Ledger, the renowned cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer, recently introduced a new Bitcoin (BTC) key recovery feature, aiming to provide users with an additional layer of convenience and security as it will reportedly enable them to back up their private keys so that they may be recovered if lost.
However, the introduction of this feature has not been without controversy, as experts and critics raise doubts about its safety and effectiveness. More importantly, it is indicative of how Ledger may have violated the trust of its user base with potentially catastrophic consequences.
Safety or violation of trust?
When it comes to user satisfaction and building trust, being technically correct is not enough. It is impossible to overestimate the importance of addressing user concerns and striking a balance between security and convenience, as while the new feature may be useful in the long run as far as Ledger is concerned, the crypto community remains unconvinced and feels betrayed.
Since then, Ledger has responded to the criticism and concerns expressed about their new wallet recovery service. The company talks about the specifics and how it intends to help users recover lost or inaccessible Bitcoin keys. Despite the controversy, Ledger defends the implemented security measures and emphasizes their commitment to protecting user assets.
Still, experts have expressed concerns about the security of the new Bitcoin key recovery feature. They evaluate the technical aspects while also examining potential vulnerabilities and risks associated with the recovery process. Twitter user foobar told his 132,000 followers to stop using Ledger hardware wallets as soon as possible, claiming that the company has shown nothing but gross incompetence and wild misunderstanding of their own purposes. Similarly, Polygon Labs CISO Mudit Gupta informed his 61,000 followers that the new recovery feature is a horrendous idea and that no one in their right minds would support it.
What comes next?
While it is optional, the new feature will split the private keys of the users into three encrypted fragments which would be stored by three different companies, including Ledger. Users who once trusted that it was next to impossible for their private keys to ever leave their Ledger devices are understandably livid with this new feature, as they believe it defeats the purpose of having a hardware wallet in the first place.
As to why Ledger would do this, the official statement was that the feature will make it easy for anyone to own crypto by eliminating the confusing and complicated terminologies and processes associated with private keys and crypto wallets. Nevertheless, many believe that this is indeed a violation of trust and numerous Ledger users are now shifting to alternative options like Argent and Trezor.