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OWNR Bitcoin wallet and Visa card. Blockchain, BTC

latest release: 1.6.0 last analysed  1st December 2020
Custodial: The provider holds the coins
4.5 ★★★★★
794 ratings


Our last analysis is based on data found in their Google Play description and their website.
details below 

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Please help us spread the word, asking OWNR Bitcoin wallet and Visa card. Blockchain, BTC to support reproducible builds 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.

The Analysis

So this app claims to be a partner of Bitfinex, one of the biggest exchanges:

  • OWNR is an official partner of Bitfinex.

yet we can’t find anywhere that Bitfinex would link to this app. Bitfinex has their own app which we will also review shortly.

Bitfinex’ Twitter account gets spammed “ownr” at them a lot but there is no mention of that name by them. That looks fishy. Maybe they reply to this tweet.

In the light of the above, we take the claims:

  • Restore HD-wallets with any seed phrase length (12/15/18/21/24 words)

  • Only you sign the transactions and own your keys – we do no store them on our servers

Your seed phrase is stored on your device only

with a lot of skepticism and assume this app to be custodial until further notice from Bitfinex.

Verdict Explained

Custodial: The provider holds the coins
As the provider of this app holds the users coins, verifiability of the app is not relevant to the security of the funds!

This verdict means that the app 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 exclusive control over the funds, so it is not a wallet where you would be in sole control of your funds.

Custodial wallets might not be the worst option for all users.

  • Do your own research if the provider is trust-worthy.
  • Do you know at least enough about them so you can sue them when you have to?
  • Is the provider under a jurisdiction that will allow them to release your funds when you need them?
  • Is the provider 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. Will they detect when for some software error a hacker is spending other people's money before the losses are unrecoverable?

The app 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 app 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.