• At 15€ (~$17), the Ledger HW.1 is a good option for users on a budger
  • Cons
  • No screen means the HW.1 must be setup on bootable USB or offline computer in order to setup securely
  • Buy a Ledger HW.1


    The Ledger HW.1 costs 15€ and comes with free shipping.


    The Ledger HW.1 is an HD Bitcoin USB wallet, meaning the 24 word seed generated on setup is all that’s needed to backup the entire wallet. The original 24-word seed is generated using RNG from the device and the computer. This spreads out the source of entropy.

    The HD seed is then generated offline on the HW.1’s smartcard and displayed on your computer’s screen. This is the main problem with the Ledger HW.1: it doesn’t have a screen. Since the seed is displayed on your computer’s screen, setup your HW.1 on an offline computer or bootable operating system. Ledger offers a USB drive called Ledger Starter which you can use to setup your HW.1 securely.

    A 4-digit pin code is added on setup. The pin code is required to view balances when plugged into any computer and for each transaction. Three incorrect guesses of the pin code will wipe the device.

    The Ledger HW.1 comes with a security card that provides extra two factor authentication and prevents man in the middle attacks. The HW.1 uses the security card as 2-factor authentication because it lacks a screen.

    Each time you need to send a payment you will be asked to input some of the letters or numbers from the recipient address using the security card.

    ledger security card

    Using the example security card shown above, b equals 9 while x is 1. Each security card is unique and provides two-factor authentication in the case that your HW.1 is stolen. If someone has your HW.1 and your pin code, but not the securty card, they won’t be able to send your funds.

    The HW.1 uses an CC EAL5+ smartcard to securely sign Bitcoin transactions.

    Setup and Initialization

    To setup your HW1 you will need to use the Ledger Wallet Chrome extension or the Ledger Starter. Using the Ledger Starter is more secure because it creates your seed in a secure enviroment.


    As with any hardware wallet, using your device is only as private as the software wallet it’s used with. Many software wallets have support for the HW.1: Electrum, Mycelium, Copay, GreenBits, GreenAddress, Coinkite, and the Ledger Chrome wallet. Electrum, Mycelium and Coinkite support Tor and can offer additional privacy. Copay can be used with a Bitcore full node which is also a very private way to use your HW.1.

    Ledger Mobile Apps

    Unlike the TREZOR or KeepKey, the HW.1 doesn’t have a screen that can be used to verify outgoing transactions. Instead, Ledger’s iPhone app or Android app can be used a screen to confirm payments. This isn’t ideal, as the mobile apps will in most cases run on internet-connected devices. It is, however, a decent solution for a hardware wallet with no screen.

    HW.1 vs. TREZOR

    TREZOR and the Ledger HW.1 are often compared. The main difference is TREZOR offers a screen, the ability to add a passphrase to the HD seed, and offline setup by default. The Ledger HW.1 wins in terms of price but offers less features and arguably less security.

    HW.1 vs. KeepKey

    The main difference between the Ledger HW.1 and KeepKey is that KeepKey has a screen, while the Ledger HW.1 does not.

    HW.1 vs. Paper Wallet

    The Ledger HW.1 may be better than a paper wallet for less technical users. Paper wallets can be hard to setup and it’s easy to make mistakes. The HW.1 makes creating secure offline storage easy. Although paper wallets are just as secure if created correctly.

    Promo Code

    There are currently no Ledger promo codes available. If a coupon or discount code becomes available, we’ll update this post.

    Does the HW.1 Work with Litecoin?

    The HW.1 can be used to store Litecoin, DASH, and other altcoins. It’s up to software wallet developers to integrate support–the device itself is compatible with any altcoin.

    Buy a Ledger HW.1