Ledger’s Recovery Service vs. Trezor’s Shamir Backup: A Comparative Review of Their Recent Features

In the world of cryptocurrency, the security of digital assets is paramount. Two popular options for securing crypto assets are Ledger and Trezor, both of which offer hardware wallets with unique recovery systems: Ledger’s Recovery Service and Trezor’s Shamir Backup. This article will compare the two, examining their features, user responses, and overall security implications.

Ledger’s Recovery Service

Ledger, a Paris-based crypto hardware wallet provider, recently introduced the Ledger Recover service. The new feature was designed to address a common user experience issue: losing the seed phrase, a random string of words that serves as a wallet recovery key. Ledger Recover provides an optional, subscription-based seed phrase recovery service, offering a way for users to secure their seed phrases without worrying about losing them​.

When a user subscribes to Ledger Recover, a pre-BIP39 version of their private key is encrypted, duplicated, and divided into three fragments. Each fragment is secured by a separate company – Coincover, Ledger, and an independent backup service provider. These fragments, useless on their own, can be reassembled into the user’s private key when access to the wallet is needed​.

Despite its benefits, Ledger’s Recovery Service has faced backlash from the crypto community. Critics argue that splitting the encrypted key among third parties could leave it vulnerable, thus undermining the purpose of a hardware wallet. Some also express concerns about the requirement for Ledger Recover customers to provide a government-issued ID, which they see as a violation of crypto privacy principles​.

Ledger’s leadership has defended its service, emphasizing that it is completely optional and denying allegations that it amounts to any sort of “backdoor”. They maintain that users stay in control and that nothing will happen without their consent​.

Trezor’s Shamir Backup

Trezor offers a different approach to recovery with the Shamir Backup, available exclusively on its Model T devices. This method allows users to create, use, store, and protect their recovery seed. In addition to a user-defined PIN, Trezor wallets can also be protected by a passphrase, a user-generated set of letters, words, phrases, and spaces required each time the wallet is unlocked.

Trezor hardware wallets use open-source designs, which allows security experts and researchers to audit every process. This transparency means the device is continually updated against threats. Trezor is trustless and decentralized, like Bitcoin. Even if the company becomes insolvent, the device continues to be a secure place for your coins​​.

However, there is a lack of recent user feedback regarding Trezor’s Shamir Backup on social media platforms like Twitter, making it difficult to assess current user sentiment towards this service.


While both Ledger’s Recovery Service and Trezor’s Shamir Backup aim to provide secure recovery options, they approach this goal in distinct ways. Ledger’s approach focuses on providing a user-friendly service for those worried about losing their seed phrases, while Trezor’s method is built on trustless, decentralized security that aligns with the core principles of cryptocurrency.

It’s important to note that while Ledger’s Recovery Service has received some criticism from the crypto community, the company maintains that it is an entirely optional service designed to enhance user experience and choice. On the other hand, Trezor’s Shamir Backup provides a different method of recovery, one that values transparency and aligns with the principles of decentralization.

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