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Mandala Exchange

latest release: 1.0.1 ( 15th July 2021 ) last analysed  15th November 2021 Custodial: The provider holds the keys 
4.1 ★★★★★
43
24th February 2021

Jump to verdict 

Help spread awareness for build reproducibility

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

Mandala is a cryptocurrency exchange with 250+ trading pairs.

More Information

Mandala claims to be hosted on Binance Cloud, Binance’s hosting solution for cryptocurrency exchanges.

Having the privilege of being Binance Cloud backed, Mandala Exchange follows a mix of hot and cold exchange wallets as used by Binance to secure the customer funds. This allows no withdrawal fees between Binance and Mandala while allowing Mandala to be insured through the SAFU program by Binance. The SAFU program is an emergency insurance fund, and it is funded by allocating 10% of all trading fees received into the SAFU cold wallet.

However, Binance itself does not name any specific exchanges on its webpage concerning this service.

This is a tutorial on how to withdraw cryptocurrencies from Mandala.

The App

We downloaded the app and could not find bitcoin wallet features such as backup mnemonics. Users can send and receive bitcoins and other cryptocurrencies.

Verdict

This exchange is a custodial service and its app cannot be verified.

(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.