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.
The Analysis ¶
Bitcoin Wallet - Airbitz claims to be non-custodial and open source but being the predecessor of Edge, it gets a bit confusing here as it points to the same website for its open source:
• Open-source code. Available at https://github.com/Airbitz
At github.com/Airbitz though, as mentioned in the article on Edge there is no code and we get forwarded to github.com/EdgeApp where there are currently 130 repositories and 81 repositories created by EdgeApp. There at first sight, the most likely source code for Airbitz Android app is airbitz-android-gui.
The Playstore mentiones Airbitz currently and since one year to be at version 2.4.12 yet on GitHub the latest tag is 2.2.0 from three years ago. The currently latest commit on master appears promising, as it has the commit comment “2.4.12”, the version we would hope to see matching the Playstore apk.
So … what do the build instructions tell us?
The Airbitz android application comes in 3 flavors. Production, Testnet and Develop. To build it issue one of the following commands:
Develop version (Seperate App ID which does not conflict with production version. Also uses the develop branch of airbitz-core-java)
For a reproducible build I would have hoped to find some
buildProdRelease and not only
So … lets try this:
airbitz-android-gui/Airbitz$ ./gradlew installProdDebug Parallel execution is an incubating feature. Incremental java compilation is an incubating feature. FAILURE: Build failed with an exception. * What went wrong: A problem occurred configuring project ':airbitz'. > Could not resolve all dependencies for configuration ':airbitz:_nettestDebugApk'. > A problem occurred configuring project ':libs:airbitz-directory'. > No toolchains found in the NDK toolchains folder for ABI with prefix: mips64el-linux-android * Try: Run with --stacktrace option to get the stack trace. Run with --info or --debug option to get more log output. BUILD FAILED Total time: 1.415 secs
Given there is no promise of reproducibility and no instructions on how to build the release version or implicit promise about plugins and APIs not resulting in big differences, we give up here for now and conclude the now obsolete but still available for install wallet Airbitz is not verifiable in its current form.
We could not verify that the provided code matches the binary!
As part of our Methodology, we ask:Is the published binary matching the published source code? If not, we tag it
Published code doesn’t help much if it is not what the published app was built from. That is why we try to reproduce the binary. We
- obtain the binary from the provider
- compile the published source code using the published build instructions into a binary
- compare the two binaries
- we might spend some time working around issues that are easy to work around
If this fails, we might search if other revisions match or if we can deduct the source of the mismatch but generally consider it on the provider to provide the correct source code and build instructions to reproduce the build, so we usually open a ticket in their code repository.
In any case, the result is a discrepancy between the app we can create and the app we can find on the app store and any discrepancy might leak your backup to the server on purpose or by accident.
As we cannot verify that the source provided is the source the app was compiled from, this category is only slightly better than closed source but for now we have hope projects come around and fix verifiability issues.
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