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imKey Pro

🔍 Last analysed 18th February 2022 . No source for current release found
28th February 2020

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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 

imKey is only partially Open Source. According to its User Agreement:

Section 3.3.2 imKey software open source code may contain third-party-developed open source license and source code and the Company does not provide any guarantee for functions, non-existence of virus or vulnerabilities etc of such third-party-developed open source license and source code. Developer Users shall, at their sole discretion, decide the consequences of using imKey software open source code. Developer Users shall carefully read and then agree with relevant open source licenses and notices of the Company updated from time to time

Furthermore, this is what it has to say about its Secure Element chip:

Open source will bring immeasurable security risks and even threaten homeland security. Therefore, open source cannot be used as a criterion for judging whether a security chip is secure, and compared to open source, black box privacy is more conducive to ensuring its security.

A lot of security chip knowledge sounds rather obscure. In summary, it is recommended that when buying hardware wallets, try to buy products that use security chips and have security certification qualifications.

imKey Pro Unboxing Video and Guide

The device is paired via Bluetooth with the imToken: Crypto & DeFi Wallet No Source! . It is also possible to pair with the imKey Manager desktop software by connecting through USB. The imKey Manager desktop software is how the device’s firmware is updated.

Private keys can be created offline - ✔️

The recovery phrase is generated in the hardware wallet after it is paired with the imToken app.

Private keys are not shared - ✔️

According to official documentation the private key is never shared and stays in the Secure Element chip of the hardware wallet.

Device displays receive address for confirmation - ✔️

Yes, the device displays the receiving address and is confirmed by pressing a button.

Reproducibility - ❌

The language on imKey’s website about whether the hardware wallet is open source or not is not clearly defined. There is also no link to any repository. This is also bolstered by the fact that the hardware wallet is paired with imToken: Crypto & DeFi Wallet No Source! .

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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.