The BitBox01 is a hardware wallet designed and engineered by a Swiss company called Shift Cryptosecurity. It is a minimalistic device that integrates a two factor authenticator feature and seed storage, in a very different way from what we have tried so far.
The packaging is quite basic. You will receive the device sealed in a thick plastic bag and some extra goodies such as stickers and a webcam cover. Inside the box, there is a BitBox and a 8Gb micro SD card.
Set up the wallet
First of all, you need to follow the 4 steps above before recovering or generating a new wallet.
Once you have installed the software on your computer, you can generate a new wallet or recover an existing one. This wallet does not use a 12 or 24 word back up seed. It is actually a BIP32 master private key which is going to be generated and secured by a password you will choose at the time of initialization.
A major technical difference with other devices like Trezor or Ledger, is that the seed is actually stored and encrypted on the micro SD card. So you do not have to write down a series of 24 words on a piece of paper. And you can actually create as many backups as you want with multiple SD cards.
Bitcoin and Litecoin are natively integrated while Ethereum requires MyEtherWallet to access the blockchain.
Before processing to any transfer, it is highly recommended to pair the mobile app with the software and the device. That way, you will be able to add an extra security layer. Optionally, you can even use your phone as a 2FA authenticator.
Whether you want to receive Bitcoin or Litecoin, the process is a child’s play. You select the coin, click on receive and can share your address or the QR code linked to it.
Note that you can also verify the authenticity of your address with the “smart verification” feature offered by the app.
If you want to receive or send ETH and ERC20 tokens, you need to use myetherwallet
It is very simple to do but you need to be careful with phishing websites. Always make sure you are using the website linked above.
Transferring coins natively supported by the app is way easier. You will see a quick example with Litecoin below.
The app is very intuitive and all you have to do is select the coin you want to receive. In this case, Litecoin. Then you select the option “receive” and share the QR code or copy paste the address.
Note that you can convert any “newer” address to a legacy one.
The process to send some LTC is not harder. You select the “send” option and fill all the blank forms. The amount will be automatically converted into CHF so you can get an idea of the worth of LTC you are actually sending.
The transaction confirmation is also very secure. You need to synchronize your mobile phone app to the computer app and finally confirm the transaction with the digital BitBox key.
Digital BitBox offers a smart feature which is worth mentioning. It is the possibility to create a hidden wallet.
By enabling it, you have the possibility to load it with a tiny amount of BTC/LTC and trick an attacker/robber for instance.
All you have to do is generate it, choosing a hidden device password and a hidden recovery password.
In the occurence of a home-jacking, you can access this “fake” wallet instead of using your real one.
The Digital BitBox is an interesting alternative to the most renowned products on the market. And this can be explained for two reasons.
First, its price. You can buy one device for $50. Which is 40% less expensive than its direct challengers.
Second, the security protocol. The way the back up seed is generated and saved offers a new standard of security. As explained before, it will use a micro SD card and you can copy the seed to multiple SD cards to make sure you have a safe redundant system in place.
Unfortunately, the device comes with its own flaws. The number of coins natively integrated to the app is very limited. You will only be able to manage a Litecoin and Bitcoin wallet. You can of course manage a Ethereum wallet using a tier app like myetherwallet. But it’s not as user friendly as having this feature integrated to the native interface.
So would i recommend this wallet? My answer will go straight to the point. Wait for the next version currently beta tested. It should be more user friendly and they are integrating way more features and coins. I think that if the price remains in the same range, it will be a bargain.
Disclaimer : this article is not a partnership. I wanted to test and review a backup device and the team decided to customize it for me. More reviews of products will come in the future.