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Guide To Using Ledger Hardware Wallets On Solana

Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano S Plus, and Ledger Nano X hardware wallets

Guide To Using Ledger Hardware Wallets On Solana

You can use Ledger hardware wallets with Avana Wallet and Solana to collect NFTs, stake SOL and much more.

5/26/2022

Non-Custodial Wallet

Solana

Hardware Wallet Capabilities On Solana

Solana supports the use of hardware wallets, but you will need a hardware wallet that is configured to communicate with the Solana blockchain. Currently, Ledger is the only major hardware wallet manufacturer that supports Solana. Trezor does not currently support Solana.

Ledger hardware wallet enables you to sign transactions on Solana using your private key stored on the hardware wallet without ever exposing your private key to external devices. Hardware wallets provide an extra layer of security when you interact with the blockchain because your private keys are not stored on a device always connected to the internet. The additional security has a trade-off - you must always carry the physical device with you, and it is less convenient to use. Also, you could possibly lose or break your hardware wallet.

Currently, Solana works with the following hardware wallet models:

  • Ledger Nano S
  • Ledger Nano S Plus
  • Ledger Nano X

When you use your hardware wallet to sign transactions on Solana, you are prompted to authorize transactions on your Ledger device. Your Ledger hardware wallet then signs the transaction and sends the transaction signature back to your computer or mobile phone to submit to Solana.

Ledger hardware wallets require additional software to become compatible with Solana. You need to download Ledger Live and install the Solana app. Ledger Live updates the firmware on your hardware wallet so it can sign and read Solana transactions. For a comprehensive walk-through on how to setup your Ledger Nano hardware wallet view Avana Wallet hardware wallet documentation.

For advanced users, you can use the Solana CLI to interact with your Ledger hardware wallet.

What Is Ledger Blind Signing?

Ledger hardware wallets and Ledger Live are not configured to work with all Solana apps by default. Ledger is only able to read and sign native Solana program instructions. If you want to use your Ledger hardware wallet for decentralized apps, DeFi, GameFi, or NFT marketplaces, you need to adjust the configuration to allow Blind Signing.

The term blind signing sounds risky and uncertain at first impression. Blind signing means that you will permit your Ledger hardware wallet to sign transactions that it does not understand. Blind signing is safe as long as you review the transaction beforehand and trust the application requesting your signature.

Ledger hardware wallet software is limited in its ability to understand all transactions because every Solana smart contract has different instructions. Hard disk space on Ledger hardware wallets is limited, so the software is only able to read and understand common Solana program instructions such as sending and receiving SOL, and staking SOL with validators. Most DeFi apps, such as Mango Markets and Orca, use Solana smart contracts that Ledger hardware wallets are not able to understand.

By default, Ledger Live sets blind signing to disabled as a security precaution. If you want to participate in liquid staking, or interact with DeFi, GameFi or NFT marketplaces, you will need to change blind signing setting to enabled.

You can enable blind signing on your Ledger hardware wallet in three easy steps:

  1. Navigate to Solana app
  2. Choose settings
  3. Change Allow Blind Sign to yes
Animated image to show how to enable Ledger hardware wallet blind signing for Solana compatibility

Source: Ledger

Avana Wallet helps you understand transactions before you sign them with your hardware wallet by showing you the estimated changes to your Solana account and SPL token balances. Always review the transaction and look at the transaction instructions to understand what will happen to your account.

Selecting The Best Solana Hardware Wallet

Currently you can choose from three hardware wallet models supported by Solana: Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano S Plus, and Ledger Nano X. The three models come at different prices, and have various features. You can purchase the hardware wallets at many online retailers such as Amazon. All models also support other crypto blockchains such as Bitcoin, Ethereum, XRP and Binance.

The Ledger Nano S Plus is newer than the Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano X. The Ledger Nano S Plus has a larger screen and more memory than the Ledger Nano S . The primary advantage of the Ledger Nano X is its bluetooth capability, which enables your hardware wallet to communicate with bluetooth enabled devices.

