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Chainlock

🔍 Last analysed 23rd March 2022 . Provided private 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.

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 

Chainlock is a card wallet that can be kept or passed on from one user to another. It also advertises that it is “100% offline”

Private keys can be created offline

The website states that the keys are printed.

Key generation in the high-security zone of the Austrian State Printing House (OeSD): the generation procedure, for which a patent application has been filed, ensures that nobody can view the key pair – not even OeSD staff.

From the section: ‘How does Chainlock work?’

Once you have removed the security seal so that the private key is visible, you can hide it again using the protective sticker that is provided with the private key. The protective sticker is sufficient to make sure that the human eye cannot decipher the key information.

Private keys are not shared

The private key is purportedly protected by a protective sticker/security seal. The site makes this following claim:

Once you have removed the security seal so that the private key is visible, you can hide it again using the protective sticker that is provided with the private key. The protective sticker is sufficient to make sure that the human eye cannot decipher the key information.

The private key should only be read by the Chainlock card’s user in safe surroundings. The private key provides access to all cryptocurrency amounts linked to the card.

If the security seal has been removed, this is made apparent by a VOID effect.

While the key may be stored offline in the card, they have still been prefilled, thus the user still has to trust that the providers are not able to keep a copy of the keys.

(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.