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Ownbit: Cold & MultiSig Wallet

Latest release: 4.39.0 ( 15th December 2022 ) 🔍 Last analysed 1st October 2021 . No source for current release found
4.4 ★★★★★
52 ratings
7th February 2018

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 the answer is "no", we mark it as "No source for current release found".

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.

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)

On the Google Play description we read:

The mnemonics, seeds (used to generate private keys) of Ownbit wallet are encrypted and stored on the phone side. The private key is completely under your control.

So this is a non-custodial wallet.

This wallet appears to feature a “cold storage” mode where the same app gets installed on an offline and an online phone and so the private keys never are connected to the internet. This of course provides very high security if the private keys are generated with good entropy. An evil provider could limit the entropy to generate only one out of a million backups to make those guessable for him but collisions unlikely. Scrutiny is therefore even in this mode of the essence.

So lets see if this app provides public source code …

Turns out, their website is currently not.

On GitHub we found 87 hits but only in localization, html, csv and reStructuredText which don’t look like the app itself but rather lists of apps.

So as we can’t find any source code, we assume this app is closed source and thus not verifiable.