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BLW: Bitcoin and Lightning Wallet

Latest release: 0.4.8 ( 13th March 2021 ) 🔍 Last analysed 9th March 2022 . Failed to build from source provided! Not updated in a while
4.2 ★★★★★
368 ratings
10 thousand
1st May 2018

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Older reviews (show 0 of 1 reproducible)

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 2021-08-21: The provider stated here that BLW: Bitcoin and Lightning Wallet Build Error! Stale! was discontinued and its successor is SBW: Simple Bitcoin Wallet Reproducible

So the provider contacted us and cleared many issues we had in our first review. Let’s see how far we get this time …

First thing we notice is that there are still no build instructions on the GitHub page but according to above issue it’s simple enough:

The version we got from Google Play is this:

$ sha256sum BLW.apk 
ffcffa9d3053590b98f845622ab5a4748023245fbacc48f6798ca9ff753f86c6  BLW.apk
$ apktool d -o BLW BLW.apk 
$ cat BLW/apktool.yml | grep "versionCode\|versionName"
  versionCode: '150'
  versionName: 0.4.4

So …

$ git clone https://github.com/btcontract/lnwallet.git
$ cd lnwallet
$ git tag
$ git checkout 0.4.4 
$ docker run -it --volume $PWD:/mnt --workdir /mnt --rm mycelium-wallet bash 
# wget https://downloads.gradle-dn.com/distributions/gradle-3.3-bin.zip
# unzip gradle-3.3-bin.zip
# /opt/android-sdk/tools/bin/sdkmanager ndk-bundle
# ./gradle-3.3/bin/gradle assembleDebug
Parallel execution is an incubating feature.
Checking the license for package CMake 3.6.4111459 in /opt/android-sdk/licenses
License for package CMake 3.6.4111459 accepted.
Preparing "Install CMake 3.6.4111459 (revision: 3.6.4111459)".
"Install CMake 3.6.4111459 (revision: 3.6.4111459)" ready.
Finishing "Install CMake 3.6.4111459 (revision: 3.6.4111459)"
Installing CMake 3.6.4111459 in /opt/android-sdk/cmake/3.6.4111459
"Install CMake 3.6.4111459 (revision: 3.6.4111459)" complete.
"Install CMake 3.6.4111459 (revision: 3.6.4111459)" finished.
Incremental java compilation is an incubating feature.

FAILURE: Build failed with an exception.

* What went wrong:
A problem occurred configuring project ':app'.
> 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.


Which is again the known issue from last time: The gradle version is outdated. It should be 3.1 or above but is defined as

# cat build.gradle | grep "tools\.build"
        classpath 'com.android.tools.build:gradle:2.3.0'

So if there is a good reason for using an old gradle version (2.3 is from early 2015), the team should explain that.

Sadly we again fail to compile due to lack of sufficiently clear build instructions and come to the verdict not verifiable.


Verdict Explained

We encountered a build error while compiling from source code!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Can the product be built from the source provided? If not, we tag it Build Error!

Published code doesn’t help much if the app fails to compile.

We try to compile the published source code using the published build instructions into a binary. If that fails, we might try to work around issues but if we consistently fail to build the app, we give it this verdict and open an issue in the issue tracker of the provider to hopefully verify their app later.

But we also ask:

Was the product updated during the last year? If not, we tag it Stale!

Bitcoin wallets are complex products and Bitcoin is a new, advancing technolgy. Projects that don’t get updated in a year are probably not well maintained.

This verdict may not get applied if the provider is active and expresses good reasons for not updating the product.

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.