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HTC Exodus 1

latest release: ?? last analysed  26th November 2021 No source for current release found Not functioning anymore
23rd October 2018

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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 

The HTC Exodus 1 Cryptophone is not comparable to other hardware wallets such as Trezor or Ledger Nano because it is in essence, still a smartphone.

Here is a video review of this product.

In 2019, security researchers discovered and reported a security problem with this product. It has since been patched.

Private keys can be created offline - ✔️

We found making a conclusion here rather confusing as there is seemingly contradicting evidence.

On “What is the Exodus 1?”:

Most app-based wallets (where you automatically store your newly-purchased crypto) is always connected to the internet and therefore susceptible to hacking and stealing. With EXODUS 1, it is more than meets the eyes. Under the hood, we use the best hardware and software technologies to create Zion - the perfect wallet with an easy-to-use software integrated with on-board hardware security.

Exodus 1 also claims it is capable of connecting to a Wifi hotspot.

This article on the Help Center gives the impression that you will be able to connect to the internet.

The hardware wallets available on the market are typically cold wallets. With Zion on HTC EXODUS 1‍, you’ll be able to own your keys—stored securely on the phone hardware—while still enjoying all the convenience of a high-end mobile device. No complicated log-in process or PC is required to access the blockchain world when you use HTC EXODUS 1‍.

This article also implies that this is not an offline wallet:

HTC EXODUS‍ is not a cold wallet. The term ​“‍cold wallet” refers to a wallet held offline and only connected to the Internet when needed.

We found information on this wallet’s Trusted Execution Environment.

The term Trusted Execution Environment (TEE) describes a secure area inside the processor, which is isolated from the rest of the operating system. The TEE helps maintain the confidentiality and integrity of keys and is protected from unauthorized access.

We conclude that, while this hardware wallet is a smartphone, the keys are still stored offline with them being “on a separate part of the phone’s processor.

Private keys are not shared - ✔️

Users are provided with a recovery phrase.

Zion Vault generates your 12-word recovery phrase when you create a new Vault. Your recovery phrase is unique to you, and is used to generate the public and private keys for all your crypto assets.

Additionally, you are told to keep the phrase in a safe, offline place.

It’s important to write it down—by hand—and keep it in a safe, offline place so that it can’t be easily hacked, stolen, or duplicated.

Interface

It also claims to store the full bitcoin ledger (which is currently around the amount of 358GB) in a 400GB micro SD card.

Reproducibility

HTC Exodus 1 does not have a link to any Github repository, although we found a possibly related Github account here. Unfortunately, the repositories do not appear to be directly related to the wallet.

The app did not advertise itself as an open-source offering.

We cannot find any official shop on the HTC website for HTC Exodus 1, with the social media account’s last post dating back to December 2020. Even the GitHub account’s repos has had no updates since 2019. Until further update, this app is classified as defunct.

(ml, lw, 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.

But we also ask:

Is the product still supported by the still existing provider? If not, we tag it Defunct!

Discontinued products or worse, products of providers that are not active anymore, are problematic, especially if they were not formerly reproducible and well audited to be self-custodial following open standards. If the provider hasn’t answered inquiries for a year but their server is still running or similar circumstances might get this verdict, too.