How Long Do Ledger Wallets Last? (What Happens When It Fails)

If you’re contemplating buying a Ledger hardware wallet or you already own one, you might be wondering how long it lasts. Not only did I do extensive research, but I also asked other users about the longevity of owning their Ledger device.

Below you’ll learn how long Ledger wallets last, why they fail, what to do when it fails, and how to increase the lifespan of your wallet.

How Long Do Ledger Wallets Last?

A Twitter poll I took asking users how long they have owned their Ledger Wallet.
Twitter poll I took

According to the manufacturer, the Ledger Nano X battery is made to last 5 years. Also, the Ledger Stax will likely last the same amount of time since lithium-ion batteries generally last 2 to 5 years. The Ledger Nano S and S Plus don’t use batteries, so it’s possible they’ll last longer.

Here is how long each Ledger wallet might last.

Ledger Wallet ModelPotential Lifespan
Ledger Nano S5+ years
Ledger Nano S Plus5+ years
Ledger Nano XUp to 5 years
Ledger Stax2 to 5 years (similar to an iPhone)
Ledger wallets lifespan

Nonetheless, it can be difficult to determine how long these hardware wallets will last, especially since they’re all still fairly new.

I asked my fellow Twitter friends how long they had owned their Ledger wallets and the results were as expected.

44.4% of people said they owned their device for less than 6 months, 27.8% for more than 1 year, 22.2% for 2 years, and only 5.6% for over 3 years.

This isn’t a telltale sign of Ledger’s longevity, but it gives you an idea of how long current users have used their wallets without issues.

Out of everyone that voted, only one user claimed to have a potential issue that wasn’t related to the battery.

However, this problem wasn’t confirmed, and it sounded like a simple update could cure it since it had to do with Ledger Live and not necessarily the device itself.

That said, we can look at similar technological devices to get a good idea of how long Ledger wallets might last.

How Do Ledger Wallets Fail?

The most common thing to fail in hardware wallets and similar devices is the battery. Ledger wallets that use batteries (the Ledger Nano X and the Stax), both use a type of rechargeable lithium-ion battery that have a lifespan of 2 to 5 years.

Ledger has previously stated that the battery in the Nano X will last up to 5 years.

And since the battery used in the Stax is twice as powerful as the Nano X, we can assume it will probably last the same.

The problem with the Nano X is that the battery can’t be replaced. So, once it’s dead, your wallet becomes completely useless (unless you decide to use it as a Christmas tree ornament).

As for the Stax, it’s hard to say if Ledger will offer a battery replacement or not. It’s not so much a question of if the battery can be replaced, but rather if Ledger will provide a service or the parts needed to allow users to replace it.

After all, the Ledger Stax was created by the same man who co-created the iPod and iPhone for Apple. So if the Stax is anything like the iPhone, it’s possible that Ledger will offer a service for replacing the battery.

Or what’s even more likely to happen is that Ledger will continue to produce new hardware wallets every 2 to 5 years in hopes that users will move from the old models to the new model, similar to how Apple operates. Of course, this is just speculation.

Besides the battery, Ledger devices are pretty simple in terms of hardware. The Nano X, for example, is really only made up of only 5 pieces excluding its shell.

It has two buttons, one screen, a battery, the Bolos operating system, and the CC EAL5+ secure chip. All of these pieces are rather durable, as there are no moving parts besides the button.

So, it’s likely that all the pieces will outlast the battery.

Likewise, the Ledger Stax is made up of the first of its kind E Ink touch screen, a secure element chip (ST33K1M5) along with the CC EAL5+, Ledger’s proprietary os, and a built-in rechargeable lithium-ion battery with 200 mah, all wrapped in an aluminum case.

Again, the battery is likely the first thing that will go on this device. So, which Ledger wallet lasts the longest?

If you’re looking for the longest-lasting Ledger device, your best bet is to get a Ledger Nano S Plus since it doesn’t have a battery. Instead, it’s powered by a USB connection.

What Happens If Your Ledger Wallet Dies?

If your Ledger wallet fails, you will have to get a new hardware wallet. As long as you know your secret recovery phrase, all of your assets remain secure though. Upon getting a new wallet you can easily regain access to your assets by importing your wallet using your recovery phrase.

Having said that, you don’t necessarily need to purchase another Ledger wallet if you don’t want to. You just need to get a device that supports the same standard, such as a Trezor wallet.

This is possible because wallets don’t actually store your digital assets, they store your private key and recovery phrase, which act as a key to access your address (account) that lives on the blockchain indefinitely.

Although this might infuriate some, it’s really no different than having to buy a new phone every 3 to 5 years.

Also, if the battery on your Ledger device becomes inoperable, you can still use it by plugging it into a power source using the USB cable.

Unfortunately for us consumers, technology doesn’t last forever. However, there are things you can do to make your Ledger device last longer.

How to Make Your Ledger Wallet Last Longer

There are several best practices that will help your Ledger wallet last longer. Let’s take a look at some of these recommended solutions below.

Buy your Ledger device from a trusted source

The first and arguably the most important method to ensure your hardware wallet lasts a long time is to buy it from a trusted reseller.

I know what you’re thinking, duh! But, you’d be surprised how often someone buys a Ledger device from a non-approved seller.

If you buy a hardware wallet from a non-approved reseller, you risk buying a fake, damaged, or compromised wallet. This ensures a short wallet life.

Either because it shows up non-functional or because you destroy it out of anger because you bought a fake.

Either way, it’s not good.

Charge the device fully once every few months

According to Ledger, the best way to maximize your wallet’s battery life is by fully charging it once every few months, before turning it off to store it again.

Even Panasonic says lithium-ion batteries should be stored with at least a 30-50% charge for best results.

Ensure your device remains up-to-date

Even if you don’t use your hardware wallet often, it’s a good practice to keep it up-to-date by installing the latest firmware. This ensures it remains at an optimal security level. 

Also, new versions of applications you might have on your device are only available on the latest firmware versions, so it’s best to update everything at the same time.

So, how often should you update your Ledger device? 

If you use it often, update it whenever a new version of the firmware becomes available. If you rarely use it, update it every time you charge the battery (assuming you charge it every 2-3 months).

Store the device with the power off in a cool, dry place

When you go to store your device, it should always be stored in a cool, moisture-free place with the power off. Hence, don’t store it in your bathroom in a toilet paper roll (I don’t know if anyone actually does this).

If you live in a part of the world with high humidity, your best and the most reasonable option is to use a couple of desiccant packs to keep moisture at a low.

For example, if you store your Ledger in a safe, throw in a couple of these packs and you should be good to go.

Keep your wallet in a protective storage case

An easy solution to ensure your wallet remains safe in even the harshest conditions, especially if you travel with it, is to keep it in a storage case. Fortunately, for only $39, Ledger offers a storage pod for the Nano X and Nano S Plus.

This pod will help to keep your wallet safe and is worth the investment if you’re trying to keep your device in the best condition possible.

I’m assuming the Ledger Stax will also have numerous protective cases available, similar to the iPhone. I’ll make sure to update this post once they’re available.

About Alex Gomez

Alex is a professional writer based in the U.S. focused on the blockchain industry. With years of experience, he contributes to some of the most recognized publications such as Yahoo, ONE37pm, and others. He previously worked for Gary Vaynerchuk as his NFT editor before going all-in on Cyber Scrilla.

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