Something smells fishy:

In a recent interview, Ledger CEO Pascal Gauthier confirmed that the government could potentially access clients' private keys through the Ledger Recover feature in the event of a subpoena. This revelation has sparked concerns within the cryptocurrency community, raising questions about the balance between privacy, security, and government access. In this article, we will explore the controversy surrounding this feature and its implications for users who prioritize self-custody and decentralization.

Understanding Ledger Recover: Ledger, a renowned hardware wallet manufacturer, provides users with a secure means of storing private keys for various cryptocurrencies. Unlike online wallets, Ledger devices are offline and offer enhanced security measures. However, the introduction of the Ledger Recover feature has generated significant debate.

Ledger Recover allows users to split their 24-word recovery phrase into three encrypted shards, which are stored in separate locations, including with an approved crypto custodian. To access this feature, users are required to undergo a know-your-customer (KYC) procedure, providing personal information. Ledger promotes this feature as a convenient solution for individuals who misplace their private keys and need to recover their assets promptly.

During the interview, Gauthier clarified that the government's access to private keys is contingent upon the issuance of a subpoena. Subpoenas are typically reserved for extreme cases, such as investigating suspected terrorist activities or violations of anti-terrorist financing regulations. Gauthier emphasized that these legal measures are not applicable to every user but acknowledged that the government could gain access through Ledger Recover if compelled by a court order.

Gauthier's statements have ignited a passionate discussion within the cryptocurrency community. While he maintains that the Ledger wallets do not contain a backdoor, concerns have been raised regarding the potential implications of the Ledger Recover feature. Some users argue that this optional service compromises the principles of self-custody and decentralization that are fundamental to cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology.

The controversy stems from the fear that government access to private keys could undermine the privacy and security guarantees associated with cold storage wallets like Ledger. Users worry that providing personal information and entrusting a custodian with a shard of their recovery phrase may introduce vulnerabilities, allowing unauthorized access to their digital assets.


The acknowledgment by Ledger's CEO that government agencies can potentially access private keys through the Ledger Recover feature has ignited a heated debate within the cryptocurrency community. While Ledger aims to provide a convenient recovery solution for users, concerns persist regarding the compromise of self-custody and decentralization. As the crypto industry continues to evolve, striking the right balance between privacy, security, and government access remains a challenge.

as always:

before you invest in crypto – invest in yourself