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Bitex - Crypto Exchange

latest release: 2.9 ( 31st October 2021 ) last analysed  4th November 2021 Custodial: The provider holds the keys 
3.0 ★★★★★
123 ratings
10 thousand
23rd February 2020

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Please help us spread the word discussing the risks of centralized custodians with Bitex - Crypto Exchange  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 

⚠️ Warning: There are many instances which give us pause when it comes to this app. Please see below. Proceed with utmost scrutiny, due diligence and caution when examining this app.

Notes

There is a shocking amount of negative Play Store reviews of users saying that they were not able to withdraw their money:

jasim shaikh
★☆☆☆☆ December 23, 2020
Pathetic app…. my money is stuck for the last 2 months. They don’t even respond back .. no customer support.. no contact centre to call to.. they reply back to emails after 5-7 day with the same reply…..my money is stuck n they don’t have any answer. They are asking me to follow up with my bank.. but they r not giving any transaction reference number..I did a BTC deposit which is also not yet credited… this is a fraud app.. it’s a big scam.. pls don’t open account here.

Sam C Veera
★☆☆☆☆ March 22, 2020
Scammers and thieves! Stay away! They don’t respond to emails or support tickets. I sent them 1000 AED which they have not reflected into my account after 2 days. No phone number or address to be found. Terrible. Just terrible.

Sakshi Mittal
★☆☆☆☆ May 20, 2021
Fraud app. They are scammers. Bitex is a 100% Fraud app. They is no customer support. They never replies to your emails. My deposit is stuck since 4 months now. Its a fraud app. Don’t invest you will loose all your money.

Reviews on the App Store and Trustpilot also report the same problems. We advise users to exercise caution with this app.

App Description

This app is a digital asset trading platform

The Bitex App makes the act of digital asset trading a hassle-free experience with a completely re-imagined UI where both beginner & veteran traders alike can get to grips to with it in no time.

Here is what Bitex says about security:

We already are the safest exchange around but we’ve decided to take the security of both our new and loyal customers to the next level. We’re introducing a two-factor authentication system where both email and, mobile verification will come into play.

The Site

On the site’s homepage, Bitex claims to provide a “multi-signature wallet.”

Your Bitex wallet is secured using 3 keys. First key is stored with us, second key with our wallet partner and third is the recovery key. A transaction goes through only if it is signed by 2 of the 3 keys.

In Terms of Service, Maintaining Your Account:

If there is suspicious activity related to your Account, we may, but are not obligated to, request additional information from you, including authenticating documents, and to freeze any transactions pending our review. You are obligated to comply with these security requests or accept termination of your Account.

Verdict

Bitex has the ability to terminate your account, meaning that it is able to hold your assets in custody. Thus making it a custodial wallet, ergo 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.