Ledger’s Private Seed Phrases Might Be Shared if Subpoenaed – CEO


Pascal Gauthier, the CEO of popular hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger said the firm could share details of customers’ private seed phrases with the government if subpoenaed.

The CEO gave the statement following controversies surrounding the introduction of Ledger’s newly introduced retrieval solution for its hardware crypto wallets, known as Ledger Recover.

Conditions for Sharing Users Private Seed Phrases

While Gauthier has admitted in a podcast that the new Recover update could theoretically result in users’ seed phrases being provided to government entities, the CEO emphasized that it would only be used for specific cases such as drug crimes and terrorism.

However, the podcast’s host, Peter McCormack, refuted the claim, citing Coinbase being subpoenaed by the US Internal Revenue Service in 2018 and being compelled to hand over the personal details of its users.

Interestingly, Gauthier disputed this illustration as a flawed analogy. According to the CEO, Ledger, unlike Coinbase, is not a financial institution and is not subject to the same legal constraints as crypto exchanges.

Are Users’ Concerns Valid?

Private seed phrases are crucial for accessing and controlling crypto holdings, and users generally prioritize the privacy and security of their sensitive information. Against this background some crypto users such as 0xFoobar, a pseudonymous crypto commentator on Twitter have raised concerns over potential breach of privacy.

On the other hand, representatives from Ledger argue that the concerns are exaggerated. Despite the numerous accusations leveled at the company on social media, Ledger stated that the original seed phrase remains on the device.

Ledger’s Firmware Update

Ledger’s newly introduced firmware update called “Recover” offers users the option to back up their seed phrases with third-party entities. By allowing users to back up their seed phrases with trusted third-party entities, Ledger hopes to provide a potential recovery option for users who may have difficulty accessing their wallets due to seed phrase loss. 

Products Offered by Ledger

Ledger has a good deal of hardware wallet models available, including the Ledger Nano S, Ledger Nano X, and Ledger Nano S/X bundle.

These wallets support a variety of cryptocurrencies and include features such as secure key generation, transaction signing, and integration with other software wallets or cryptocurrency exchanges such as Coinbase to support hardware wallets.

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