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Ballet Crypto Pro

🔍 Last analysed 23rd March 2022 . Provided private keys
19th September 2021

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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.

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.

What is a bearer token?

Bearer tokens are meant to be passed on from one user to another similar to cash or a banking check. Unlike hardware wallets, this comes with an enormous "supply chain" risk if the token gets handed from user to user anonymously - all bearer past and present have plausible deniability if the funds move. We used to categorize bearer tokens as hardware wallets, but decided that they deserved an altogether different category. Generally, bearer tokens have these attributes:

  • secure initial setup
  • tamper evidence
  • balance check without revealing private keys
  • small size
  • low unit price
  • either of ...
    • somebody has a backup and needs to be trusted
    • nobody has a backup and funds are destroyed if the token is lost/damaged

The Analysis 

The Ballet Crypto Pro is the third product from the Ballet Crypto series.

It is described as a multi-currency cold card meant for the more discerning cryptocurrency holder. If the Ballet Crypto Pure series is for novelty collectors, the Pro has features that are more attuned to the privacy and security conscious.

The private key is encrypted with a passphrase that is custom provided by the user upon purchase. Despite the extra effort made by the provider, security-wise the private key still passes through the hands of the provider.

A BIP38 confirmation code is engraved on each wallet, which allows you to use open-source BIP38 software to cryptographically verify that the encrypted private key can actually be unlocked by your passphrase.

To keep up with BIP38 standards and to verify authenticity of the cards, Ballet put up balletcrypto.org which should be accessed subsequently with an offline and secure device. The process is as follows:

Step 1

Enter your wallet passphrase. Remove the tamper-evident scratch-off to get the wallet passphrase.

Step 2

Verify using BIP38 confirmation code. You can use the Ballet Crypto mobile app to get your wallet’s BIP38 confirmation code.

OR

Decrypt using BIP38 encrypted private key. Peel off the top layer sticker and scan the encrypted private key QR code, which is set against a yellow sticker.

Similar to all Ballet series of crypto cards, the PRO also requires a companion app: Ballet Crypto No Source!

The Ballet Crypto app is a companion app to your Ballet wallet. When using the app, your assets are kept completely offline on your wallet. The app does not store the credentials of your wallet and cannot access your private key. Your assets are kept offline and no one can hack or otherwise gain access to your funds through the app.

Interface

The encryption and customization of the private keys grants a better level of security compared with REAL and PURE. However, like the other cards in this series, PRO lacks a display interface and a mechanism to input. It is reliant on the companion app not only for display and transaction confirmation but also for handling of the private keys. This defeats the purpose of a hardware wallet as now the companion app or its underlying operating system can again steal all your funds trivially. Even with the best effort of the provider to not have a hand in ever touching the private keys, users would have to rely on the promises of the provider.

Verdict

In all the BalletCrypto series, BalletCryptoPro is the only one which does not employ the 2FKG manufacturing process. To quote:

All Ballet products (except PRO Series) use 2FKG in the production process. During the production process of Ballet products, the private key has never been generated. The moment when the private key is created is when the customer combines the wallet passphrase and the encrypted private key, a process which decrypts the private key for the first time ever.

(dg)

Verdict Explained

The device gets delivered with private keys as defined by the provider!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Are the keys never shared with the provider? If not, we tag it Provided Keys!

The best hardware wallet cannot guarantee that the provider deleted the keys if the private keys were put onto the device by them in the first place.

There is no way of knowing if the provider took a copy in the process. If they did, all funds controlled by those devices are potentially also under the control of the provider and could be moved out of the client’s control at any time at the provider’s discretion.

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.