Creators of cryptocurrency wallet Ledger postponed update due to scandal
Creators of cryptocurrency wallet Ledger forced to postpone scandalous update due to public criticism
The hardware cryptocurrency wallet maker will not launch the Ledger Recover tool until it makes its code publicly available
Ledger delayed the launch of its scandal-plagued Ledger Recover password recovery service due to criticism. In a letter to users, Pascal Gauthier, head of the hardware cryptocurrency wallet maker, said that Ledger will not introduce the new feature until its public code is published.
Last week, Ledger announced the Ledger Recover service, which will allow users to split the secret phrase from the wallet (seed-phrase) into three pieces and send them to three different companies for storage. Ledger owners would then be able to recover these phrases in the event of a loss.
In response, Ledger faced a barrage of criticism. Users were outraged at the idea that wallet passwords could be revealed to anyone other than their owners. Numerous commenters wrote angry posts on various social networks, reminding Ledger of its claims that private cryptocurrency wallet keys would never leave the device.
The company tried to justify itself, while admitting that it had always been able to get users' keys through the firmware, but didn't do so. The post was subsequently deleted, but then former Ledger CEO Eric Larchevec added fuel to the fire. He noted that the authorities would be able to access the keys of users who connected Ledger Recover.
Ledger doesn't release all of its product codes to the public, but Gauthier said the company has now learned a lesson from its "unintentional mistake in communicating" with its audience and will be released operating system and tool codes on an expedited basis.
"We've decided to accelerate the data discovery roadmap! We will open up as much Ledger operating system code as possible, starting with the core OS components and Ledger Recover, which will not be released until this work is completed," he wrote.
Code openness will not affect or improve device security in any way, the company promises, but it will make the information transparent to users, and experts will be able to ensure that malicious codes are not present in the devices' software.
Gauthier echoed the idea that a key recovery service is necessary for cryptocurrency users who put their passwords at risk by using less secure types of security and difficult-to-use forms of storage.
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