Wallet Logo

Bitcoin IRA: Crypto Retirement

latest release: 1.4.0 ( 11th November 2021 ) last analysed  18th October 2021 Custodial: The provider holds the keys 
4.3 ★★★★★
49
20th June 2021

Jump to verdict 

Help spread awareness for build reproducibility

Please help us spread the word discussing the risks of centralized custodians with Bitcoin IRA: Crypto Retirement  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 Google Play:

Bitcoin IRA is the world’s first, largest, and most secure cryptocurrency IRA app that allows users to invest in cryptocurrencies with their retirement accounts.

Additionally, we see Bitcoin IRA’s statements on its security:

  • Crypto and retirement funds are securely stored in an industry leading, multi-signature digital wallet from BitGo, Inc.
  • All funds are stored 100% offline, in segregated cold storage accounts

The Google Play reviews report problems logging in.

Craig Dorsey
★☆☆☆☆ October 2, 2021
Bad login experience for existing user. Login works fine in browser, but not in App. Will not process password reset request in trying to troubleshoot. May work best for those who have not yet registered an account. I’d say my experience thus far has been jankie at best. :( A nice opportunity though, if all ends up working out as advertised, which I expect.

We could not install this app, as it was not available for our devices.

Verdict

From the disclaimer at the bottom of the page:

Alternative IRA Services (“AIS”) dba BitcoinIRA.com is a platform that connects consumers to qualified custodians, digital wallets and cryptocurrency exchanges. The company is not a custodian, is not a digital wallet and is not an exchange.

As Bitgo still acts as a custodian to your funds, keeping them in cold storage, we will still count this as a custodial app. Thus, it is 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.