Ultimate Guide to Ledger

The ultimate guide to setting up and using your Ledger Hardware Wallet
Nov 11, 20213 min read

Dear Bankless Nation,

A lot of us own Ledger hardware wallets—I use mine daily.

But hardware wallet technology is sometimes tricky. We need a guide.

That’s why we partnered up with Ledger and BanklessDAO to create this Ultimate Ledger Guide. In it, we’ll go over everything you need to know to set up your device and the various ways you can use Ledger with the dApp ecosystem.

This is the guide I wished I had when I got my first Ledger.

Special thanks to the BanklessDAO Writers Guild for their quality guides: Theophile, EricCMack, Ap0ll0517, Samanthaj, Tomahawk, Jake and Stake, and especially Frank America.


Welcome to The Ultimate Ledger Guide (ULG), brought to you by BanklessHQ, in collaboration with BanklessDAO. This is your one-stop-shop for everything you need to know about using a Ledger hardware wallet. For those of you who haven’t heard, Ledger is a cold storage wallet that securely protects your cryptocurrency private keys.

Ledger integrates with the Ledger Live application, which provides access ramps to the many avenues of Web3: DeFi, Swaps, NFTs, and more! In this ULG, you can learn the basics of:

We hope you find everything you need here, feel free to use the titles below to jump to a section most relevant to you. Bankless has taken on the mission of onboarding a billion people to decentralized finance, and knowledge of state-of-the-art Ledger hardware wallets, and using them to protect one’s private keys, is a key skillset for the journey ahead. Let’s dive in!

How to set up your Ledger

In this guide, we are going to walk you through how to set up your Ledger wallet to efficiently and securely store, send, and use crypto assets in decentralized finance. Together, we’ll learn:

  • What is a crypto wallet?
  • What is Ledger?
  • Ledger security checklist
  • Pre Setup: Unboxing, Ledger Live, and installation
  • Device Setup: Initializing your Ledger, PIN codes, and recover phrases
  • Post Setup: Installing applications

How to back up and store your Ledger

In this guide, we are going to maximize wallet security by creating a backup of your Ledger device and some basic security best practices. Together, we’ll learn:

  • How to back up your Ledger device using a mirror device
  • Restoring your Ledger wallet using the recovery phrase
  • Reinstalling downloaded applications
  • Best practices for storing your recovery phrase
  • Best practices for storing your PIN code
  • Testing and confirming storage best practices

How to add and swap assets with your Ledger

In this guide, we are going to review transferring, purchasing, and swapping assets with your Ledger device. Together, we’ll learn:

  • Adding assets to Ledger Live
  • Transferring assets from a crypto bank or exchange to your Ledger device
  • Purchasing assets with fiat using Coinify directly from Ledger Live
  • Swapping crypto assets using Changelly across multiple chains
  • Swapping Ethereum crypto assets using Paraswap

How to stake ETH with your Ledger

In this guide, we are going to walk you through how to use your Ledger wallet to efficiently stake tokens in the Ledger Live application to earn yield. Together we’ll learn:

  • Staking ETH using Lido within Ledger Live
  • Verifying transactions on Etherscan
  • Connecting Metamask with your Ledger device
  • Staking ETH using Lido within Metamask

How to use DeFi & NFTs with your Ledger

In this guide, we are going to use dApps (decentralized applications) to access the world of DeFi with your Ledger device. Together we’ll learn:

  • Connecting to Zerion within Ledger Live
  • Using Zerion with your Ledger device
  • Exploring the existing array for DeFi apps directly in Leder Live
  • Connecting to the broader DeFi ecosystem by connecting Ledger to Metamask
  • Managing your NFT collection with OpenSea
  • Displaying your NFT collection on Rainbow.me

Troubleshooting & FAQ

In this guide, we are going to answer some basic FAQs (frequently asked questions) and walk through common troubleshooting problems. Together, we’ll learn:

  • Is my ERC-20 token supported on Ledger?
  • My Ledger is lost or broken. What should I do?
  • Does Ledger support Binance Smart Chain?
  • My Ledger is not charging and overheating. What should I do?
  • Is my Ledger waterproof?
  • And more!

Go Bankless!

Now that you have navigated this journey through The Ultimate Ledger Guide (ULG), we hope you feel properly equipped to handle all your pertinent needs in this cryptocurrency journey. Ledger, in collaboration with BanklessHQ, and BanklessDAO, has charged us with the duty of education, something we specialize in here at Bankless.

Aspects of these articles may be subject to changes and improvements, as the ecosystem is constantly evolving. Feel free to check back in on any individual article, or peruse the Troubleshooting article if a new issue should arise with your Ledger device. If you have a problem or desire a utility to be better explained that has not been covered in our ULG, please let us know. We’d like to fill in any missing gaps for you. As has been said, we are headed west, and though the journey may not be for everyone, we’re glad you’re on it with us!

Not financial or tax advice. This newsletter is strictly educational and is not investment advice or a solicitation to buy or sell any assets or to make any financial decisions. This newsletter is not tax advice. Talk to your accountant. Do your own research.

Disclosure. From time-to-time I may add links in this newsletter to products I use. I may receive commission if you make a purchase through one of these links. Additionally, the Bankless writers hold crypto assets. See our investment disclosures here.

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