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Ledger CEO Confirms Access Could Be Given Upon Subpoenas

Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier recently confirmed that in extreme cases such as potential terrorist activities or breaking anti-terrorist financing rules, government subpoenas can gain access to clients’ private keys through Ledger’s ‘Recover’ feature. However, he also emphasized that this is not a common occurrence and will not affect the average user.

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.

Understandable Apprehension

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.

Ledger’s Stand

Ledger’s former CEO Éric Larchevêque acknowledged the fears but reiterated the optional nature of the Recover service. Nothing changes for users who prefer to use Ledger as they always have.

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.

While Ledger’s ‘Recover’ feature might seem like a privacy concern to some, the company insists that the optional service is designed to provide users with an efficient recovery solution. Ultimately, it’s a choice left to the user.

Key Points

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.


Greetings, I go by the name of Flavien - a devoted supporter of cryptocurrency and a tech aficionado who has been keeping track of the developments in the world of blockchain and digital currencies since 2019. The potential of decentralized digital currencies to revolutionize our financial systems has captivated me, and I'm constantly exploring the most recent trends and advancements in this ever-evolving industry. As a content creator for Krypto Channel, my aim is to deliver informative and engaging articles that shed light on all aspects of the crypto world. Whether you're a seasoned investor or simply curious about blockchain technology, I am here to keep you updated on the latest happenings and trends. Being part of this lively and dynamic community is an honor, and I am thrilled to share my passion for cryptocurrency and blockchain with all of you.
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