Tap - Buy & Sell BitcoinLatest release: 2.3.8 ( 4th May 2022 ) 🔍 Last analysed 15th September 2021 . Custodial: The provider holds the keys
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.
The Analysis ¶
(Analysis from Android review)
This country specific app is not available in some jurisdictions so we were not able to download the app.
We have to rely on the Terms and Conditions page to be able to ascertain the nature of this service.
Under Section 3.4 of the Terms and Conditions page:
We reserve the right to immediately close, suspend, or limit access to your TAP Account and/or the TAP Services in the event we are unable to obtain and verify such information or you do not comply with our reasonable requests.
The registration process mandates, like most other custodial services, the user to pass several KYC verification procedures. We reached out to Tap via email to verify this verdict.
Under Section 6.4, Tap also reserves this right:
You may not close your TAP Account to evade an investigation. If you attempt to close your TAP Account while there is an ongoing investigation, TAP may freeze your TAP Account to protect any and all relevant parties, including but not limited to itself, its affiliates or a third party, against any liability.
Apart from the app, users are also given the opportunity to acquire a Tap Prepaid Visa card that allows users to withdraw fiat from an ATM machine.
This is the cryptocurency withdrawal guide.
Our email query about private keys has been answered:
We do not provide the private keys to our customers. All client funds are kept in Cold Storage and Tap uses its own funds for our hot wallets.
With all funds in cold storage, this app is custodial and thus, it cannot be verified
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 the answer is "no", we mark it as "Custodial: The provider holds the keys".
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.
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