Ledger Nano S

Ledger Nano S hardware wallet

Source: Ledger

The Ledger Nano S is the cheapest model offered by Ledger . Currently it costs approximately $60 USD and it is the best fit for crypto wallet beginners. The Ledger Nano S is fully compatible with Solana and Ledger Live. The Ledger Nano S features a secure certified chip (CC EAL5+) designed to withstand sophisticated attacks, and to protect your valuable assets.

Ledger Nano S Plus

Ledger Nano S Plus hardware wallet

Source: Ledger

The Ledger Nano S Plus costs approximately $79 USD and it offers a bigger screen for easy navigation and a smooth experience. The Ledger Nano S Plus has more on-device memory, which enables you to install over 100 apps and manage over 5,000 digital assets. The Ledger Nano S Plus features a secure certified chip (CC EAL5+) to protect your assets against the most sophisticated attacks.

Ledger Nano X

Ledger Nano X hardware wallet

Source: Ledger

The Ledger Nano X costs approximately $149 USD and it offers bluetooth compatibility. Bluetooth enables your Ledger Nano X to communicate with devices that do not have a USB port, such as mobile phones and tablets. The Ledger Nano X features a secure certified chip (CC EAL5+) to protect your assets against the most sophisticated attacks.

How Does A Hardware Wallet Work?

Hardware wallets store your Solana account private keys on the physical device. Hardware wallets function similar to a USB drive - they store digital bytes on a physical device, and the device is built to interact with other devices such as a computer or mobile phone. The device is used to sign transactions using your private keys without revealing your private keys.

Hardware wallets include extra security precautions to protect your private keys. For instance, the device does not allow other devices to view or access the private keys. Ledger hardware wallets require you to enter a secret pin to access the application. Your hardware wallet can be erased if you enter the wrong pin too many times.

Signing transactions on Solana using Ledger hardware wallet includes the following steps:

  1. You initiate a transaction, such as a request to swap Solana SOL to another token like Bitcoin
  2. Avana Wallet sends a message to your Ledger hardware wallet letting it know that you want to sign the transaction
  3. Ledger hardware wallet tries to read the transaction. If it knows how to read the smart contract then it will display the transaction to you. If it does not, it shows you the transaction hash if blind signing is enabled.
  4. You confirm the transaction on Ledger hardware wallet
  5. Ledger hardware wallet sends a transaction signature signed by your hardware wallet private key back to Avana Wallet
  6. Avana Wallet submits your transaction signature to the Solana network

Your device must be connected to Avana Wallet to sign transactions. Your device should say Application Is Ready with the Solana application open. All Ledger hardware wallet models support USB connections. Only the Ledger Nano X supports bluetooth connections.

Ledger Nano S hardware wallet with Solana app open showing Application Is Ready message

What Happens If You Lose Or Break Your Hardware Wallet?

Hardware wallets are physical devices that can be broken and lost. If you lose or break your hardware wallet then you will no longer be able to access your Solana account using the device.

You should always store a backup of your hardware wallet private keys. When you first setup your Ledger hardware wallet, it asks you to write down your private key mnemonic seed phrase and confirm that you have saved it. This is a measure to make sure you do not lose access to your accounts if you lose or break your hardware wallet.

Ledger hardware wallets generate mnemonic seed phrases 24 words long. New hardware wallets include several sheets of paper to record your secret mnemonic phrase (see below). You should write your private key mnemonic seed phrase down and keep it somewhere safe.

Ledger Nano S hardware wallet mnemonic seed secret key paper included with package

How To Transfer Solana SOL To Your Ledger Hardware Wallet

Transferring Solana SOL and other Solana SPL crypto tokens to your Ledger hardware wallet is similar to sending Solana tokens to any other account. You can simply send the Solana SPL token or SOL directly to the hardware wallet public address. You can send your Solana SOL stored at centralized custodians like Coinbase to your hardware wallet by entering the hardware wallet's address as the recipient of the transfer out request.

