Ledger emphasized its commitment to self-custody of funds in response to ongoing criticism from customers on May 16.
Earlier, the hardware manufacturer announced a feature called Recover that allows users to restore their seed phrase. This attracted backlash due to its security risks, as the seed phrase is all that is needed to access most crypto wallets.
Ledger exec says Recovery is optional
In a Twitter Spaces conversation, Ledger Chief Experience Officer Ian C. Rogers attempted to reassure users that their data remains safe. He said:
“[Ledger Recover] is a service that allows people to opt in. It’s 1000% optional. If you don’t want Ledger Recover, don’t opt in, and your attack surface doesn’t change at all.”
He said that Ledger is made up of “security and self-custody maxis” and said that the team would not introduce any feature that compromised those principles.
Rogers also said that, despite the present backlash against Ledger Recover, most customers previously expressed a desire for such a feature and reacted positively when the feature was announced in advance weeks ago.
He added that Recover provides $50,000 of coverage in case “something goes wrong.” However, Rogers did not say under which conditions this compensation is available. The company’s official website uses the same non-specific wording and says that this offer is “subject to investigation.”
Feature is not a back door, CSO says
Charles Guillemet, Chief Security Officer at Ledger, went on to describe Recover’s security model. He noted that the feature’s approach to data backup involves sharding encrypted seeds and storing that data with multiple custodians.
Guillemet emphasized that this does not give Ledger or anyone else backdoor access to user wallets or devices. He said:
“[Some say] this feature is going to add a back door. Well, it’s not a back door at all because you stay in control … you decide to use it or not and nothing will happen without your consent.”
It remains to be seen whether these assurances will satisfy users. Ledger’s Recover feature has quickly become one of the most controversial business decisions in the history of cryptocurrency, and commenters on Twitter say that their questions have not been answered.
Ledger is among the largest manufacturer of hardware wallets, meaning that it will likely remain dominant despite any backlash. Its main competitor is Trezor.
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