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Ledger CEO Apologizes After a Week of PR Nightmares

2 mins
Updated by Michael Washburn
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In Brief

  • Ledger's CEO regrets security concerns related to Ledger Recover, and admits communication mistake.
  • The company has delayed the launch of Ledger Recover and committed to making as much of its code open-source as possible.
  • Former CEO Éric Larchevêque has described the situation as a "horrible mess."
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Ledger’s CEO has released a statement apologizing for the security concerns surrounding its Ledger Recover product. The company has also said it will work towards making more of its code open-source.

Hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger has announced the firm will delay the launch of Ledger Recover. The new product stores encrypted backups of the user’s seed phrases with a set of three custodians. However, users had deep concerns about the safety of this information and the implications for privacy and security.

Ledger CEO Apologizes

The announcement was part of a Tuesday statement in which Pascal Gauthier, the chairman and CEO of Ledger, addressed the concerns and controversy surrounding the company’s new product.

“It’s always been our intention to continue to open source as much of our code as possible,” read the statement. 

It continued: 

“We will include as much of the Ledger operating system as possible, starting with core components of the OS, and Ledger Recover, which won’t be released until this work is complete. Furthermore, we will open-source the Ledger Recover protocol, enabling the community to have as much choice as possible over your self-custody, in addition to the service being fully optional. This roadmap will be shared and updated by our CTO and engineering team.”

Gauthier blamed the controversy on an “unintentional communication mistake.” He expressed regret for any confusion it caused for customers. The CEO also apologized and assured the crypto community that Ledger will learn from the experience.

In the statement, Gauthier emphasized the importance of providing key recovery services to attract and assist new crypto users who may find self-custody challenging.

Ledger Community Left Angry

Ledger Recover came under scrutiny immediately after it was announced. Members of the crypto community were understandably anxious about sharing the private keys for their Ledger wallet with a third party, which would go against the “not your keys, not your coins” principle to which many in crypto subscribe.

Critics have also voiced concerns over the requirement of KYC registration for the feature. There had not been enough safeguards to ensure that data would be safe, they feel.

Community members are hoping Ledger open-sourcing the code will allow others to audit it, ensuring its safety.

Two days later, the former CEO Éric Larchevêque, described the situation as a “horrible mess.” The co-founder of the company said the community’s anger had left him on “the verge of tears.”

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Josh Adams
Josh is a reporter at BeInCrypto. He first worked as a journalist over a decade ago, initially covering music before moving into politics and current affairs. Josh first owned Bitcoin in 2014 and has followed the space ever since. He is particularly interested in Web3 adoption, policy and regulation, CBDCs, privacy, and the future of the metaverse.
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