Cryptocurrencies, blockchain, NFT and new trends

GridPlus to open source wallet firmware in Q3 amid Ledger debacle

As accusations are hurled at Ledger over a controversial update, one hardware wallet has decided to open-source its firmware. Others have turned it into a marketing opportunity.

GridPlus to open source wallet firmware in Q3 amid Ledger debacle

Join us on social networks


Amid fallout over Ledger’s controversial decision to allow private keys to be “recovered” from its devices, cold storage competitor GridPlus has announced that it will move to “open source” the firmware of its crypto wallets. 

GridPlus took to Twitter on May 17 to inform its 17,500 followers that it will open source the firmware of all its crypto devices in the third quarter of this year in what it claims is in a bid for greater transparency.

“This week’s hardware wallet discussions laid bare trust assumptions taken for granted,” wrote GridPlus in a follow up comment.

Much of the ire directed at Ledger over the last 48 hours stems from an update to its firmware — a term for software that’s built into a hardware device — that would allow the potential extraction of a user’s private key from their cold storage device, despite reportedly assuring users othe opposite in the past. 

Notably, Ledger’s firmware is closed source, meaning that only developers from the company itself can view the code and inspect it for flaws. Open source code, on the other hand, allows any programmer to access and inspect pre-existing code to improve it and check it for potential errors.

Speaking directly to this point in a May 17 Q&A session on Twitter, Ledger Support clarified that it had “always been possible” for the company to write code that would allow for key extraction, and users must trust in Ledger.

While Ledger’s announcement subverted many user’s understanding of the kind of privacy features its products offered, some have suggested that the outrage has been blown out of proportion.

Competitors appear to have been quick to capitalize on Ledger’s poorly received announcement, with some choosing to offer discounts across the bulk of their products, including Trezor, Blockstream’s Jade and BitBox.