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Ledger Recover: A New Security Feature Sparks Debate in the Crypto Community

Published on
May 17, 2023
Ledger Recover: A New Security Feature Sparks Debate in the Crypto Community
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Ledger, the renowned hardware wallet provider, has recently introduced a new feature called Ledger Recover. This feature is designed to provide an extra layer of security for users who might misplace their Secret Recovery Phrase (SRP).

But here's the thing: not everyone is thrilled about it. In fact, the crypto community has been quite vocal in expressing their concerns and criticisms about this new feature.

Let's break it down.

Ledger Recover is an optional subscription service. It's designed to give users an additional safeguard for their private keys. The service works by encrypting a version of your private key and splitting it into three fragments using Shamir Secret Sharing. These fragments are then stored by three different parties on cryptographically-secure Hardware Security Modules.

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The Concerns Raised

Sounds secure, right? Well, not everyone thinks so.

Mudit Gupta, the Chief Information Security Officer at Polygon Labs, has been particularly outspoken about his disapproval of the new feature. He's described it as a "horrendous idea" and has urged users not to enable it.

Gupta's main concern is that the encrypted parts of the keys are sent to three corporations. In his view, this poses a risk because these corporations could potentially reconstruct your keys.

And he's not alone in his concerns.

Changpeng Zhao, the founder and CEO of Binance, has also chimed in. He's questioned the new direction Ledger seems to be taking, which appears to contradict their previous stance of 'your keys never leave the device.'

These criticisms highlight a fundamental tension in the crypto world. On one hand, there's the desire for convenience and ease of use. On the other hand, there's the need for security and privacy.

And this isn't the first time Ledger has faced criticism over its security measures.

A few years back, Ledger experienced a data leak that exposed the names and home addresses of all their customers. This incident has left a lasting impression on the crypto community, and it's been brought up again in light of the new Ledger Recover feature.

Crypto investor DCinvestor, for instance, has reminded users of this past data leak. He's expressed concern about the idea of private keys being stored on Ledger's servers.

Bitcoin investor and entrepreneur Alistair Milne has also weighed in. He's suggested that Ledger's new recovery service undermines the whole point of self-custody via a hardware wallet.

In his view, if you're going to give Ledger your private keys and personal information, why bother with a hardware wallet in the first place?

The Bottom Line

Despite these criticisms, it's important to remember that Ledger Recover is an optional service. Ledger has emphasized that users can continue managing their recovery phrase themselves if they prefer. The company has also assured users that the service is not automatically enabled by any firmware updates.

But here's the bottom line: security in the crypto world is a complex issue. It's a balancing act between convenience and privacy, between ease of use and security.

And while Ledger Recover might offer an additional layer of protection for some users, it's also raised important questions about privacy and security.

As with any new feature or service, it's crucial for users to do their own research and consider their own security needs before deciding whether to use it.

So, what's your take? Is Ledger Recover a step forward in crypto security, or is it a step in the wrong direction? The conversation continues.

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