The extended public key (xpub) is the master public key of an account. All public addresses of a Ledger Live account are generated from an xpub, which is why you should handle it with caution to protect your privacy.
How it works
Your Ledger hardware wallet generates a unique xpub for every account you create. Thanks to the xpub, Ledger Live then generates individual public addresses and checks their balances in the blockchain to calculate your account balance.
Getting the xpub in Ledger Live
- Go to the account to get the xpub for and click on the wrench icon.
- Expand the Advanced logs in the Edit account window that appears.
There you can copy the xpub which looks like a long alphanumeric string beginning with xpub...
Xpub and Privacy
For enhanced privacy, Ledger Live stores the xpub locally on your smartphone when you add the account. Your xpub is never sent to Ledger's servers. It is encrypted by your Ledger Live passcode.
With the xpub, Ledger Live or any other wallet can generate public addresses for you to request payments on. Ledger Live prompts you to verify all your addresses on your Ledger device for optimal security. Please be careful with third-party wallets generating addresses without on-device verification. They are less secure.
Protect your privacy
- With your xpub, anyone can track all past and future transactions of the account. Be critical of how you share your xpub.
- If you've already shared the xpub of an account and want to increase your privacy for future transactions, you can transfer your coins to a new account which has a new xpub.
Xpub and Security
Using an external wallet to generate addresses from your Ledger xpub may cause two security problems:
- An external wallet may not let you verify generated addresses on your Ledger device. Using unverified addresses is not secure. Learn more
- An external wallet may generate more than 20 unused addresses, exceeding the address gap limit. Ledger Live does not detect transactions on addresses beyond the gap limit. An incorrect account balance will be displayed and you may not be able to spend the coins using Ledger Live.