VNDC Wallet Prolatest release: 1.8.5 ( 12th September 2021 ) last analysed 10th October 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 ¶
The app provides capabilities for staking, exchange, credit line and wallets. It’s staking features allows users to earn up to 12% interest on cryptocurrency assets.
The site carries mostly similar functions as the mobile app.
In its Terms and Conditions, the service agreement allows the platform to:
We may: (a) refuse to complete, or place on hold, block, cancel or reverse a transaction you have authorised (even after funds have been debited from your VNDC Account), (b) suspend, restrict, or terminate your access to any or all of the VNDC Services, and/or (c) deactivate or cancel your VNDC Account with immediate effect for any reason…
In Section 4.11 we find direct references to its custodial nature:
All Digital Assets held in your Digital Asset Wallet are assets held by the VNDC for your benefit on a custodial basis.
We downloaded and installed the app and found it to have standard cryptocurrency wallet features to send/receive, staking and peer-to-peer trading.
This app is custodial 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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