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WALAHALA Hardware Wallet

🔍 Last analysed 4th April 2022 . Bad Interface

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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.

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The Analysis 

Note: The product manufacturer - or at least someone who claims to promote Walahala’s product, has been flagged in Bitcointalk forum. Some of these include allegations of plagiarism in the Terms and Conditions, Privacy Policy and KYC policy. It is also alleged that the Owner’s Manual was plagiarized from both Trezor and Ledger manuals. The product is also associated with an ICO and an exchange.

Product Description

The provider notes that the wallet has “33 passphrases” - which they did not elaborate more on. It is certainly not BIP39 standard since BIP39 can consist of 12-24 words.

There is an unboxing video on YouTube. From the renders, it looks similar to BitFreezer Development Defunct! . The video also claims that the device can be plugged in a Windows computer (assumedly through the USB - it was not specified) or an Android phone through an adaptor.

It has a companion app that is connected to the Walahala suite of products:

Be a WALAHALA Hardware Wallet user; a decentralized hardware wallet connected to live exchange for smart users with a better future.

They also claim that the wallet is a multi-signature wallet.

We downloaded the app and was greeted with some infographic of some sort about Walahala’s “Plasma Core Technology”. The app then asked us to connect a PCB device.

KYC for Hardware Wallet Manufacturer

The Walahala KYC policy

Walahala shall perform a KYC for every natural or legal person, representative of the legal person, beneficial owner of the user or politically exposed person (“PEP”) or a person connected with PEP.

Verdict

The technical specifications for the device are not forthcoming. From the few renders we see on the website, we are given the impression that it has no interface and presumably can’t confirm transactions.

This is from the Walahala wallet page:

Connected to a Live Exchange on a single click

There are no references to the project being open source.

(dg)

Verdict Explained

The design of the device does not allow to verify what is being signed!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Can the user verify and approve transactions on the device? If not, we tag it Bad Interface!

These are devices that might generate secure private key material, outside the reach of the provider but that do not have the means to let the user verify transactions on the device itself. This verdict includes screen-less smart cards or USB-dongles.

The wallet lacks either an output device such as a screen, an input device such as touch or physical buttons or both. In consequence, crucial elements of approving transactions is being delegated to other hardware such as a general purpose PC or phone which defeats the purpose of a hardware wallet.

Another consquence of a missing screen is that the user is faced with the dilemma of either not making a backup or having to pass the backup through an insecure device for display or storage.

The software of the device might be perfect but this device cannot be recommended due to this fundamental flaw.

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.