Category Archives: BitFi

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Hardware Wallet Sales Booming as Nano S Tops 1.3 Million Units

French crypto hardware manufacturer Ledger has now sold over 1.3 million units of its Nano S wallets, according to a recent blog on their website.

The peak sales come at a time when the demand for such devices is on an all-time high. The changing trend is quite evident by the sales numbers of Ledger Nano S as well as its rival Trezor’s recently launched Model T which has interested buyers in a long waitlist. Also, the Nano S is now available over the counter as a dutyfree item at Amsterdam’s Schiphol International Airport, such is its popularity, particularly amongst travellers.

Such wallets, promoted as being unhackable and therefore the safer way of storing coins and conducting transactions, gained some critics earlier this year when Bitfi, with a new wallet on the market, challenged anyone to hack the device.  15-year-old Saleem Rashid took on the task successfully, which resulted in BitFi withdrawing its guarantee.

CEO Eric Larchevêque claims that Ledger is planning updates to tighten the security of the hot-selling nano with “a chip designed specifically to resist highly skilled attackers and a custom OS designed specifically to protect crypto assets.”

Ledger has a clear run in the market with Trezor the only other major competitor in the sector to date. Trezor had reputed sales of 800,000 units some months ago, but this wasn’t confirmed by the company. There are others on the market, but as yet they have presented no challenge to the top two hard-wallet leaders.

Although advertised as a reliable storage option, these wallets have incurred problems in the past and Ledger has had its own issues, resulting in a temporary shut down of its Ethereum (ETH) and Ethereum Classic (ETC) infrastructures in August. The resulting outcome was that Ledger announced that there had been no hack, but a glitch that occurred due to a “side effect when [it] pushed an update to invite users to use the Ledger Live instead of the Chrome app.” A refund of any funds lost was offered to users.

The market is booming despite the occasional unit glitch, due to investors’ needs for a portable, safe way of storing their crypto with an easy recovery option, should units be lost or damaged; attributes which most of these units on the market provide.

Ledger also announced recently that it will be expanding its business into cryptocurrency custodianship, and is planning another major investment round that has already sparked interest from Google, Siemens, and Samsung, which may bring their valuation up to USD 1 billion.

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Hacker Claims Access to Supposedly Unhackable BitFi Wallet

BitFi has branded itself as an unhackable cryptocurrency wallet, in the same way the Titanic branded itself as an unsinkable ship. Fate seems to have been tempted successfully as it now appears that BitFi has been hacked, at least partially.

BitFi partnered with cryptocurrency superstar John McAfee to offer a USD 100,000 bounty to anyone that could hack the BitFi wallet. After some back and forth on the internet, since there is a widespread belief that anything is hackable, BitFi upped the ante to USD 250,000. It has fairly specific rules outlined on its website detailing how the hacker has to purchase a locked BitFi wallet and drain the funds to win the challenge.

Challenging all the hackers on the internet might not have been the best strategy, especially when offering them such a large sum of money. It appears a hacker has claimed to have partially hacked the BitFi wallet to gain root access.

Short update without going into too much detail about BitFi:

We have root access, a patched firmware and can confirm the BitFi wallet still connect happily to the dashboard.

There are NO checks in place to prevent that like claimed by BitFi.

— OverSoft (@OverSoftNL) August 1, 2018

This can be considered a serious security breach, but BitFi has refused to pay out the USD 250,000 because its rules clearly state that the hacker must drain the funds to win the challenge. If the hacker claims were true, root access should give full access to everything in the wallet system. However, it is unclear if the private key is stored on these BitFi wallets being offered to hackers for the challenge. If not, then this challenge is impossible, since cryptocurrency private keys are inherently unhackable even with the most powerful supercomputer.

McAfee, who is a BitFi advocate and funding the challenge, has downplayed the hacking of the BitFi wallet. He asserts that gaining root access is meaningless, despite the fact that when hacking, gaining root access usually means game over.

Hackers saying they have gained root access to the BitFi wallet. Well whoop-de-do! So what? Root acces to a device with no write or modify capability. That’s as useless as a dentist license un a nuclear power plant. Can you get the money on the wallet? No. That’s what matters.

— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) August 2, 2018

The hacker asserts that gaining root access means BitFi is not secure, and that this hacker challenge is a sham.


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