What Is Ledger’s BOLOS? How Does It Secure a Ledger Hardware Wallet?

Ledger is one of the world’s most popular hardware crypto wallet providers, offering people a super secure way to store their private keys. One of Ledger’s key attributes is something known as BOLOS. But what exactly is BOLOS, how does it work, and does it make Ledger’s wallets the best in the game?

What Is Ledger?

Founded in 2014, Ledger specializes in the development of hardware cryptocurrency wallets. A hardware crypto wallet is a device that allows you to store your private keys offline, which makes them almost entirely impervious to online theft. While hardware crypto wallets can be expensive, many crypto users opt for them over software wallets because of their increased security levels.

Ledger has two main wallet models, the Nano S and the Nano X. The company also sells additional products, such as its Cryptosteel capsule, which allows you to physically store your seed phrase in a highly secure way. However, the company is mostly renowned for its hardware wallets.

While Ledger’s wallets have a lot to offer, one of its most promoted features is BOLOS, its custom operating system. But how does this work, and what can it do for users?

The Basics of BOLOS

BOLOS is an acronym for Blockchain Open Ledger Operating System and was released by Ledger in 2016. Upon the launch of BOLOS, Ledger stated that it aimed to turn its hardware wallets into “personal security devices.” This operating system is entirely unique to Ledger’s hardware wallets. Ledger developed this custom OS to serve and benefit its users in a number of ways.

While BOLOS has a few different purposes, one of its most unique properties is its ability to support the development of pluggable blockchain applications, which is something that other hardware wallets do not currently offer. As stated by Ledger, BOLOS “puts developers in the driving seat,” allowing them to build source code securely.

Another element that plays into this is BOLOS’s ability to isolate different applications from each other. This means that, through BOLOS, no applications can ever interact with each other, keeping the information on each application super secure. BOLOS also isolates your seed phrase from any existing applications.

BOLOS also works in tandem with a Secure Element (SE) to keep user data safe. Secure Element is a chip that can safely support applications and store cryptographic data on a given device. This chip is also tamper-resistant and protects against unauthorized access. By working with the SE chip, your private keys can be kept protected at all times.

Additionally, BOLOS requires physical confirmation for all transactions. This means that a button on your Ledger hardware wallet must be physically pressed to authorize any given transaction, which prevents malicious parties from remotely authorizing any transactions without your permission or knowledge. So, when a transaction is initiated, you can either click a button to confirm or another button to reject its completion.

So, it’s clear that BOLOS has its perks, but does it make Ledger’s wallets the best in the market?

Does BOLOS Make Ledger the Superior Wallet Provider?

At the moment, there isn’t a huge number of hardware wallet providers out there. The two most prominent are currently Trezor and Ledger, though other brands like SecuX and SafePal also offer hardware wallets. However, aside from Ledger, none of these companies use BOLOS or anything that works similarly.

Ledger’s BOLOS certainly highlights it as one of the best hardware crypto wallet providers in the game, but, like any hardware wallet out there today, Ledger’s models come with their downsides. For example, some are critical of Ledger’s choice to use closed source firmware, which cannot be built upon or improved.

Ledger also experienced a database breach in December 2020, wherein a huge swathe of data leaked, including names, email addresses, and phone numbers. As a company with a key focus on security, this didn’t look too good for Ledger.

But this isn’t to say that Ledger’s wallets are not prime products. The Nano X and Nano S have an array of attributes that make them solid options for those who want to store their private keys securely.

Ledger’s BOLOS Offers Users Extra Security and Support

There’s no denying that Ledger’s BOLOS is good news for both developers and crypto holders, with transaction security, app isolation, Secure Element integration, and top-tier protection for seed phrases and private keys. Though Ledger’s wallets are by no means perfect, their BOLOS support certainly solidifies them as some of the best wallets on the market today.

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