Important Message for Ledger Nano S Users | The Radix Blog | Radix DLT

Going back to the original Olympia launch of the Radix Network, many Radix users have used a Ledger Nano S hardware wallet device to control their accounts. Ledger ceased selling this device about a year ago in favor of their newer Nano S Plus and Nano X devices. Difficulties with required firmware updates from Ledger’s makers mean that it may soon become impossible to continue to support the Nano S device due to its more modest hardware capabilities.

This means that the Radix app may even cease to be available to download for Nano S and may be removed from your Nano S when its firmware is updated. Nano S Plus and Nano X users are not impacted.

However, there are a few ways to make sure that you won’t lose access to your accounts or tokens if you’re a Nano S user.

Please read on to understand what to expect and what you can do.

What is happening with Nano S support for Radix?

Hardware wallets are an important option for many crypto users. Ledger devices have been supported in the Radix Wallet since the launch of the Radix network in 2021 as the primary solution, and that support will continue as far as possible.

Recently Ledger’s makers have begun mandating usage of an SDK that they provide that provides standard implementations of certain common Ledger app features. Adoption of these updates are required to be listed on their My Ledger listing, and to be compatible with newer firmware versions. One of these updates was the reason for the brief unavailability of the Radix app for Nano S Plus until the update was made.

Unfortunately, newer versions of this SDK take up greater device hardware resources, and the Nano S device is now quite old and with limited hardware. This means that Ledger apps using newer SDK versions will begin to no longer be updateable for Nano S. More complex Ledger apps (such as the Radix app, which must include logic to understand our transaction manifests) will be impacted earlier.

While Radix is committed to maintaining support for the Nano S as long as possible, a time will come when it is no longer possible to update the Radix app and “fit” within the Nano S’s hardware limitations. At this point, Radix support on the Nano S will cease. It is not currently possible to predict exactly when this will happen – and it is possible that it could be soon. That is why this message is being posted now.

I’m a Nano S user – what should I do?

There are a few options available to you.

1) You can migrate to a newer Ledger device.

Ledger offers the capability of moving the seed phrase from your Nano S to another device like the Nano S Plus or Nano X. If you are willing to do so, the new device will continue to let you use your existing accounts without interruption.

2) You may want to avoid firmware updates for the Nano S.

While generally it is good practice to keep your firmware up to date, be aware that it is possible that a Nano S firmware update may remove the Radix app from your device. If this happens, you will then have no choice but to take option 1: buy a newer Ledger device and migrate.

3) You may choose to move your tokens to another account before Nano S support ends.

If you don’t want to buy a new Ledger device and want to absolutely ensure uninterrupted access to your tokens, you may wish to move your tokens to an account that is not controlled by your Nano S right away, before the Nano S Radix app becomes unavailable. This would be a regular account controlled directly by a seed phrase – often called a “hot wallet”. This can be easily done in the Radix Wallet by simply performing a transfer of assets from the Nano S account to another of your choosing – including transfer of your stakes (in the form of Radix’ LSU tokens).

How does Radix multi-factor fit into the picture?

Support in the Radix Wallet for Radix’s multi-factor account features is in work for release this year. In short, one of the benefits of this system will be that it will prevent issues like this one in the future. Here’s how:

One of the great advantages of multi-factor accounts on Radix will be that the seed phrase or hardware wallet device used to create an account does not have to forever remain the sole controlling factor. When multi-factor is implemented in the Radix Wallet, you will be able to update (or “recover”) the control of accounts with multi-factor enabled to use any factor you choose: whether a new Ledger device, a seed phrase, or other factors that we plan to implement for multi-factor usage such as Arculus cards. No movement of tokens or change of address will be required.

This means that an account with multi-factor access enabled could use a hardware wallet device set to control access to tokens – but if that device became no longer usable, other factors configured specifically to assist with recovery could be used to remove that device and add a different factor to access tokens.

However, this will not help with the current issue with Nano S devices. When enabling multi-factor on an account created with a single factor (like a Nano S device or seed phrase today), you will need to use that single factor to do so. This means that if you lose the ability of using your Nano S device today, later you will still still have to buy a newer one and migrate in order to regain control and then update the account to use multi-factor for the future.


Why can’t Ledger Nano S support for Radix continue?

Unfortunately, updates to the Ledger app software required by Ledger’s makers mean that it may no longer be possible to make the Radix app work within the Nano S device’s limitations.

What happens if I do nothing?

You will not permanently lose access to your accounts or tokens. However, a firmware update may remove the Radix ledger app from your Nano S. At this point, you will have no choice but to buy and migrate control of your accounts to a newer supported Ledger device.

What if I don’t want to buy a new Ledger device?

If you want to absolutely ensure uninterrupted access to your tokens and do not wish to buy a new hardware wallet device at this time, you will have to transfer your tokens to a different account controlled by a seed phrase (often called a “hot wallet”). Once multi-factor support is in the Radix Wallet, these accounts also can be reconfigured to use the new combinations of source factors that this feature will enable.

Why are there no other hardware wallet options than Ledger?

To this point, the priority has been to ensure consistent support of at least one well-regarded hardware wallet for Radix. Once multi-factor is implemented in the Radix Wallet, it will become easier to support additional devices and the intention is to begin adding useful options such as Arculus cards. In fact there will be much more flexibility to use “factor sources” that may not traditionally have been usable for crypto wallets, such as Yubikeys.

Is this only a Radix problem?

No, but Radix may experience it earlier than many other Ledger apps. The more complex the app, the sooner that the Nano S’s hardware limitations will be reached. It is expected that other Ledger apps will begin ending support for Nano S, but Radix may unfortunately be one of the first due to its need to support Radix’s greater transaction feature set (ie. the composability that the transaction manifest makes possible).