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Wirex Wallet: Crypto and DeFi

Latest release: 0.2.12 ( 10th May 2022 ) 🔍 Last analysed 10th January 2022 . No source for current release found
5 ★★★★★
2 ratings
7th December 2021

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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.

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The Analysis 

(Analysis from Android review)

After app install, users are given two choices:

  1. Create a wallet
  2. I already have a wallet

Selecting create a wallet, the user is then asked to provide an email address. This email address is then verified. The user is then brought to a wallet page, where there is a Bitcoin address that can send and receive.

For a “non-custodial” wallet, we can’t seem to locate the private keys or any option to backup the wallet.

We want to give crypto users access, flexibility and control over their holdings without worrying if their funds are safe, losing their private key, high gas fees or the need to spread their tokens across different apps and platforms.

After a bit of more digging, we found Account Recovery options in ‘Profile’. There are two options to recover the account:

  1. Provide biometrics
  2. Generate QR code

The biometrics section includes taking a picture of the user’s face and getting the fingerprint.

The QR code uses Wirex own QR code generator.

We did not find any reference to Wirex being open source. However, we did find a github repository, but has no reference to any of the apps that Wirex has.

We question the claims that the Wirex Wallet app is non-custodial because of the absence of the Mnemonic phrase.

At present, the verdict that we can give it is it is not an open source project.

(dg)

Verdict Explained

Without public source of the reviewed release available, this product cannot be verified!

As part of our Methodology, we ask:

Is the source code publicly available? If not, we tag it No Source!

A wallet that claims to not give the provider the means to steal the users’ funds might actually be lying. In the spirit of “Don’t trust - verify!” you don’t want to take the provider at his word, but trust that people hunting for fame and bug bounties could actually find flaws and back-doors in the wallet so the provider doesn’t dare to put these in.

Back-doors and flaws are frequently found in closed source products but some remain hidden for years. And even in open source security software there might be catastrophic flaws undiscovered for years.

An evil wallet provider would certainly prefer not to publish the code, as hiding it makes audits orders of magnitude harder.

For your security, you thus want the code to be available for review.

If the wallet provider doesn’t share up to date code, our analysis stops there as the wallet could steal your funds at any time, and there is no protection except the provider’s word.

“Up to date” strictly means that any instance of the product being updated without the source code being updated counts as closed source. This puts the burden on the provider to always first release the source code before releasing the product’s update. This paragraph is a clarification to our rules following a little poll.

We are not concerned about the license as long as it allows us to perform our analysis. For a security audit, it is not necessary that the provider allows others to use their code for a competing wallet. You should still prefer actual open source licenses as a competing wallet won’t use the code without giving it careful scrutiny.

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.