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StormX

latest release: 4.12.4 ( 19th November 2021 ) last analysed  1st November 2021 Custodial: The provider holds the keys 
4.6 ★★★★★
1142
12th December 2018

Jump to verdict 

Help spread awareness for build reproducibility

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

Shop at your favorite stores and earn Crypto Cashback. StormX is the easiest and safest way to start earning cryptocurrency without any of the hassles. It’s time to stack sats! Simply download the app, choose your favorite online stores, buy stuff, and earn shopping rewards.

The Site

From a webpage on the site concerning StormX’s token:

How does StormX make money? StormX receives discounts from brands all over the world and passes on those savings to users when they make a purchase. Users receive the discounts in crypto and StormX gets a small transaction fee.

Additionally, in the Terms of Use, we learn that StormX has the ability to freeze your account and funds:

StormX may at any time and without liability to, terminate, suspend, or limit your use of StormX Staking (including freezing the Digital Assets in your account or closing your Digital Asset Wallet, refusing to process any transaction, or wholly or partially reversing any transactions that you have effected[…]

This confirms that users can hold digital assets in this app.

The official homepage says that it is possible for users to withdraw rewards to an external wallet:

Once you’ve earned $10 or more you can withdraw your rewards to any compliant crypto wallet.

The App

We tried the app. There was a tab that allowed users to view the account balance. There was an option to withdraw, with 5.00 USD worth of funds as the minimum for the withdrawal limit. Users are also allowed to connect to an existing wallet such as MetaMask or CoinBase.

The Verdict

The app uses a third-party wallet that connects to the service. We reached out to their support via email and posted a screenshot of the conversation.

This app does not have a bitcoin wallet and makes use of third party wallet providers.

(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.