Bitcoin Wallet by SpectroCoin

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This app was first launched on 5th December 2014 and currently has more than 500000 downloads, a 3.5 stars rating from 2910 users and the latest APK (version 1.13.0) was from 31st March 2020.

Our analysis was done on 20th December 2019 based on data found in their Playstore description and their website .

We found these ways of contacting the developers:

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

This part of the wallet’s descriptions certainly sounds like a custodial app:

We respect your privacy and collect only necessary data, which is processed and stored in accordance with applicable laws. We give you great control, so you can always manage and update your SpectroCoin account easily. As with so many things, it is a matter of balancing security and convenience. A safe environment, in which you can exchange cryptocurrency and make borderless payments, requires industry-leading safety standards, including multi-stage account verification, advanced authentication methods, and bank-level security.

Also the user comments are a lesson in why a custodial wallet is not for everyone.

Their website has the confirmation about the app being custodial:

99% of all digital currency is stored in protected SpectroCoin offline storage (deep cold wallet) to secure the assets

Our verdict: 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.