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CoinMetro: Crypto Exchange

latest release: 4063 ( 26th August 2021 ) last analysed  26th October 2021 Custodial: The provider holds the keys 
3.2 ★★★★★
37
25th July 2018

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Please help us spread the word discussing the risks of centralized custodians with CoinMetro: Crypto Exchange  via their Twitter!

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 

(Analysis from Android review)

App Description

A fully regulated cryptocurrency exchange

Deposits can be in fiat or cryptocurrencies including bitcoin

Various payment methods
Credit/debit card, Instant ACH, Instant SEPA, Faster Payments, and SWIFT.

The Site

This page describes how to deposit/withdraw through various means

The company behind the app is based in Estonia.

Terms and Conditions

CoinMetro’s Terms of Use

Section 2.1 provides insight on the wallets they provide:

The CoinMetro Platform provides you access to and use of a number of exchange wallets for the purposes of storing, tracking, transferring, managing and trading balances of supported digital assets as well as certain types of funds as specified by CoinMetro from time to time.

Withdrawal Limits

You may withdraw digital assets from your CoinMetro exchange wallet by transferring them to an external digital asset wallet. The withdrawal of digital assets may be subject to periodic withdrawal limits.

Account Termination

If we terminate any order, or restrict your use of the CoinMetro Services in accordance with this Clause 10, we shall not be liable for any losses, expenses or other costs incurred to you, any other user of the CoinMetro Services and / or any other third party.

The App

We downloaded the app and installed on Blue Stacks. Before being able to use the app or service, the site requires user verification. We were not able to proceed beyond that.

Verdict

Coinmetro is a custodial service and not verifiable

(dg)

Verdict Explained

As the provider of this product holds the keys, verifiability of the product is not relevant to the security of the funds!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Is the product self-custodial? If not, we tag it Custodial! 

A custodial service is a service where the funds are held by a third party like the provider. The custodial service can at any point steal all the funds of all the users at their discretion. Our investigations stop there.

Some services might claim their setup is super secure, that they don’t actually have access to the funds, or that the access is shared between multiple parties. For our evaluation of it being a wallet, these details are irrelevant. They might be a trustworthy Bitcoin bank and they might be a better fit for certain users than being your own bank but our investigation still stops there as we are only interested in wallets.

Products that claim to be non-custodial but feature custodial accounts without very clearly marking those as custodial are also considered “custodial” as a whole to avoid misguiding users that follow our assessment.

This verdict means that the provider might or might not publish source code and maybe it is even possible to reproduce the build from the source code but as it is custodial, the provider already has control over the funds, so it is not a wallet where you would be in exclusive control of your funds.

We have to acknowledge that a huge majority of Bitcoiners are currently using custodial Bitcoin banks. If you do, please:

  • Do your own research if the provider is trust-worthy!
  • Check if you know at least enough about them so you can sue them when you have to!
  • Check if the provider is under a jurisdiction that will allow them to release your funds when you need them?
  • Check if the provider is taking security measures proportional to the amount of funds secured? If they have a million users and don’t use cold storage, that hot wallet is a million times more valuable for hackers to attack. A million times more effort will be taken by hackers to infiltrate their security systems.
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.