Ledger CEO claims key recovery service simplifies self-custody for crypto

The hardware crypto wallet company, Ledger, has received criticism from the crypto community regarding its new “Recover” service. This optional paid feature will eventually allow users to back up and restore their private seed phrase. Due to concerns about the security of this new feature, Ledger has decided to postpone the launch of the service. The company’s chief technology officer, Charles Guillemet, explained on Twitter that Ledger will “accelerate our open-sourcing roadmap to bring more verifiability to everything we do.”

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

Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier told Cointelegraph that Ledger Recover would launch once the company can open-source the code behind the Recover protocol. He further stressed that the new service is optional. The goal behind Ledger Recover is to onboard the next 100 million users to the crypto sector. The concept behind Ledger Recover has upset many of the company’s current users. The head of security products at Fireblocks, Shahar Madar, told Cointelegraph that Ledger Recover goes against the core ideals of Ledger’s customers.

Industry participants believe this service could be useful for onboarding new users and helping current crypto holders keep track of their seed phrases. With this in mind, a service like Ledger Recover may be ideal for some individuals. The good thing about Ledger Recover is that the feature is optional. However, it remains questionable if users would want to pay for such a service, given the current lack of clarity around the new feature. While Gauthier mentioned that Ledger would soon make the code behind the Recover protocol open-source to help users better understand the technology, he explained that users who subscribe to the service would prove their identity through ID verification to ensure that only they have access to their backups.

Ledger Recover uses a cryptographic protocol called multiparty computation, which allows multiple parties to jointly compute a function over their inputs without revealing those inputs to each other. However, the main challenge lies in the transport of the shards, as an attacker may intercept them during transmission instead of trying to attack the Ledger itself. If all shards are transported together to the custodians, they will exist together on a single device, which could be a security concern.

There are mixed sentiments around Ledger Recover until more clarity is revealed about the service. Some believe that non-crypto natives and many crypto users desire recovery support they can trust. However, security concerns remain, especially regarding the possibility of Ledger’s custodians colluding.

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