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Ledger Defends New Wallet Recovery Feature Amid Backlash

Ledger, the crypto wallet manufacturer, is on the defensive as its new feature - Ledger Recover - faces criticism. The service, storing user seed phrases with third-party custodians, is said to undermine privacy and security. CEO Pascal Gauthier insists it's what future customers desire.

Facing a storm of criticism over its newly unveiled "Ledger Recover" feature, Ledger, the crypto wallet producer, counters the backlash head-on. Critics argue that this service, storing encrypted user seed phrases with third-party custodians, contradicts Ledger's commitment to privacy and security.

In a recent Twitter Space session, Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier stood firm in defending the new offering. He emphasized, "Contrary to the criticism, this is what future customers desire. This service will be key to bringing the next hundreds of millions of individuals into the crypto world."

The incident shines a light on the longstanding tension within the crypto community. As blockchain-focused companies strive to draw new users, reconciling user experience with core principles can prove challenging.

Based in Paris, Ledger provides crypto hardware wallets, often considered the safest method to store crypto. When a wallet is initialized, a seed phrase - a unique sequence of words - is given to the user as a secret recovery key. However, this system has its drawbacks. If a user misplaces the phrase, there's no way to retrieve their funds. Moreover, if the phrase lands in the wrong hands, it could be exploited to break into the wallet.

Earlier this week, Ledger confirmed the rumors of introducing an optional seed phrase recovery service for its Nano X wallet owners. The service, Ledger Recover, aims to relieve users from worrying about losing their seed phrases.

The new feature was not warmly received by a section of the crypto community on Twitter. Critics argue that splitting the (encrypted) key to third parties could leave it vulnerable, undermining the purpose of a hardware wallet.

Defending the service, Ledger’s leadership stressed that Ledger Recover is completely optional, and there's no hidden "backdoor." Gauthier confidently stated, "Our devices haven't been hacked, compromised, or had any backdoors installed. If Ledger ever gets hacked, the company's reputation will be at stake. We won't make such mistakes."