Bitrefill - Use Bitcoin to buy Gift Cards & Topups

less than 1 minute read

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This app was first launched on 10th April 2018 and currently has more than 10000 downloads, a 3.9 stars rating from 164 users and the latest APK (version 1.28.9) was from 28th September 2019.

Our analysis was done on 25th December 2019 based on data found in their Playstore description and their website .

We found these ways of contacting the developers:

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Disclaimer

The following Analysis is not a full code review! We plan to make code reviews available in the future but even then it will never be a stamp of approval but rather a list of incidents and bad coding practice. We cannot find and tell you all the dark secrets the wallet providers might have.

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

While the primary purpose of this app is to buy stuff with Bitcoin and it appears to be possible to use the app without putting money into it, the app also can hold a balance, so it appears to be a wallet. At least we take that from the screenshots.

As the description has no claims to the contrary and we can’t find anything about the app on their website except for a link to the Playstore, we have to assume it is a custodial service.

Our verdict: The app is not verifiable.

Verdict Explained

Not verifiable: Custodial

This verdict means that the app might or might not be open source and maybe it is even possible to reproduce the build from the source code but as it is custodial, the provider already has exclusive control over the funds, so it is not a wallet where you would be in sole control of your funds.

Custodial wallets might not be the worst option for all users.

  • Do your own research if the provider is trust-worthy.
  • Do you know at least enough about them so you can sue them when you have to?
  • Is the provider under a jurisdiction that will allow them to release your funds when you need them?
  • Is the provider 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. Will they detect when for some software error a hacker is spending other people's money before the losses are unrecoverable?

The app 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 app 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.