French hardware wallet provider Ledger was criticized after the announcement his seed phrase recovery service. With its tail between its legs, Ledger announces a temporary postponement of the update. Pascal Gauthier, the CEO of Ledger, communicates the decision in a Twitter message to users. The company says it has heard the feedback about Ledger Recovery and unveiled a roadmap for a open source implementation of the service.
Ledger’s mission is, and will always be, to provide our users with the right tools to own their digital value securely.
We have decided to accelerate our open-sourcing roadmap to bring more verifiability to everything we do.
A thread 🧵 pic.twitter.com/Dv0jBCM4Ys
— Charles Guillemet (@P3b7_) May 23, 2023
The Ledger Controversy
A seed phrase is a unique word combination of usually 12, 18 or 24 random words. The combination of words makes it possible for you private key even if you lost the seed phrase itself. Securing the private key is crucial to prevent unauthorized persons from making unauthorized transactions.
The proposed service, called Ledger Recover, would allow users to store encrypted backups of their seed phrases. According to the company, this would be done in a secure way by distributing the phrase and storing it with three different service providers.
Despite the service being optional, sharing your seed phrase goes against the principles of self-preservation according to many crypto fanatics. Sharing this data with a third party makes it more susceptible to hacks or data leaks. People became even angrier when the CEO of Ledger announced that governments in theory may require access through a subpoena. In a blog post, the CEO writes the following about the controversy:
“Ledger never compromises on security. Our inadvertent communication error surprised everyone and impacted our client’s ability to accurately understand Ledger Recover, its role for the growing crypto community and for Ledger’s future offerings.”
Ledger Recovery code becomes open-source
In response to the criticism, Ledger has decided to delay the release of the feature until the code open source is available. Ledger’s CEO says the following:
“We made the decision to accelerate the open sourcing roadmap! We will include as much of the Ledger operating system as possible, starting with the core components of the operating system, and Ledger Recover. We do this for more transparency in the future; this does not change the security of your device.”