If you haven’t used your Ledger for a long time, it may be that you are still using what is known as a Bitcoin legacy address for your transactions. While legacy addresses are still perfectly functional, using one is not ideal, since the 2017 SegWit softfork produced a new type of address that confers several benefits over legacy-type addresses.
If your Bitcoin address starts with a ‘1’, then this means you’re still using legacy type addresses. SegWit addresses, on the other hand, start with a ‘3’. Both address types are cross-compatible, meaning legacy addresses can send funds to SegWit addresses, and vice-versa, ensuring your funds can easily be transferred between address types.
There are a large number of technical differences between the older legacy-type addresses, and newer SegWit addresses, which in-turn provide SegWit users with a number of benefits, including greatly reduced transaction fees, faster signature generation, and compatibility with the Bitcoin lightning network.
To generate your SegWit address, your Ledger Nano S will need to be running on the latest firmware version. If you’re not sure if yours is, follow our handy firmware update guide to ensure your device is fully updated.
What You Need
- A Ledger Nano S running the latest firmware
- Ledger Live installed
- An official Ledger USB cable
Create your SegWit Address
Step 1: To get started, open Ledger Live and click the (+) button next to the ‘accounts’ tab.
Step 2: This will bring up the ‘Add accounts screen. Here, search for Bitcoin in the search box, and select Bitcoin from the list of available cryptocurrencies, before clicking ‘Continue’.
Step 3: Next, you will be asked to connect your Ledger device. Connect this to your computer using an official Ledger USB cable, enter your PIN code, and then navigate to the Bitcoin app on your device.
Once this is complete, you will then be able to select the ‘Continue’ option.
Step 4: After a brief period of synchronization, you will be able to create your new account.
Here, enter the name of your new account, for our example we have chosen ‘Cryptocoin (SegWit)’, but this can be anything you choose. Next, tick the box on the right-hand side of the, which will enable the ‘Add account’ button, finish up the process by clicking this.
Step 5: Now that you have created your new SegWit account, this can now be verified by selecting the new account on the bottom left of Ledger Live, which will bring up a series of prompts to verify your new SegWit address on your Ledger.
All finished! You are now ready to spend from, and receive payments to your newly created SegWit address!