Crypto Wallet Maker Ledger Officially Rolls Out 'Recover,' Unleashing Fresh Round of Snark

Recover involves users' private keys being encrypted, duplicated and divided into three pieces held with three different parties – which has spurred controversy.

AccessTimeIconOct 24, 2023 at 4:08 p.m. UTC
Updated Oct 25, 2023 at 6:24 p.m. UTC
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Wallet maker Ledger's "Recover" option is now live, prompting a fresh swath of criticism from some unimpressed crypto users.

When the service was first discussed publicly several months ago, some people said the product undermines Ledger's stated commitment to privacy and security.

Recover, which provides a backup for users' recovery seed phrase, is now available on Ledger's most popular wallet Nano X, CEO Pascal Gauthier wrote in a post on X (formerly Twitter) on Tuesday.

Seed phrases are a random string of 12 or 24 words that a user must remember should he or she need to regain access to a crypto wallet, meaning the digital assets therein would be unrecoverable should the user forget these words or lose their written record of them.

Crypto wallet makers therefore offer various means of backing up seed phrases, but Ledger's proved controversial when it was first announced in May. Recover involves users' private keys being encrypted, duplicated and divided into three pieces that are held with three different parties: Ledger, crypto security firm Coincover and an independent backup service provider.

Gauthier's announcement of this optional, paid-for service was met with a fresh round of snark from X users this week, restating claims that Ledger is asking customers to pay to make their private key more vulnerable.

Ledger's CEO has maintained, however, that this service is meeting demand from users who want to know that their crypto holdings are not at the mercy of them remembering a random string of words.

"Let’s be clear: too many people have lost their digital assets because they’ve lost their Secret Recovery Phrase," he wrote on X. "This risk stops people from using crypto, and certainly from using self-custody."

Edited by Nick Baker.


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Jamie Crawley

Jamie Crawley is a CoinDesk news reporter based in London.

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