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Volksbanken Raiffeisenbank BitcoinGo Card

🔍 Last analysed 3rd May 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 

Background

The Volksbanken Raiffeisenbank BitcoinGo Card is an initiative of the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbank Bayern Mitte eG which is a German cooperative bank. This effort has been referred to from this article.

We believe this card to be a branded version of this device we previously reviewed:

Setup and Product Description



The companion app can be found on Google Play.

The VR-BitcoinGoCard app checks the most important security features of the VR-BitcoinGoCard with you step by step to protect you from counterfeiting. So you don’t have to worry about the security of your bitcoins.

The VR-BitcoinGoCard app will never ask you for your private key! Your private key will never be used, stored or transmitted by the VR-BitcoinGoCard app. Your private key is stored solely on the VR-BitcoinGoCard and has never been seen by anyone - not even by the manufacturer’s employees! In this way we ensure maximum security for your private key.

After adding your VR-BitcoinGoCard, you can manage your VR-BitcoinGoCard in the app and view the current value of your Bitcoin investment at any time without removing your physical VR-BitcoinGoCard from its safe custody.

The Android app authenticates the bitcoins on the Volksbanken Raiffeisenbank BitcoinGo Card by scanning the QR code. Like the Chainlock , transacting requires the use of a mobile app.

Analysis

Similar to the Chainlock , the private key is printed on the card. It has to be scanned using the VR-BitcoinGo Card. Although the provider claims that “not even the manufacturer’s employees has seen the private key”, the risks of an exposed physically printed private key allows a potential thief to exploit this vulnerability.

(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.