1) ledger: https://bitcoin.org/en/wallets/hardware/ledgernanos/

Variable validation - Payment validation features are provided by the software wallet you use with this device.

2) wasabi: https://bitcoin.org/en/wallets/desktop/windows/wasabi/

Centralized validation - This wallet relies on a centralized service by default. This means a third party must be trusted to not hide or simulate payments.

3) Simplified validation (SPV) - This wallet uses SPV and random servers from a list.

Community, above linked definitions for wallet validation types is taken from the popular bitcoin website. I can understand every type, but the first one called "Variable validation" of Ledger.

Question: Is this technically correct to define Ledger's validation method like bitcoin.org defines it above?
If not, what is from your knowledge Ledger's validation method?

And If yes, I do not understand their definition. Can you explain from technical/censorship standpoint, what it means? How is Ledger using servers for validation, is it their own servers or what is the difference to a centralized validation method?


1 Answer 1


The answer is simple: Ledger is not a wallet, it's a device to improve the security of a wallet. Everything depends on what wallet you use it with.

It's a hardware signing device. They're often called "hardware wallets", but that is a misleading name. It does not manage your money, or send or receive transactions. It's simply a secure, offline, device to hold your private keys, and sign transactions provided to it.

As such, it's really just a way to improve the security of an actual wallet, which it is used in conjunction with. Ledger has their own, but several more common software wallets (e.g. Electrum, Green, Bitcoin Core through the HWI toolset, ...) can use Ledgers as a signing device. The security and privacy tradeoffs you get depend on the software you use it with.

  • @peter-wuille, thanks. Then let me ask a followup please: If you use with the ledger device the ledger's own software wallet , which validation method does this ledger software wallet use? centralized or SPV or other? And what is your analysis from technical view, which is more secure/censorship resistant , centralized or SPV validation method? Thanks Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 14:32
  • That's a different question, which I don't know the answer to (I've never used their own software). Commented Nov 25, 2019 at 14:33

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