As far as I have seen the key is not used as a path - The value would be used as a filepath but it is validated using the isValidBin(...) function. The key is used to reference the value, but isn't used when writing files to disk.
The key is definitely used on the filesystem as that's the name of the created bin/symlink/whatever that is used under nodel_modules/.bin. Now with PnP, maybe we can make that happen in-memory but not sure if that's a worthy investment at this point.
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