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Welcome to my complete, comprehensive review of the Bitbox, a cold wallet, cryptocurrency hardware wallet. In this post, you will receive the most honest, in-depth Bitbox review for your cryptocurrency security.
Created by Shift Cryptosecurity. Compact, durable USB U2F enabled hardware wallet that stores your cryptocurrency private keys (BTC, ETH, LTC). Back up via a microSD card. Costs EUR$ 44. Designed and made in Switzerland.
In this post:
- Shift Cryptosecurity
- The Bitbox Hardware Wallet
- BitBox App
- BitBox Supported Cryptocurrencies
- What’s In The Box?
- BitBox Price
- BitBox User Reviews
- BitBox Pros and Cons
- Markshire Crypto Conclusion – Bitbox Review
Without further ado, let’s dive right into the BitBox Review!
Shift Cryptosecurity is the company behind the BitBox hardware wallet. It was founded in 2015 in Switzerland, owned (spun-off) by ETH Zurich National University (not associated with Ethereum) as a private corporation. Visit Shift Cryptosecurity, or the Shift Cryptosecurity Twitter page.
The company states that their aim is to equip you for independence, with ease, in the digital world. And they certainly deliver with their BitBox hardware wallet, even beyond financial independence with cryptocurrency and including U2F to secure your online presence on a multitude of other sites.
We aim to minimize the need to trust anything or anyone, including ourselves, and maximize transparency. We value authenticity, minimalism, and thinking outside the box. Everyone deserves the utmost respect, and that is why we choose to equip and empower this community.Jonas Schnelli, Co-founder & President (Shift Cryptosecurity)
Swiss Values: Sovereignty, Individual Freedom, Democracy
It is fitting, and perhaps not a coincidence, that this Swiss company wants to enable individual sovereignty. The Swiss have always valued neutrality, national sovereignty and the sovereignty of individuals. Their system of direct democracy is an example of their belief of individual independence and fair contribution to their government. It has avoided becoming a formal member of the EU in order to maintain its independence. Therefore, Shift Cryptosecurity has a fitting role in enabling individual financial and otherwise digital security, and independence.
Shift Cryptosecurity and the BitBox Suite
Shift Cryptosecurity initially developed the BitBox (formerly the Digital BitBox, now known as BitBox01), and now are offering a small suite of features and products.
- BitBox Base
- BitBox App
In this BitBox Review post, obviously I will be reviewing the BitBox01.
The BitBox Hardware Wallet
Currently known as BitBox01. The BitBox hardware wallet is a compact, durable, minimalist by design cryptocurrency hardware wallet. Obviously, it is a cold wallet.
The physical BitBox (BitBox01) is small, easily portable and very durable (epoxy filled case).
The BitBox microSD Card
The BitBox (BitBox01) offers a unique feature with its microSD card. Rather than copying down 12 to 24 seed words, the microSD card serves as the back up. Simply insert your original microSD card into another BitBox and you can restore your cryptocurrency wallet should your original BitBox be destroyed, lost, or stolen.
Your private keys never touch the Internet, not even during the initial set-up.
BitBox 2FA and Preventing Brute Force Attacks
If your BitBox is stolen the thief would need to know your login password for the BitBox App. If you initialized 2FA with an authenticator then they would also need your phone. Additionally, after 15 unsuccessful password login attempts, the BitBox will erase all secrets and reset in order to mitigate brute force attacks.
Even if someone finds out your password, they would still need your physical BitBox (BitBox01) as well as any 2FA authenticator app on your mobile device.
BitBox Plausible Deniabilty
Plausible deniability – the BitBox (BitBox01) allows for plausible deniability with hidden wallet features using two different logins. Stache a small amount of crypto in a diversion wallet so if you’re physically threatened/being mugged you can safely be robbed of a small fraction of your cryptocurrency holdings.
BitBox U2F for Full Individual Sovereignty
In addition to financial/cryptocurrency sovereignty, the BitBox (BitBox01) offers informational security as well. The BitBox hardware wallet device supports Universal 2 Factor (U2F) authentication, FIDO qualified. The U2F feature is truly universal in that many international sites with login features are turning to U2F security technology to digitally secure people’s accounts. These include Google, Facebook, Dropbox, GitHub and more! (Even some banks are instituting U2F authentication).
The BitBox App is a native software client. This mitigates security risks of browser-based clients.
The BitBox App has an intuitive, easy to use user interface that nonetheless features an in-app guide for any concerns or clarifications you may require. The app allows you to update and manage your BitBox device(s) directly from the app.
The BitBox App is compatible with MacOS, Windows and Linus. It also has multilingual support in English, German, Japanese, Malay, Portugese and Russian.
There is a mobile app version to use in conjunction with the desktop app. This can help to verify send and receive addresses to prevent man-in-the-middle attacks/spam.
While you utilize the BitBox App/mobile app to send transactions, you must confirm the transaction by physically touching the BitBox device while plugged into your laptop (its U2F security feature).
Functional abilities of the BitBox App:
- Manage backups
- Change device password
- Create hidden wallet (plausible deniability)
- Pair with mobile app
- Enable 2FA
- Reset your BitBox
BitBox Supported Cryptocurrencies
It supports very limited list cryptocurrencies, exclusive to:
- Bitcoin (BTC),
- Litecoin (LTC),
- Ethereum (ETH) and
- Associated ERC20 tokens
The ERC20 Tokens are as supported through MyEtherWallet.com (MEW).
Shift Cryptosecurity is a small company for the time being and is focussing on developing their suite of products and then considering adding more cryptocurrencies.
What’s In The Box?
In the box you get a very simple set of products: The BitBox USB cold wallet hardware device as well as the microSD card that stores your private keys. You must protect this microSD card as you would a seed word recovery list.
The BitBox (BitBox01) has a uniquely affordable price tag of (Swiss Franc) CHF$ 49, EUR$ 44. This is approximately USD$ 50 and roughly CAD$ 66.
Given its simple, durable design, laser focus on the top cryptocurrencies its price tag is quite reasonable for the ability to independently secure potentially millions worth of cryptocurrency wealth.
BitBox User Reviews
I have taken screenshots of many customer reviews, both good, bad and average. I want to be transparent in this review so I have included as much as I can. The reviews are obtained from Amazon as that is where I can find them readily.
One thing to be cognizant of is that some of these reviews are older, and I know for a fact that Shift Cryptosecurity has fixed some of these issues. I personally bought my BitBox over a year ago and I have seen numerous updates to the BitBox App and received great customer service.
BitBox Pros and Cons
There are very obvious pros and cons to the BitBox. Owing to its simplicity they are quite straightforward.
- Cold Hardware Wallet
- Native software client to prevent browser hacks
- microSD card to store private keys
- Compact Simple Design
- U2F for added security as well as broader functionality to secure your other online accounts (Google, Facebook, DropBox, GitHub, etc)
- Too small
- microSD card can be damaged, possibly less durable than Crypto-Steel or metal Crypto-Keys
- Limited cryptocurrency support
- Limited App functionality
Markshire Crypto Conclusion – BitBox Review
Shift Cryptosecurity packs a lot into a small hardware wallet with the BitBox (BitBox01) cold wallet.
In summary, the security features of Shift Cryptosecurity’s debut hardware wallet, BitBox (BitBox01) are many:
- Password Protected app login
- microSD card for recovery/backup
- FIDO certified U2F authentication
- Optional 2FA random number generator
- Plausible deniability wallet features
- Erase/reset after 15 failed login attempts to prevent brute force attacks
The BitBox by Shift Cryptosecurity is a cold hardware wallet that embodies the Swiss ideals of quality, privacy, and no backdoors.