Self Custody Using a Ledger Hardware Wallet
We recommend using the Ledger hardware wallet if you or your organization would like to maintain complete control of your assets in a secure way. Large token-holders also prefer to use a third-party custodian to hold their digital assets. Figment has partnered with several third-party custody solutions. For more info, email@example.com.
Last updated: June 9, 2020
At a Glance
- Self-custody is having full control of your digital assets–we recommend using a Ledger wallet
- There are three easy steps to getting started with a Ledger hardware wallet
- We show an overview of how to install Ledger applications for each network
– Cosmos Network: Includes Cosmos Hub, IRISnet, Kava, Terra, BandChain, e-Money
– Ethereum Network: Includes Livepeer, NuCypher, Chainlink
– Tezos Network
– AION / The OAN
– Kusama / Polkadot Networks
- An alternative to self-custody includes third-party custody services
Who controls your assets?
If your assets are on an exchange, the exchange controls your assets and gives you permission to move those assets off of the exchange. If the exchange is compromised, your assets can be irrecoverably lost. There are many examples of this happening in the past. If you have substantial assets on an exchange, we strongly suggest finding another custody solution, such as self-custody.
Self-custody means that the owner(s) of digital assets control the private key that enables the transfer of their digital assets. The owner of the private key owns the digital assets, so it must be protected at all times. There are a number of different ways to do this, and we recommend using a Ledger hardware device. Why? Because a hardware wallet prevents your private key from being exposed to the Internet or malicious software by generating the transaction independently from your computer.
The Ledger team published a 1-minute video demonstrating how to move funds from Binance to a hardware wallet.
Getting Started With a Ledger
The Ledger website published a four-step process to getting started, where you can 1) download the Ledger Live software for your computer or mobile device, 2) choose a PIN for your device and back up (and carefully protect) your seed recovery phrase, 3) install the applications on your device (eg. Cosmos, Tezos, Ethereum) and 4) you can optionally create a Ledger Live account to manage your assets–however, you can use your Ledger device to interact with most popular wallets instead.
Installing Applications on Your Ledger Device
First, ensure that your Ledger Live software settings have ‘developer mode’ turned on, which can be found in ‘experimental features.’ There are a number of networks with Ledger applications that are still in beta. Being in beta should not compromise the security of your assets, but you will only be able to install them in developer mode.
In the Ledger Live software, use the Manager to install or uninstall applications. Your device may not have enough storage to have a number of applications installed simultaneously. In this case, you may want more than one Ledger device or you can uninstall and reinstall applications as needed. There should be no risk of losing access to your assets when uninstalling and reinstalling an application.
List of Ledger Applications by Network
Cosmos Network: Cosmos Hub, IRISnet, Kava, Terra, BandChain, e-Money
The Cosmos Hub, IRISnet, Kava, Terra, BandChain and e-Money networks all use the same Cosmos application. At the time of this article (Jun 9, 2020), there should be one Cosmos application:
Install the latest version of Cosmos v1.5.3 using the Manager in the Ledger Live software (and if it’s there, ignore COSMOS v1.1.1).
After installing the latest version of Cosmos v1.5.3 on your Ledger device, you can use one of the many popular wallets to stake and send transactions. You can also stake and vote using Hubble.
- Lunie (web) – supports Cosmos Hub & Terra (will support e-Money)
- Cosmostation (web) – supports Cosmos Hub, IRISnet, Kava
- CosmoScan (web) – supports BandChain
Ethereum Network: Livepeer, NuCypher, Chainlink
The Livepeer, NuCypher, and Chainlink networks all use the same Ethereum application. Install the latest version of the Ethereum application using the Manager in the Ledger Live software.
After installing the latest version of the Ethereum application on your Ledger device, you can use one of the many popular wallets to stake and send transactions.
- Metamask (web extension) – supports Livepeer, NuCypher, Chainlink
Install the latest version of the Tezos Wallet application using the Manager in the Ledger Live software.
After installing the latest version of the Tezos application on your Ledger device, you can use one of the many popular wallets to stake and send transactions.
AION / The OAN
Install the latest version of the Aion application using the Manager in the Ledger Live software.
After installing the latest version of the Aion application on your Ledger device, you can use one of the many popular wallets to send transactions. The OAN team also has documentation for using your Ledger account to send transactions.
Kusama / Polkadot Networks
Kusama and Polkadot Ledger support is in progress, but not yet available.
Having difficulty? Looking for alternatives?
Reach out: firstname.lastname@example.org
You can also join our Telegram channel if you have read online resources/documentation and are unable to confidently self-custody your digital assets. There are alternatives to self-custody, such as third-party custody services. Contact us if you would like to learn more about your custody options.