The Essence of Ledger Recover
Ledger, a hardware wallet manufacturer, offers users the convenience of storing the private keys of various cryptocurrencies securely. The Ledger devices are cold wallets and technically offline, making them safer for storing large amounts of cryptocurrencies.
The company’s recently introduced ‘Recover’ feature, however, has stirred debate within the crypto community. The feature splits the 24-word recovery phrase (or the seed phrase) into three shards, encrypts them, and stores them in three separate locations, including with an approved crypto custodian. Users opting for this feature must also submit personal information as part of the know-your-customer (KYC) procedure.
Controversy and Concerns
Despite Ledger’s assertion that this feature provides a swift recovery route for misplaced private keys, concerns persist. Critics argue that it could potentially provide a backdoor for government agencies to access private coins without user authority, undermining the principles of self-custody and decentralization that crypto and blockchain espouse.
The CEO’s Assurance
In response to these concerns, Gauthier assured users that their funds were safe and that no backdoor had been created in their wallets. He clarified that governments could only access the private keys of users utilizing the Ledger Recover feature, and only if a subpoena is issued.
Although Gauthier tried to alleviate concerns by pointing out the rarity of subpoenas issued to average individuals, the cryptocurrency community remains divided. Some crypto holders are considering other hardware providers due to skepticism around Ledger’s new feature.
What Ledger Recover Truly Means
Despite the uproar, Ledger representatives claim that the original seed phrase does not leave the device. The Recover feature is for those who find the service beneficial and choose to subscribe. Ledger also stated that due to legal constraints from the chip manufacturer, they couldn’t make the inner workings of its “secure element” chip open source, but they would continue to open source more of their code.
Is Ledger Recover mandatory?
No, Ledger Recover is an optional feature.
Can governments access my private keys through Ledger Recover without my consent?
Governments can only access private keys in extreme cases, and only if a subpoena is issued.
Can I use Ledger as before without subscribing to the Recover service?
Yes, nothing changes for users who do not wish to use the Recover feature.