Blockchains & Coins. You can build on Ledger Live!

Key Takeaways:

  • At Ledger, it has always been in our DNA to encourage internal and external developers to enrich our products. Our code is open-source, that is, available to any external developers or entities. Third-party developers submitted most of the coin applications available on Ledger devices.
  • We extend the Ledger Nano applications model to include the blockchain integration feature to Ledger Live. This means that you can now integrate your own blockchain to Ledger Live!
  • Integrating your blockchain to Ledger Live will allow our 4 million users (at the time of writing this blog post) to easily and safely manage your coin and tokens within our desktop and mobile applications.
  • Elrond team were the first to integrate their blockchain to Ledger Live on their own! Shortly after, Solana did too! Many others are already working on this as well.
  • Why not you? You’ll find all the resources needed, and we’ll be more than happy to collaborate with you. Let’s build Ledger Live together.

A little context

The crypto ecosystem is extremely fast-paced and innovative. Every week, new blockchains are born, and it’s hard - even for degenerate traders - to follow them all. As the leading security company providing a smooth user experience to manage critical digital assets, Ledger is closely monitoring all blockchain protocols and their evolution.

One of our core values being freedom, Ledger Live software has always been open source. In fact, the vast majority of Ledger Nano Applications are already designed by external teams. That being said however, adding a new blockchain remained an internal effort, since most of the work had to be done on Ledger side… until now.

In January 2021, we decided to evolve and extend the Ledger Nano application model to include the blockchain integration in Ledger Live. In retrospect, it was inevitable…

Why should you build on Ledger?

We believe in a future that is decentralized, digitally secure, focused on self-custody and open to developers. To this end, we built an integration framework for developers, by developers.

By implementing your blockchain in Ledger Live, today’s 4 Millions Ledger hardware wallet holders would be able to securely Buy, Sell, Send, Receive, Swap and Stake your coin and tokens within our state of the art and easy to use desktop and mobile applications.

Your blockchain empowers a vibrant DApp ecosystem? You can build your own DApp browser in Ledger Live Discover Section and instantly start listing your DApps.

In 2022, Ledger Live also embeds NFT functionalities. It started with Ethereum, but will be extended to Polygon, Tezos, Solana… The sky’s the limit.

Still not convinced? This 30 second clip should seal the deal.

Elrond, pioneering external blockchain contribution to Ledger Live

In December 2021, Ledger announced the much anticipated support of Elrond (EGLD) on Ledger Live. It is now possible to synchronize Elrond accounts, as well as send or receive EGLD on both the Ledger Live mobile and desktop applications. What very few people know is that the actual development work started almost two years before.

In 2020, the Elrond team reached out to Ledger to release the Elrond Nano application. This development effort was mostly focused on allowing people to secure their Elrond private keys on Ledger hardware wallets. The application was first compatible with the Elrond web wallet, but also recently became supported by Maiar exchange.

In 2021, the Elrond partnership with Ledger took on a new dimension as we began discussing a direct integration within the Ledger Live software. By following our integration guidelines, the Elrond development team was (very quickly) able to add the support of their protocol to the Ledger Live Common part of the application, in order to handle the protocol’s logic. After that, all that remained was updating the desktop and mobile parts to modify the user interfaces.

The entire blockchain back-end is handled by the Elrond team and currently leveraging the Elrond Explorer.

In short, after having successfully launched their Ledger Nano application and built all the necessary tooling for their blockchain, the Elrond team was able to quickly leverage and re-use it for Ledger Live support.

We are very proud to now offer Elrond (EGLD) to Ledger Live users, and even prouder to have been able to work with such an amazing team. Very soon our users will be able to see their ESDT tokens and stake their EGLD through Ledger Live.

Do you want more stories about this collaboration and Elrond? Check this On The Ledger podcast episode!

Solana, rapidly integrating Ledger Live support

Similarly, in late 2021, we engaged with the Solana team. Since a Solana Nano application was already available (see here), and with its ecosystem of partners rapidly growing, implementing a Ledger Live integration was a no-brainer.

After a few weeks, and with a single developer working on the integration, Solana is now available on Ledger Live (starting v2.39).

The Solana account model isn’t exactly aligned with the Ledger Live framework, so it wasn’t obvious at first how to handle the Solana specificities. Thankfully, a perfect collaboration between Ledger and Solana experts made it possible to simplify the UX and offer a perfect experience.

We soon hope to offer Solana staking and SPL tokens to Ledger Live users.

Learn more about this collaboration with the new On The Ledger podcast episode!

Open Source, but not Open Bar

The Ledger Live code is Open source under MIT license. As such, you are free to fork and modify it at will.

In some rare cases, you may want to go at it alone, and do your own solo Integration, where there is virtually no interaction with Ledger, nor code review, nor supported communication by Ledger to your blockchain community. That’s fine!

In most cases however, you will rather have your blockchain officially supported in Ledger Live, with an updated release of Ledger Live Desktop and Mobile. In this case, various Ledger teams will have to be involved: Security, Product, Engineering and QA.

For this second scenario, we strongly encourage you to first engage with us, to make sure that Ledger will be able to assist you and release your blockchain:

  • A dedicated Product Owner will establish a proper channel of communication with your team to ensure that all the requirements are clear, and that no technical blockers will prevent you from completing the integration.
  • Ledger will not ask for financial compensation. Ledger will also not take any credits for the integration. Instead we will actively state the fact that you are to thank for it.
  • In short, this summarizes how these partnerships should work: You build it, you own it. Note this is true for the development process, but also for maintenance.

We strongly believe Ledger Live users own many different cryptocurrencies, and that they should be able to securely manage them all in one place. Ledger Live is de facto becoming the only secure personal crypto self-bank where you can visualize and manage your assets. Your communities deserve Ledger Live support.

What’s next?

Many other exciting projects and teams are already working with Ledger to integrate their protocols as we speak: Crypto.org, Hedera Hashgraph, Celo, or Cardano just to name a few.

Other teams are working on improving existing support. This is the case with the Stellar foundation, for instance, who is currently adding Stellar Digital Assets support on Ledger Live.

On Ledger side, we’ll continue to improve our existing documentation and our integration framework to make it easier for anyone to build on Ledger Live.

Why not you?

If you want to know more:

  • Have a look at our Developer Journey video from Ledger Op3n 2021.
  • Watch this excellent talk from Andrew from the Figment team describing their experience integrating the Celo protocol on Ledger Live.
  • Be sure to check our Developer Portal describing the many types of possible integrations.
  • But most importantly, join us on Discord.

Let’s connect and build the future together!