You do not need to have your hardware wallet connected to the blockchain to send crypto to it. The device must be connected to sign and send transactions, but it does not need to be connected to receive transactions.

Staking Solana SOL With Hardware Wallet

Hardware wallets are often used for long-term storage of cryptocurrency, similar to a savings account. Many cryptocurrency users prefer to stake their Solana SOL and earn yield.

Steps to stake your Solana SOL with your hardware wallet:

  1. Import your Ledger hardware wallet to Avana Wallet
  2. Go to staking page in Avana Wallet
  3. Enter the amount of Solana SOL you want to stake
  4. Approve the transaction on your Ledger hardware wallet
  5. Verify the transaction was confirmed by the Solana network

How To Send Solana NFTs To Ledger Hardware Wallet

You can use Avana Wallet to collect, mint, send and receive Solana NFTs with your Ledger hardware wallet the same way as you would with a normal Solana account. After you import your hardware wallet to Avana Wallet all of your NFT collectibles will automatically be displayed in Avana Wallet. You do not need to have your hardware wallet connected to your computer or mobile phone to display your NFT collectibles stored on your hardware wallet.

Sending Solana NFTs to a Ledger hardware wallet address is simple with Avana Wallet - it takes a few seconds and costs under one penny. Steps to send Solana NFTs to your Ledger hardware wallet address include:

  1. Import your Ledger hardware wallet account into Avana Wallet (see here)
  2. Copy the imported Ledger hardware wallet address
  3. Send the Solana NFT from your hot wallet address to your Ledger hardware wallet address (see here)

How To Mint Solana NFTs With Ledger Hardware Wallet

Minting Solana NFTs using Ledger hardware wallets is nearly the same as minting NFTs with a normal hot wallet. You can send and mint Solana NFTs using your Ledger hardware wallet by connecting it and approving transaction requests. The Avana Wallet NFT minting tool is fully compatible with Ledger hardware wallets.

Hardware Wallet Requirements

Hardware wallets require a way to connect to the blockchain. Avana Wallet offers you a way to connect your hardware wallet to the blockchain. The Ledger Nano S and Ledger Nano S Plus require a computer with a USB connection to connect to your laptop or desktop computer. The Ledger Nano X offers bluetooth connection which you can use to connect to mobile phones and tablets too.

Converting Hardware Wallet Into Hot Wallet

You always have the option to convert your hardware wallet into a hot wallet by importing your Solana mnemonic seed phrase into Avana Wallet. Once you import your mnemonic seed phrase to Avana Wallet, it becomes a dual-purpose hardware wallet and hot wallet. This option is available if you no longer want all of the additional features that hardware wallets provide, or if you are retiring your hardware wallet.

Does Solana Work With Trezor?

Currently Trezor hardware wallets do not support Solana. Trezor maintains a list of crypto coins it supports here, and Solana is not included in the list. Trezor has said publicly that it is working to integrate new crypto coins support for its hardware wallets, but it cannot provide an estimated timeline.

"Solana (SOL) is not supported by Trezor firmware. Feel free to see the full list of supported tokens and coins from our website https://trezor.io/coins/. You will find the information which device and what applications support the particular cryptocurrency.

"At the moment, we are in the process of setting up a new strategy for implementing new coins into Trezor. However, there is no ETA, or plan to integrate this coin, currently."

- Trezor customer support in June 2021

Solana SOL is not included in the supported crypto coins list for Trezor hardware wallet

Trezor supported coins list shows the the Sola (SOL) ERC20 token as supported. The Sola token is not Solana SOL. Sola listed on the Trezor website refers to a decentralized social network that had an ICO in 2017.

Trezor Hardware Wallet Crypto Coins Supported Does Not Show Solana SOL

Source: Trezor website

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