Here's what I think is going on
- Exchange wallets for ether have no seed recovery phrase. Only one's log-in and password to their account on the exchange grants access to their wallet.
- Hardware wallets for ether have no seed recovery phrase, but the hardware device itself does. Meaning that losing the device, and recovering crypto on a new identical hardware device using their device seed phrase grants access to their wallet many times over.
- Web wallets like MetaMask do have a seed recovery phrase.
What explains the difference in the fact that, all the above are by nature Ether wallets, no more no less, yet only web wallets require the owner to set up a recovery seed phrase for the wallet itself?
Is the owner more or less in control of their private keys for one of the options in the list than the others?