Vita Walletlatest release: 3.8.0 ( 11th November 2021 ) last analysed 26th October 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)
The app, as well as its description appear to be entirely in Spanish. Quotes below are taken from Google Translate.
From the app description:
Vita Wallet is a digital wallet that allows you to send and receive national or international payments to different destinations in Latin America with really competitive rates, availability times less than 24-36 hours and transparent costs.
By requesting the verification of an account, you authorize Vita Wallet to, directly or through third parties, carry out inquiries, queries, database crossings and any other action that is considered strictly necessary to verify your identity and comply with current provisions regarding the prevention of money laundering and fraud, financing of terrorism and bribery. Vita Wallet reserves the right to request additional information or documentation from its users, even after the account has been verified, only for identity verification purposes.
Furthermore, it has clauses for the suspension of services:
To verify this, we installed the app. Upon registering to Vita, you are asked to complete identity verification, submitting personal information including your name, occupation, residential information, and identification documents.
It appears that users must complete all identity verification before they may be able to access the wallet.
However, there is still no mention of private keys or self custody on the website.
While information on this app is somewhat limited, it certainly appears to be custodial. In this case, it is 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 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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