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Chelpis Kelvin Wallet

🔍 Last analysed 29th April 2022 . No source for current release found

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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.

The Analysis 

Product Description

From the Chelpis Kelvin Wallet homepage:

  • “First Quantum Proof crypto-wallet”
  • Quantum-safe OS (Quantum-safe digital signature scheme)
  • Large screen with 3 buttons
  • Security Chip for 30 years life
    • Private keys never leave the device and are protected by a CC EAL5+ secure element, locked by your PIN, with sophisticated countermeasures against various kinds of physical attacks.

All cryptocurrency transactions are isolated, displayed, confirmed, and signed on the hardware device. Cryptographic keys never leave the device and are protected by a CC EAL5+ secure element, locked by your PIN code, which provides strong countermeasures against attackers even with physical access to the device.

All versions of MCU firmware are cryptographically signed, and the secure boot mechanism prevents it from running at all if any bit of the code is manipulated by attackers. All your funds remain secure even if your PC/laptop gets infected with malware. Even if some attacker steals your cold wallet, the device won’t function at all without the knowledge of your PIN.

Analysis

Since Chelpis claims that it is “the best USB-Type C interface wallet” device, we assume that it connects to a computer via USB.

We could not find documentation on how the Chelpis Kelvin Wallet is “Quantum Proof”. Social media posts about the Chelpis were last seen in 2018-2019, but the product is still accessible via their homepage’s shopping cart. We could not find hardware specification for the device.

We were able to locate what we assume to be Chelpis’ repository, however we could not locate which specific repository contains the firmware.

No mention was made about whether the device provides mnemonic backups.

We reached out to them via email since we could not verify if the Kelvin Wallet twitter account is actually theirs. We await their reply. At the interim, this project would do better to provide more transparency regarding their claims.

(dg)

Verdict Explained

Without public source of the reviewed release available, this product cannot be verified!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Is the source code publicly available? If not, we tag it No Source!

A wallet that claims to not give the provider the means to steal the users’ funds might actually be lying. In the spirit of “Don’t trust - verify!” you don’t want to take the provider at his word, but trust that people hunting for fame and bug bounties could actually find flaws and back-doors in the wallet so the provider doesn’t dare to put these in.

Back-doors and flaws are frequently found in closed source products but some remain hidden for years. And even in open source security software there might be catastrophic flaws undiscovered for years.

An evil wallet provider would certainly prefer not to publish the code, as hiding it makes audits orders of magnitude harder.

For your security, you thus want the code to be available for review.

If the wallet provider doesn’t share up to date code, our analysis stops there as the wallet could steal your funds at any time, and there is no protection except the provider’s word.

“Up to date” strictly means that any instance of the product being updated without the source code being updated counts as closed source. This puts the burden on the provider to always first release the source code before releasing the product’s update. This paragraph is a clarification to our rules following a little poll.

We are not concerned about the license as long as it allows us to perform our analysis. For a security audit, it is not necessary that the provider allows others to use their code for a competing wallet. You should still prefer actual open source licenses as a competing wallet won’t use the code without giving it careful scrutiny.

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.