolen.
While there are several cold storage options available, the two most popular are the Ledger Nano S and the Trezor. Although the Trezor hardware wallet was designed by the highly respected SatoshiLabs, the Ledger Nano S has emerged as the most popular.
Ledger Nano S
The Ledger Nano S is the most widely used multi-currency hardware wallet in the cryptoverse. It’s the only hardware wallet that features a secure chip with a custom operating system. While many other hardware wallets do contain a “simple chip,” the Ledger Nano comes with a “smartcard chip.” This smartcard chip is used for applications that require extreme measures of security such as passport biometric data and credit card details.
Since its inception in 2014, the company has grown by leaps and bounds. The Ledger Nano now supports over 1,100 currencies thanks to its compatibility with other mainstream wallets such as MyEtherWallet and MyCrypto.
Major Announcement on January 7
Ledger is known for being on the cutting edge of blockchain and crypto security. Therefore, many expect the announcement this coming Monday to be a big deal.
While it’s not yet clear what the announcement is regarding, many are speculating on the possibility of a new and improved Ledger device. Perhaps one that comes with additional storage capacity and an enhanced screen. A few reddit posters even mentioned the possibility of fingerprint authentication which, would be quite interesting.
Another hint that an improved device is coming is the fact that Ledger is currently offering a 30% discount on Ledger Nano S wallets.
I’m not sure yet what the announcement will be but I’m certainly eager to find out given that I’m a huge fan of their products. While the Ledger Nano S is my go-to cold storage wallet, it isn’t perfect. There are things I would love to see improved and fingers are crossed that Monday will be when that happens.
Disclaimer: The author owns bitcoin, Ethereum and other cryptocurrencies. He holds investment positions in the coins, but does not engage in short-term or day-trading.
Featured image courtesy of Shutterstock.