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Buycoins - The easiest way to buy & sell crypto

Latest release: 1.1.85 ( 18th May 2022 ) 🔍 Last analysed 8th October 2021 . Custodial: The provider holds the keys
4 ★★★★★
281 ratings
10 thousand
16th April 2021

Jump to verdict 

Help spread awareness for build reproducibility

Please help us spread the word discussing the risks of centralized custodians with Buycoins - The easiest way to buy & sell crypto  via their Twitter!

Do your own research!

Try out searching for "lost bitcoins", "stole my money" or "scammers" together with the wallet's name, even if you think the wallet is generally trustworthy. For all the bigger wallets you will find accusations. Make sure you understand why they were made and if you are comfortable with the provider's reaction.

If you find something we should include, you can create an issue or edit this analysis yourself and create a merge request for your changes.

The Analysis 

Update 2021-10-08

We noticed that there were 2 other apps with similar logos and similar sounding names:

  1. BuyCoins - Buy & Sell Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin Custodial! Defunct!
  2. Buycoins Pro - The fastest way to trade crypto Custodial!

Number 1, has been found to have some red flags according to the previous reviewer. We tried to access Google Play’s ratings for that app, but that app’s page is no longer available.

We have yet to review BuyCoins Pro.

Google Play Critical Reviews

Naphtali Noah
★☆☆☆☆ August 17, 2021
My first time using this app and its giving me tough time. I couldn’t log in cause its showing wrong password and later on locked the app for 6 hours. This is horrible


abiola okubanjo
★☆☆☆☆ May 6, 2021
Let’s go back to the old app, this new app is annoying, nothing is working, no p2p, can’t deposit, can’t withdraw, can’t buy and sell coin. Why bring an update that is not not working?

Company/Developer Profile

Developer/Company: Crunchbase Profile - Bitkoin Africa Inc.
CEO: Crunchbase Profile: Timi Ajiboye

According to a pinned tweet dated October 1, 2021:

Today, ⁦@buycoins⁩ turns 4. Today, we become Helicarrier.

The Medium post referenced by the tweet can be found here.

Some quotes:

We’ve gone from a website for P2P Bitcoin trading to building:

  • Buycoins — The easiest way to buy, sell and store cryptocurrencies in Africa.
  • Buycoins Pro — Orderbook for advanced digital asset trading.
  • Sendcash — Crypto powered remittance.
  • Sendcash Pay — A suite of developer tools that let you add borderless payment experiences to your digital products.
  • NGNT — A collateral-backed digital currency that bridges the Naira with the advantages of decentralized blockchain technology.

It is noteworthy that despite the critical reviews, the developer has constantly responded to the criticism in a professional manner. while there may be problems with the app, for now, we believe it is more prudent to assess these problems due to faulty implementation.

With that said, we advise potential users to take the necessary precautions.

App Description

The features are described:

  • Send and receive cryptocurrencies easily
  • Zero transaction fees
  • Fast payments
  • Secure wallet
  • Buy cryptocurrencies - Fund your account with Naira and easily buy Bitcoin, Ethereum, USDT and other cryptocurrencies.
  • Instantly sell your coins and withdraw your money to your bank account.

The Site

Terms of Service

The Terms specify the site’s power to freeze the assets of the user in section 5.4,

We reserve the right to cancel and/or suspend your Buycoins Account and/or block transactions or freeze funds immediately and without notice if we determine, in our sole discretion, that your Account is associated with a Prohibited Use and/or a Prohibited Business.

The App

We downloaded the app and tried to register. We were unable to register because the OTP (One-Time Password) did not arrive.

Verdict

Despite our inability to register both on the app and on the web platform, we have sufficient reason to believe that this app is custodial due to their ability to cancel the accounts and freeze the funds of users. Any app that has the ability to do this in their own sole discretion makes it custodial and therefore not verifiable.

(dg)

Verdict Explained

As the provider of this product holds the keys, verifiability of the product is not relevant to the security of the funds!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Is the product self-custodial? If not, we tag it Custodial!

A custodial service is a service where the funds are held by a third party like the provider. The custodial service can at any point steal all the funds of all the users at their discretion. Our investigations stop there.

Some services might claim their setup is super secure, that they don’t actually have access to the funds, or that the access is shared between multiple parties. For our evaluation of it being a wallet, these details are irrelevant. They might be a trustworthy Bitcoin bank and they might be a better fit for certain users than being your own bank but our investigation still stops there as we are only interested in wallets.

Products that claim to be non-custodial but feature custodial accounts without very clearly marking those as custodial are also considered “custodial” as a whole to avoid misguiding users that follow our assessment.

This verdict means that the provider might or might not publish source code and maybe it is even possible to reproduce the build from the source code but as it is custodial, the provider already has control over the funds, so it is not a wallet where you would be in exclusive control of your funds.

We have to acknowledge that a huge majority of Bitcoiners are currently using custodial Bitcoin banks. If you do, please:

  • Do your own research if the provider is trust-worthy!
  • Check if you know at least enough about them so you can sue them when you have to!
  • Check if the provider is under a jurisdiction that will allow them to release your funds when you need them?
  • Check if the provider is taking security measures proportional to the amount of funds secured? If they have a million users and don’t use cold storage, that hot wallet is a million times more valuable for hackers to attack. A million times more effort will be taken by hackers to infiltrate their security systems.
The product cannot be independently verified. If the provider puts your funds at risk on purpose or by accident, you will probably not know about the issue before people start losing money. If the provider is more criminally inclined he might have collected all the backups of all the wallets, ready to be emptied at the press of a button. The product might have a formidable track record but out of distress or change in management turns out to be evil from some point on, with nobody outside ever knowing before it is too late.