BitFi - The "McAfee" Hardware Wallet - A Personal Review!

in hive-174578 •  6 days ago 

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Hey Hivians!

This past weekend, I was surprised to find my very own BitFi hardware wallet in the mail - a bit ago, I went to twitter and asked them to add Hive support to their wallet - they suggested to send out a device for me to review, and if we as a community could garner up enough support, they'd work to add $HIVE as a currency they support!

The BitFi is a hardware wallet that's been around for a few years now, and has undergone some revisions and improvements during that time.

Challenge accepted 😁

They currently are available for $199 here:

https://bitfi.com/

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I was quite surprised and had a good laugh when I opened and found not only a sealed BitFi device, but also a KN95 mask inside the padded envelope - seems like they take safety VERY seriously 🤣

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Inside the box, I was presented with the following items:

  • 1x BitFi device (size of a small android phone - because in part it is)
  • 1x "Quick Start Guide"
  • 1x BitFi "Warranty Card"
  • 1x Micro USB cable
  • 1x 6-sided die (for their Diceware phrase method)

An interesting line-up, so I was immediately intrigued.

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I opened the quick start guide and jumped right in - I was definitely ready to see what this device was capable of!

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I visited BitFi.com/setup as they suggested, and created my account there. You're required to enter your email, create a password/confirm it, and fill out a simple captcha.

Once complete, you're then requested to enter your "Device ID" (which can be found from tapping "Open Wallet" on the device screen and looking to the last section - a 6 digit code can be found there).

This then allows you to go through the process of creating a "salt", and a "phrase".

There's a great video here that helps break down exactly what goes on with these 2 items, as well as the requirements for each:

Simply put, the salt has to be at least a 6 character or larger "password" that you set. Then, the phrase has to be at least 34 characters long and utilize at least 3 different "types" (uppercase, lowercase, special characters like $, #, etc) or 45 characters if it does NOT contain at least 3 different types.

After completing this, you'll be prompted to re-enter these credentials once more to confirm your new "wallet" - afterwards, you'll be required once more before you even make your very first transaction.

After you've set up the device, you'll be redirected to view your wallet dashboard on their website:

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I sent a little Eth last night to my wallet to test this out, and it was incredibly fast and just "worked" - thumbs up so far.

Next, I decided to explore around and see exactly WHAT currencies they allow you to "store" on their device (even though nothing is ever actually held on your device).

They support a fair number of currencies atm (including all ERC-20 tokens) - things like BTC, ETH, LTC, XMR, XRP, NEO, QSP, REP, MKR, the list goes on.... sadly, NO $HIVE though (YET 😁).

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Pulling directly from their site, these are some of the reasons "why" BitFi is potentially equal to if not superior to other hardware wallets, such as Ledger and Trezor (I personally use a Ledger):

No Private Keys
World's only wallet that doesn't have private keys making it impossible to seize, lose, or steal. Bitfi is pure consciousness.

Firmware Precision
You will never again need to download firmware to your malware-infected computer or deal with the anxiety of a multi-step process. Bitfi thoroughly hashes all bytes to perform ECDSA check to ensure they match with the update package & that it has not been tampered with.

Native Interface
No folders, no Chrome extensions, & no third-party websites. All digital assets conveniently appear in one place with balances & USD displayed.

Unlimited Wallets
Your wallet is device-independent. You can have as many wallets as you want with one device.

Open Source. Verify.
Bitfi code is completely open-source, we encourage developers anywhere in the world to review Bitfi code.

Locked Bootloader
Bitfi.2 features a locked bootloader rendering code injection futile either via a data port or via physical access to the circuit board. USB/JTAG/UART/SPI is inaccessible & the board cannot be modified without irrevocably destroying the device.

No Backups
Anyone who finds a list of 24 words knows instantly it's a wallet. This is a major attack vector & completely eliminated from Bitfi.

