The Ledger Blue is a multi-currency hardware wallet launched in December 2016.
It boasts a 3.5-inch full-colour touchscreen and is marketed as “the most advanced hardware security gear on the market”.
However, at over twice the cost of the Ledger Nano S, is it worth it?
In this review of the Ledger Blue, we’ll cover:
- Advantages & Disadvantages
- What is a Ledger Blue?
- Supported Coins
- What’s in the Box?
- Getting Started
- Additional Features
- Ledger Blue Cost
- Ledger Nano S vs Ledger Blue
- Summary: Is the Ledger Blue Worth It?
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Makes it easy to protect all your cryptocurrency.
- Supports 24 popular cryptocurrencies (+ all ERC-20 tokens).
- Including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), Litecoin (LTC), & Ripple (XRP).
- Check out the full list.
- 3.5-inch full-colour touchscreen is great.
- Wallet interface (Ledger Live) is beginner-friendly.
- Reputable company, which has recently raised $75 million from investors.
- Expensive hardware wallet (approx. £245).
- Larger than alternatives (97mm x 68mm x 10mm).
- Approx. the size of my palm.
- Bluetooth enabled, but no apps appear to use it.
What is a Ledger Blue?
The Ledger Blue is a premium cryptocurrency hardware wallet which allows you to easily and securely store your cryptocurrency. It’s the latest hardware wallet in Ledger’s product line which was released in late 2016.
“Ledger Blue is the most advanced hardware security gear on the market. It boasts multi-application execution and packs enterprise-level crypto-capabilities into a lightweight handheld device designed and crafted in France. It is architected around a Secure Element, featuring a touchscreen and USB connectivity” (Source)
The Ledger Blue works by generating and isolating private keys (for the coins supported) on the device. Private keys are extremely sensitive information. If your private keys were leaked, your funds wouldn’t be safe. Hardware wallets like this prevent that from happening.
When you want to send cryptocurrency, hardware wallets like the Ledger Blue will require that you physically confirm all the details of the transaction on the Ledger Blue’s screen. Malware couldn’t steal your cryptocurrency unless you accidentally authenticated it on the Ledger Blue.
Hardware wallets are well-recommended by the crypto-community as they’re convenient and simple to set up and use. Although it’s possible to secure your cryptocurrency without a hardware wallet, it can be overwhelming if you’re a beginner or aren’t computer literate.
The Ledger Blue currently supports 24 cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC). Through MyEtherWallet / MyCrypto, the Ledger Blue also supports every ERC-20 token.
As evidenced here, the Ledger Blue doesn’t support as many cryptocurrencies as the Ledger Nano S. While support for popular projects (e.g., Monero, Cardano, VeChain) on the Ledger Nano S is approaching (check their roadmap), the Ledger Blue isn’t feeling the love.
What’s in the Box?
Here’s what’s in the box:
- Ledger Blue
- Protective Bag (for the Ledger Blue)
- 1m microUSB to USB Cable
- 3x Recovery Sheet
You’ll also find this in the box, which explains why there’s no anti-tamper seal on the box or device.
I’m happy they included a protective bag with the device. This protects the device when you’re not using it, but also makes it a little less conspicuous.
It doesn’t take long to setup the Ledger Blue.
Once that’s installed, launch Ledger Live and follow the on-screen instructions. It’ll walk you through the whole setup process. There’s a video setup guide here.
During setup, you’ll be asked to setup a PIN. Some PRO tips:
- You can set a PIN which is up to 8 digits long.
- Don’t use a sequence.
- Don’t repeat numbers.
- Make it unique/different from other PIN codes you use.
It’s also really important that you keep your recovery seed private and secure:
- If someone else copies or steals it, your cryptocurrency funds are at risk.
- If you lose your device, you can’t recover your cryptocurrency funds without the recovery seed.
The Ledger Blue is the largest (97mm x 68mm x 10mm) and heaviest (90g) hardware wallet I’ve tested. It doesn’t look or feel cheap.
It’s about the size of my palm (or an old iPod touch). Although it’s not as compact as alternatives, it still fits in my pockets.
|Ledger Blue||97mm x 68mm x 10mm||90g|
|Ledger Nano S||98mm x 18mm x 9mm||16g|
|Trezor One||60mm x 30mm x 6mm||12g|
|Trezor Model T||64mm x 39mm x 10mm||16g|
The Ledger blue has a 3.5-inch full-colour touchscreen. It’s responsive and makes authenticating transaction details much easier. The touchscreen is definitely a step-up from the Ledger Nano S or Trezor One.
