HitBTC Crypto Walletlatest release: 1.1.1 ( 28th October 2021 ) last analysed 15th November 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)
This is the wallet and companion app to:
The HitBTC app is a multi-wallet app without the private keys. You can send and receive BTC and other crypto. You can buy and swap BTC and other crypto but you can”t sell it on the app.
Termination Clause in Terms of Service
Section 7. SUSPENSION AND TERMINATION OF YOUR HITBTC ACCOUNT Clause 7.1. In case of your breach of the Terms, or any other event as We may deem necessary, including without limitation market disruption and/or Force Majeure event We may, in our sole discretion and without liability to you, with or without prior notice: a. suspend your access to all or a portion of our Services; or b. prevent you from completing any actions via the Technology Platform, including closing any open Trade orders. In case the transferring resumes, you acknowledge that prevailing market rates may differ significantly from the rates available prior to such event; or c. terminate your access to the Services, delete or deactivate your HitBTC Account and all related information and files in such account.
7.2. In the event of termination, HitBTC will return any crypto assets stored in your HitBTC Account and not owed to HitBTC, unless HitBTC believes you have committed fraud, negligence or other misconduct.
We could not locate the private keys nor were we able to find options allowing for the creation of a wallet backup.
HitBTC is primarily a cryptocurrency exchange. They may have their own reasons for keeping two separate apps. One is for the exchange itself and the other as a separate wallet. Because no private keys or backup method was readily apparent, we can conclude that this particular wallet app is also custodial and thus cannot be verified.
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.
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