No Counterfeiting
Unlike any other wallet, each Bitfi device gets specially packaged firmware for its' Trusted Execution Environment (TEE), this unique fingerprint means the device can't be replicated.

Tech Support 365 days a year
Our tech support is available 7 days a week by phone, email, & directly via your Bitfi device.

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Their real focus here comes down to this:

Far from a cold storage wallet, it saves nothing.

The Bitfi hardware wallet is the blockchain interface system that is much more secure than any cold storage method. The Bitfi protocol secures billions in USD value without ever storing any sensitive data whatsoever. We believe that Bitcoin was always intended to be an un-seizable asset. Cold storage systems only protect users from online attacks and are not different from storing bars of gold in the safe or cash under a mattress.

Your brain extended to any blockchain utility.

Wealth management doesn't have to be stressful; securing millions with Bitfi technology allows you to be independent of the device, in case of loss, theft, seizure, or accident. Device loss is simply irrelevant to the safety of funds. Because Bitfi technology is designed to instantly wipe and over-write anything that you type into it, the device is always in the exact same state as it was before you took it out of the box. In fact, the presence of a Bitfi device is no evidence of a wallet's existence.

Final Thoughts

Overall, I will admit I'm no security expert. I won't go as far to say that this is an "unhackable wallet" as they claim - there are several existing disputes in the wild already.

However, I will say that I personally feel this device offers another great alternative to previous hardware wallets, and I will certainly be putting this to use for some of my holdings that I don't wish to touch for a while. My personal approach is to NEVER keep everything on one-device - spread your assets, spread your risk.

Thanks to BitFi for the device - you can check them out at the link below, and if you like what you see, grab one (I'm not using an affiliate link either, so I make nothing if you decide to purchase one)!

https://bitfi.com/

https://twitter.com/TheBitfi

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Thanks, man! sounds interesting, although the pure consciousness concept is really foreign to me.

Does the device connects to the internet at any moment, or the firmware that comes with it is set in stone since it's shipped?

Good advice on keeping assets in different devices to minimize any loss. How do you go about having multiple Nemonic phrases thrown around? I find the written it on paper it's super archaic and easier to misplace.

Just came to mind of booting a password manager using a USB Drive to store half the mnemonic and the other half somewhere else? Do you think is a safe bet?

Looking forward to your thoughts after a few months using it.

Catch you later man!

Hey bro, I apologize for the super late response -- this move has been a very interesting one thus far and I've had very little time to hang around, both on Discord, and Hive 🙃

So to break it down a little further:

When you first receive it, yes, the device has WiFi, and you "connect" to the internet to receive your device "push" confirmations from BitFi themselves (something that I'm still tossing up as to whether I'm a fan of or not).

As to mnemonic phrasing, yeah, this can be a challenge at times - with Ledger, you have a 24-word seed - personally, I have my seed etched on a metal plate, saved in an off-site vault (in case I ever need to recover it). It's not something I keep on my person.

However, that's an interesting idea - having half of your seed locally / memorized, and another half elsewhere. If you kept it on a local drive, I would ABSOLUTELY recommend using something like Veracrypt and creating a "hidden partition" on a USB drive - while encrypting both partitions on said drive. This has the added benefit of giving you plausible deniability (not that you'd ever need it, but it's there in the off-chance you do).

As for the BitFi device, it shows a lot of promise, and throwing it into the mix of my crypto storage "system" is something I'm working on mapping and implementing once I've settled down. I actually have another factory sealed BitFi device that I'm going to offer the HiveHustlers community at a nice discount, I'll be presenting the offer in a few short days on Discord, so stay tuned ;)

Bro, It's all good! You're moving houses!

That metal etching sounds as good as it gets, but not sure we have a service like that here in Australia. I'll check it out. What happens when you get a new device, can you reuse the same mnemonic?

I've just downloaded Veracrypt to check it out. Plausible deniability seems a must-have feature to consider when storing important stuff.

The benefits of being a HH and having to access discounts and benefits!

Just realised that I used my old account ;)

Awesome