How to use a Ledger Wallet with NEAR Protocol
NEAR Protocol is available on Ledger Wallet to bring you an extra layer of security to your Ⓝ .
Storing your assets in a cold wallet means that your funds are under significantly less risk of hacking attacks, as your device works somehow as a 2FA (Two-Factor Authentication) and gives you more security.
Another significant advantage of using a hardware wallet is storing several keys for different blockchains like Bitcoin inside just one device instead of keeping hundreds of passphrases.
Setting up your Ledger Wallet is easy but takes a few extra steps compared to simply writing down your seed phrase. For getting this journey smoother, this walkthrough comprises the whole process since the first-time setup of a Ledger Nano S.
As of this writing, the Trezor Wallet is not ready for NEAR Protocol yet.
What is a Ledger Wallet?
The Ledger Wallet is one of the most adopted hardware wallets used for storing, exchanging, and staking cryptocurrencies. It is a physical object that holds your private keys offline and needs physical access to the device so you can interact with the blockchain.
It looks similar to a USB stick and works as a storage device for your private keys and ruled by a master password set by the user. Nowadays, Ledger supports over 1500+ blockchain tokens including NEAR Protocol, Bitcoin and many others.
The Ledger Wallet uses a desktop software called Ledger Live to manage the apps installed.
Why use a hardware wallet to store your Ⓝ
A hardware wallet is incredibly helpful in case a cryptocurrency user does not want to create a different password for each blockchain you need to interact with or if you do not want to write down an infinite number of seed phrases.
As the Ledger is not connected 24/7 to the internet and needs to be connected through a USB cable or Bluetooth (Ledger X only), no person can access your private keys without having physical access to the device and entering your password, adding a tremendous extra layer of security to your assets.
The Ledger comes with a unique set of 24 words also known as the recovery phrase. In case your Ledger is lost or damaged, you can recreate your device keys by entering them to a new device.
Step One: Setting up your Ledger Wallet for the first time.
First, head to www.ledger.com to download your Ledger Live to sync with your Ledger Wallet. This is the main hub to manage your Ledger Wallet and all your stored private keys.
- Choose your PIN code composed of 8 numbers.
- Confirm your PIN code
- Write down your recovery phrase.
Your 24-word recovery phrase is the only backup of all your private keys stored inside your Ledger Waller. In case you lose or damage your device, this is the only way of recovering your access to your coins.
Also, in case someone else finds your recovery phrase, your whole account and private keys can be restored into a new device. It is crucial to keep this information in a safe place and away from strangers.
Step Two: Getting your Ledger Wallet ready to use.
- Configure your Ledger Wallet and the Ledger Live
- Choose your Ledger Live password and confirm.
- Update the device to the latest firmware (1.61 by as of this writing)
Once again, do not forget to write down your recovery phrase and keep it somewhere safe. Your 24-word Recovery phrase is the only backup of all your private keys stored inside the device.
Step Three: Install the NEAR app on your Ledger Wallet.
As of this writing, the NEAR Ledger app is still pending review, meaning that you will need a few extra steps to get it running on your Ledger Wallet.
In case you are reading this article after the app received the green light, feel free to skip the steps below.
- Open the Ledger Live, head the Settings tab and click on the Experimental features tab.
- Habilitate the Developer Mode
- Head back to the Manager tab on the left side and search for the NEAR app. Click on install to open it.
- Be sure to double-check your address when requested and confirm.
Step Four: Creating your NEAR Account
Now you will first need to create your near.org account to then link it with your Ledger Wallet.
- Head to www.wallet.near.org and choose the option Create Wallet.
- This process will generate you a 12-word phrase (your private keys) and will give you a 64 character address, which is your NEAR Wallet address.
- The next step is funding your account. You will need at least 1 Ⓝ for finalizing the registration and 2.0538 Ⓝ as a minimum balance to keep your account active.
- Once you claim your account, it is time to register it with your Ledger Wallet.
Step Five: Registering a NEAR Account to your Ledger Wallet.
Now that your NEAR account is topped with some Ⓝ and you wrote down the 12-word passphrase, it is time to link it with your Ledger Wallet.
- First head to your Profile found on the right upper part of your NEAR wallet dashboard.
- Scroll down until there is the option Ledger Nano S or X and confirm it.
- Unlock your Ledger Wallet with your password and open the NEAR app.
Your Ledger Wallet will prompt a message asking to export your private keys and require you to confirm the operation on your device.
Your Ledger Wallet will secure your wallet and will ask to remove all other existing recovery methods. This action is highly recommended for an extra layer of security, as you won´t need to keep the 12-word phrase generated by the NEAR Wallet anymore.
Step Six: Ready, Set and Go: getting yourself a @Near.org address
NEAR Protocol also allows you to create a unique address for your wallet. This is slightly more helpful as you can share with friends something that looks like an email address instead the 64 character address.
- Head to https://wallet.staging.near.org/create
- Choose your unique address
- Choose Ledger Wallet and connect
- After that you will be asked to confirm the transaction.
And it is a wrap!
Now you have your Ledger managing your NEAR keys, and you can use any computer to read, write and interact with the NEAR Protocol with total security.
Hope you enjoyed this walkthrough and had lots of fun setting your account!