Until recently, you had to manage your cryptocurrency wallets through multiple Chrome-based (or external) apps. It’s a clunky system, but it works without issue.
Ledger has now launched Ledger Live, which is an all-in-one desktop application which allows you to manage many different cryptocurrencies from a single application.
Ledger Live makes setting up and using the Ledger Blue more approachable for beginners. It’s still being developed (i.e., features missing and bugs), but works well enough.
You can find tutorials and documentation for every cryptocurrency supported by the Ledger Blue here.
Like the Ledger Nano S, the Ledger Blue can be used as a FIDO U2F (Universal 2-Factor) device. This adds an extra layer of security to some of your online accounts (e.g., Dropbox, Google, & GitHub).
In a recent firmware update, Ledger also added functionality which allows you to setup a second (hidden) wallet which is attached to your main wallet. This is awesome to have but is an advanced feature (i.e., use with caution). You can find more details here.
Ledger Blue Price
The Ledger Blue is available on the official website for about £254 / €286 (incl. VAT & shipping). You can pay with a debit/credit card, PayPal, or Bitcoin (BTC).
For those from the UK, I’d recommend you buy this with Bitcoin (BTC). If you use a debit/credit card, you’ll probably be charged non-sterling transaction and purchase fees (2.75% at NatWest) when purchasing goods/services online with a foreign currency.
None of Ledger’s authorised resellers have the Ledger Blue in stock. You’ll have to buy through the official website.
This is the last batch of Ledger Blue’s which will be available. After this batch is sold out, it’ll only be available to Ledger’s enterprise customers.
|Wallet||Price (incl. VAT & Shipping)||Official Website|
|Trezor One||£113 / €128||Official Trezor Shop
|Trezor Model T||£177 / €200||Official Trezor Shop
|Ledger Nano S||£84 / €95||Ledger Wallet|
|Ledger Blue||£254 / €275||Ledger Wallet|
Ledger Nano S vs Ledger Blue
The Ledger Blue just seems like a dressed-up version of the Ledger Nano S.
Apart from the full-colour (320 x 480px) touchscreen, the Ledger Blue and Ledger Nano S don’t seem that different.
The touchscreen is a significant upgrade. It’s the equivalent of moving from a Nokia 5160 to an iPhone. It makes entering your PIN and authenticating transactions nowhere near as clunky.
However, despite claims that the Ledger Blue is their flagship product, it supports fewer cryptocurrencies (24) than the Ledger Nano S (28). And even though it has Bluetooth support, I couldn’t find any apps that utilised it (which also makes the battery redundant).
I found numerous threads in /r/LedgerWallet from frustrated buyers too. Here’s one…
The Ledger Nano S and Trezor are both popular, well-recommended, and affordable hardware wallets. Of these two, I prefer the Ledger Nano S – but they’re both great options.
If you’re dead-set on getting a premium hardware wallet, then I’d recommend you check out the Trezor Model T. It’s the follow-up to the Trezor One and features a full-colour touchscreen (240 x 240px).
The Trezor Model T also runs on a different firmware to the original Trezor, dubbed ‘Trezor Core’. This should make it easier for the Trezor Model T to support more cryptocurrencies and add functionality.
Check out our Trezor Model T review to learn more.
Summary: Is the Ledger Blue Worth It?
Is the Ledger Blue really worth the extra £170 / €190?
Even though it has a great touchscreen which makes it easier to check your transactions, I don’t think that alone makes the Ledger Blue worth the money.
Here are my issues with the Ledger Blue:
- It has received fewer development and security updates than the Ledger Nano S.
- This is the last batch available to the general public (which probably means updates will be even rarer).
- It supports fewer cryptocurrencies than the Ledger Nano S.
- It’s Bluetooth enabled, but none of their apps actually utilise this.
Overall, the Ledger Blue seems like a dressed up (but inferior) version of the Ledger Nano S.
I wouldn’t recommend it. For the average user, I think the Ledger Nano S is the better option.
If you really want a touchscreen, check out the Trezor T instead. I was impressed when I recently reviewed it.
What Do You Think?
What do you think about the Ledger Blue?
Do you prefer a different hardware wallet?