CoinJar: Buy Bitcoin InstantlyLatest release: 2.27.0 ( 24th May 2022 ) 🔍 Last analysed 15th September 2021 . Custodial: The provider holds the keys
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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)
Google Play description:
CoinJar is Australia’s longest-running cryptocurrency exchange. The CoinJar app lets you buy and sell cryptocurrencies using Australian dollars simply, securely and with low fees.
It is an exchange, so it’s likely to be custodial.
Our services allow users to buy, sell, store and spend digital assets.
We tried to download the app to further validate our findings, but it is not available for our region.
In the Terms of Service:
To safeguard your funds, we store at least 90% of all customers’ crypto currencies offline in multiple geographically-redundant secure locations. This is deemed as ‘cold-storage’. By using cold storage, we prevent hackers from being able to access your holdings. Any cryptoassets stored online or also what is known as the ‘hot wallet’ is protected by our in-house multi-sig technology which effectively prevents against both theft and loss.
This confirms that CoinJar is in charge of the funds. This app is custodial and thus not verifiable.
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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