NOTHING. Absolutely nothing is wrong with using a “closed source” Ledger to self custody your funds. Let’s go over the specious arguments put forth by the haters of the Ledger:
- Closed source is evil. Open source is pure and holy and unassailable.
Nonsense. Just because something is open source it doesn’t mean it’s good, superior, or without hacks and flaws. Actually, MOST open source software is crap. Probably 80% or more, just looking at GitHub. Flaws and back doors (accidental or not) get into open source software all the time. Open vs. closed source says NOTHING about the quality or safety of the software. In fact, having the source can CAUSE the software to fall to clever hackers because they can SEE the problems in the code.
- Ledger website was hacked.
Yes, the Ledger website was hacked a few years ago and their mailing list stolen. It still doesn’t compromise anyone’s keys. Yes, they can get your name and spearphish you with emails. Guess what: you’ll be phished every day of your life from now until doomsday because some criminals have been successful that way. Some of the crypto websites you enjoy probably SELL their a mailing lists, and you’re OK with that because you signed up and gave them permission. You’re a smart person and you don’t fall for that shit anyway. This is a complete nothingburger.
- Ledger Live is satan and tracks your every move.
Honestly, the FUD spread about Ledger Live is too bizarre to even keep up with. Ledger Live is just an interface to the Ledger device. It’s not required to buy or move crypto through it. It’s useful for installing “apps” and maintaining your Ledger device even if you never sign transactions through it. But either way, IT DOESN’T HAVE YOUR PRIVATE KEYS. So it can’t rat you out, can’t be hacked to reveal your keys, and can’t cause the loss of your funds. Honestly, I like Sparrow better for signing transactions. Sparrow works seamlessly with the Ledger device and lets me use my own node. Problem solved.
- The Ledger device is unclean because it handles more than just bitcoin.
Yes, the ledger device handles shitcoins as well as bitcoin. Personally I find it handy to have one place for my USDC as well as my bitcoin. Every different coin is handled by an “app” which is isolated from the others. If you have no interest in a coin, don’t load its app. Simple.
In conclusion, the Ledger device is versatile, compact, and works with my iPhone (which is USB challenged and won’t work over its port). It is infinitely safer than holding coin on an exchange. It’s design and operation is sleek and inviting, a marked contrast to bulky, kludgy competitors. Nothing is free of all risk, but the Ledger device meets my standards and I’m glad to have it.
In answer to the haters: Yes, I know what I’m writing about. I have an MSEE from Berkeley and have worked in software most of my life, much of it open source. I learned networking by owning an ISP in the bay area. Being on the other side of the internet connection was a real eye-opener.