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Polymerbit

🔍 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 

Product Description

Polymerbit banknotes are a great way to turn Bitcoin into something everyone can understand & use.

Other advertised features include the offline storage of private keys.

Keys are prefilled

From the FAQ, “Are my funds safe in a Polymerbit?”

Polymerbit takes every precaution to reduce the risk of keys being exposed. Keys are produced on an offline unit in a room where no other electronics are allowed. The project has been closely monitored by members of the Bitcointalk community for compliance. Of course, there is a risk of loss if the physical note is stolen, destroyed or lost. However, this can happen with any tangible asset.

However, they offer an alternative, keyless variant of their product. From the answer to: “Can I create my own public & private keys for a Polymerbit?”

We understand that regardless of what security measures we take, some people may feel more comfortable to produce keys & load the Polymerbits at home. We offer keyless variants (clearly stamped as such). Simply request this option during the order process.

Analysis

Polymerbit offers products of varying prices, with prices ranging from 20-100 dollars. As noted above, some of the banknotes have the keys printed before delivery. While the providers claim to be taking “every precaution to reduce the risk of keys being exposed” the user still has to trust that the keys will not be compromised.

(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.