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BTCEX: Buy BTC, Cryptocurrency

Latest release: 1.2.9 ( 16th January 2023 ) 🔍 Last analysed 18th July 2022 . Custodial: The provider holds the keys
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22nd October 2021

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.
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.

Help spread awareness for build reproducibility

Please help us spread the word discussing the risks of centralized custodians with BTCEX: Buy BTC, Cryptocurrency  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)

BTCEX is one of the fastest-growing cryptocurrency trading platforms with full-category products. The BTCEX exchange APP allows you to trade the top cryptos such as Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). Download and enjoy the professional, secure, user-friendly services with the lowest fees on BTCEX.

This trading platform claims to support BTC and ETH.

The site confirms that it requires users to pass KYC verification:

Now KYC verification is required by major crypto exchanges around the world. If this verification is not completed, users cannot get access to all features and services.

Additionally:

After it is completed, you’ll be able to buy, deposit and withdraw crypto, and your withdrawal limit will be up to 10,000,000.00 USDT.

The exchange is capable of suspending the users’ withdrawals. From the Terms of Service document, Article 14. Suspension & Termination:

Suspension: if we suspect that you have breached these Terms of Service, applicable law and/or the trading terms provided on our Website, we may temporarily suspend your Account and limit your trading.

Termination by us: We reserve our rights to terminate your Account at any time and without stating reasons. Unless we are required otherwise by applicable law or a judicial order, we will provide a notice period of seven days before your Account isterminated. In this notice period you will be able to close your Positions and withdraw Cryptocurrency from your Wallet. After the notice period has lapsed, we are entitled to immediately close any Positions that may still be open and return any remaining Cryptocurrency to you. We will not be liable for any damages you may incur due tous invoking our right to terminate your Account.

While this exchange exhibits traits which commonly belong to custodial offerings, another paragraph in the Terms of Service claims:

4.5. Using the Wallet on our Platform is at all times at your own risk. We are not liable for loss of Cryptocurrency stored in your Wallet or transferred to or from your Wallet, including, but not limited to unauthorized access by a third party, loss or violation of your private key or transferring Bitcoin to an Ethereum address.

Nowhere else on the website is it mentioned that the user has access to the private key. As such, we classify this app as custodial.

(dg)