BTCC - Trade Bitcoin & CryptoLatest release: 6.1.0 ( 13th May 2022 ) 🔍 Last analysed 17th September 2021 . Custodial: The provider holds the keys
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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 ¶
In its Google Play description:
The BTCC app allows you to register, deposit and trade within 30 seconds. It further allows you to enjoy trading cryptocurrency futures anytime, anywhere. In addition to the major currencies such as BTC, ETH, BCH, LTC, ADA, EOS, XRP, LINK, DOT, UNI, DASH, DOGE, FIL, XLM are also available. Leverage is as much as 150 times your total capital.
Registration was quick and we were able to access the “Deposit” function with the minimum requirements. True enough, a wallet address was generated but with no indication of where the private key might be stored. As this is a centralized exchange, we can assume that it is custodial.
Its Terms and Conditions require AML, KYC, CTF requirements as well as several forms of ID verification.
Interestingly, this exchange also trades in cryptocurrency CFDs. Under normal circumstances, we label exchanges with this function as not having the ability to send or receive bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. However, since we tested the platform and found that it can send and receive cryptocurrencies, we deem this to be a custodial service and thus not verifiable.
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.
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