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BtcTurk - Bitcoin Al/Sat

latest release: 1.10.0 ( 7th October 2021 ) last analysed  10th October 2021 Custodial: The provider holds the keys 
4.4 ★★★★★
13108 ratings
100 thousand
6th May 2020

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Please help us spread the word discussing the risks of centralized custodians with BtcTurk - Bitcoin Al/Sat  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 

App Description

The app’s description is in Turkish. For any quotes provided here, note that Google Translate was in use.

btcturk, more than 750 thousand users and is Turkey’s first and largest Bitcoin trading platform.

This is their word on security:

We offer additional security measures in your Bitcoin withdrawals with mandatory 2-Step Verification (2FA) and a personal PIN code for your security. We store 97% of all digital assets in offline cold wallets.

Additionally, in a paragraph about their “wallet”:

You can safely store your Bitcoins on BtcTurk. If you want to transfer Bitcoin, you can deposit and withdraw Bitcoin by activating the Bitcoin Wallet at any time without paying any transaction fees. Moreover, your Bitcoins are under extra protection with Bitcoin Wallet Password!

The Site

Confusingly, BtcTurk claims that it does not provide wallet service.

No wallet service is provided by BtcTurk. Your Crypto Assets held with BtcTurk may be held, mixed and returned in return with Crypto Assets of other users of BtcTurk platform and/or BtcTurk’s own Crypto Assets.

Additionally:

If you want the Crypto Assets to be distributed to be your own property, you must withdraw the relevant Crypto Assets from the accounts at BtcTurk to your own wallet address.

From the User Agreement:

As a prudent trader, BtcTurk is obliged to show the utmost care for the security of cryptocurrencies in accounts maintained on behalf of Users. Users’ cryptocurrencies are stored in cold storage against any cyber attacks. However, despite all these efforts of BtcTurk, BtcTurk cannot be held responsible for theft/fraud that may occur.

The App

Due to the app being for Turkish citizens and with no English translation, we could not register.

Verdict

It is a bit difficult to make a conclusive verdict on this app. However, with the quotes stating that BtcTurk is in control of assets on this platform, we are compelled to conclude that this is a custodial app 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.