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Hoo

latest release: 4.6.42 ( 4th October 2021 ) last analysed  8th October 2021 Custodial: The provider holds the keys 
3.2 ★★★★★
68
28th June 2018

Jump to verdict 

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Please help us spread the word discussing the risks of centralized custodians with Hoo  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

From the full Google Play description:

Hoo is a cryptocurrency application which supports exchanges,wallets,bitcoin,btc,cash app,money,bitcoin wallet,blockchain,apple pay,acorns and etc.

The Site

The app store page did not directly link to any website. However, the email listed in that page uses hoo.com as a domain name.

With the support of Hoo Custody’s unique cold wallet just-in-time payment technology, you can achieve high-speed transfer response when your private key is completely offline, enabling you to seize market opportunities in a timely manner.

Privacy Policy

Your personal data and relevant information that we may obtain from you shall be used in the following areas:

  • Know Your Client requirement

User Agreement

If the user violates the above provisions, Hoo has the right to take all necessary measures directly, including but not limited to deleting the content posted by the user, canceling the stars and honors obtained by the user on the website, freezing the digital assets of the user, suspending or sealing up the user account, canceling the benefits obtained due to the violation, and even investigating the legal liability of the user through litigation.

The App

We tried the app and registered a new user account. The private keys were not provided.

It is possible to withdraw and deposit from your balance, but users must set a transaction password first. The app in itself has the interface of an exchange app.

Verdict

We mark this app as custodial and thus 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.