Hardware crypto wallet provider Ledger has decided to delay the launch of its private key recovery feature after facing harsh criticism from the community, the company said in a blog post on 23 May.
According to the announcement, the company will postpone the release of Ledger Recover — a service that would allow Ledger owners to restore their private keys even if they forget their seed phrases — until it has improved its transparency and open-sourced more of its codebase. Ledger’s chairman and CEO Pascal Gauthier noted that the company will first open-source core components of its OS and Ledger Recover before releasing the feature. Gauthier tweeted:
The hardware wallet provider faced severe backlash from the crypto community after announcing its Ledger Recover feature on 16 May. One of the main criticisms of the service — which would split a user’s seed phrase into 3 pieces that will be stored with Ledger and two more companies — was that seed phrases will be shared with someone other than the wallet owner.
Critics of Ledger Recover quickly pointed out potential threats to the service, such as the custodians getting hacked, data leaks from know-your-customer (KYC) providers, and the risk of possible government subpoenas. Another point made by the community — which has now been addressed by Ledger — was that the code of the service was not open-source, so there was no way to audit the safety of the custody mechanism.