Monday, May 2, 2016

BitGo Bitcoin wallet review


 Important info

    Wallet Type:  Web
    Verification:  Trusted Server
    Multisig:  Yes
    Open source:  Yes
    Privacy :  Basic
    Crypto supported:  bitcoin
    Vulnerability to malware:  Secure
    Private key stored:  both client and server side


    Market's leading multisig wallet, providing tech to leading exchanges
    Bitgo instant allows instant settlement of bitgo addresses
    Very user friendly for such a robust solution

    No native apps
    While HD, each separate wallet requires it's own seed

Bitgo is our pick for the top wallet on the market. Their multisig solution was a game changer in the market for hot wallet security, and is the reason why many of the products reviewed in these pages - bitfinex, bitstamp, Kraken and Shapeshift, as well as debit card solution e-coin to name five - have turned to bitgo for the protection of their client funds.

The bitgo solution provides exceptional web wallet security while maintaining an ease of use suitable for mainstream bitcoin users. Most people don’t want to think about security, they just want to know it is being handled, and they want it handled in a way that doesn’t detract from usability and instant access to funds.

Bitgo delivers on the above in a relatively user-friendly format. The product has been described as delivering bank-grade security in an industry that has been plagued by security breaches. Bitgo emerged at a time of great uncertainty in the bitcoin market, as multiple, large heists of customer funds shook confidence in the network’s ability to protect itself from hacks; it is reassuring to see companies like bitgo deliver solutions that move the industry forward.

Bitgo wallet

Each individual wallet created on bitgo is HD, meaning that all the addresses generated within can be restored from the initial seed. The wallet seed is backed up automatically upon creation of the account to a pdf paper file, which is meant to be stored safely offline. However, unlike armory, each wallet requires a different backup file, as they each utilize a different key.

Each wallet also requires its own encryption password. Users are told, as the password is being written, how long it would take a cracker to brute force the password. Interestingly, it would have taken my normal password, which consisted of uppercase, lowercase, symbol and numbers about five hours to crack. Users will need to either remember multiple passwords or record them offline.


There are a number of security features offered such as two factor authorization and an address whitelist, which allows payments only to addresses included on the list. The latter feature is available only using the bitgo enterprise solution. Along with the address whitelist, the enterprise solution allows flexible multiple-signature settings, per transaction and daily spending limits, and shared wallets. For additional security, it is recommended to use the chrome file extension bitgo app.

Of course, the multiple signature functionality is what makes bitgo unique. Each bitgo wallet is set with a default two of three key signing requirement. One key is held client side, another on the server side by bitgo and the third, a backup key if either of the other two keys are lost, is meant to be stored securely offline by the client. After the client signs, bitgo runs the transaction through a risk management process, checking any number of different parameters to ensure that the requester is actually the client. Depending on risk level, bitgo can take any number of different actions to secure or confirm the transaction.


Following the January 2015 bitstamp hack, bitgo was picked to completely overhaul the bitstamp wallet security architecture. The solution integrated - the same as above, only with bitstamp holding the first key instead of the client - has set a new benchmark in exchange hot wallet security.

BitGo Instant

For those who thought BitGo was resting on its laurels, here comes BitGo instant. BitGo instant allows the instant settlement of BitGo generated transactions without destination sites having to wait for confirmation on the blockchain - which can take 10 minutes, and sometimes more, to appear. This is facilitated by BitGo’s multisig technology; as transactions must always be signed by BitGo, who can then ensure that previously signed coins are not double spent. BitGo instant transactions, then, are guaranteed by BitGo with a cryptographic stamp, and should clients not receive the funds transacted BitGo will compensate losses.

It has been claimed that the most immediate beneficiaries of BitGo Instant would be active bitcoin traders, who can instantly transfer funds to multiple exchanges for trading, and thus easily take advantage of arbitrage opportunities. However, the applications for such a service are myriad; it is not difficult to see how this could revolutionize bitcoin e-commerce, as merchants would no longer have to concern themselves with network confirmations prior to accepting a payment as settled. And we are quite confident that Bitgo has a number of use cases for this technology, and it will be super interesting to see how it unfolds over the coming months and years. If the service really does take off, it could have an impact on the blockchain size debate as companies guarantee transfers off chain. Sort of like these “quicker settlement” sidechains people have been talking about.

The service is free for users up to one bitcoin tranfers; transfers about one bitcoin will incur a fee of 0.1%.


The site is responsive, but bitgo would benefit greatly from producing ios/android apps designed specifically for mobile use. As is, login is difficult, and the design is not developed for fat fingers.

Bottom line

Client side risks are mitigated by the bitgo key. Server-side risks are mitigated by the client key. The wallet is stored online, allowing for instant access. And the wallet is user-friendly. It seems bitgo has checked all the boxes. For users that would like bank-grade security without the hassle and inconvenience of cold storage, bitgo is your best option.

Tuesday, May 5, 2015

Genesis Mining


  This year has seen the arrival of a number of “cloud” mining services - companies that will sell you mining contracts and pay you out with the proceeds. Generally this means you’re renting mining hardware directly, and you get paid out with whatever that hardware produces.
Genesis Mining is a bit different, in that you don’t rent the hardware directly. Instead, you get a contract for a set amount of hashing power, which you can target against various alt-coins like DarkCoin, LiteCoin, etc.  At the end of the day, Genesis Mining converts your mining efforts back into Bitcoins and pays out into your own wallet.
The site has a nice dashboard that lets you allocate your hashing power to one or more alt-coins, or just set it to auto and they’ll calculate the most profitable coin to mine for you.

I signed up a bit over a month ago, and purchased a total of 6 MH/s, for 1.52954788 BTC, or about $940 USD at the time.  I’ve left the mining set to “auto”, so Genesis Mining can figure out which coin is the most profitable.
Here’s what my payouts have looked like since then (the date format is

While I’ve made back 0.351144 (23% of my initial investment) in a bit over a month, you can see that payouts are definitely trending down. I’m happy with the payouts so far, but I would like to know, on a daily basis, just what my MH/s are being used to mine.
I’ll update again in the future to show how it’s going. Hopefully, I’ll at least break even by the 6 month-mark.

 GENESIS-MINING.COM is a well-established X11, Ethereum and Bitcoin cloud mining provider. They are the largest Bitcoin cloud mining provider and furthermore are now offering Ethereum/X11 mining contracts as well. All their bitcoin contracts are lifetime contracts, which is a big plus! Currently, they have 3 undisclosed locations in Europe, America and Asia. They represent their service on all the important Bitcoin conferences / events and are more transparent than any cloud mining service out there! GENESIS-MINING.COM aims at the average Joe and as well at the bigger investor. They aim to be one of the most competitive cloud mining providers out there. You can start off with a 100 GHS (Gold) Bitcoin mining contract for 26$ to get a nice overview of the service they provide. If you look for something bigger you can purchase 2000 GHS (Platinum) for 499$ or 10000 GHS (Diamond) for 2400$. Their website is very clean and has a very appealing design. We really like how easy it is to set up an account with them and start mining. When you signed up, just fund your account with some Bitcoin and choose a mining plan that suits your needs. If you don’t want to pay with your precious Bitcoin you can pay by bank transfer, Litecoin, Dogecoin and Darkcoin or Credit Card.

Once you got your account funded with GENESIS-MINING.COM you will start to mine instantly. Owners of a Bitcoin mining contract do not need to do anything, just watch and see yourself how the Bitcoins are flowing in, however if you bought / own a X11 mining contract now is the time to allocate your hash power. You can allocate all your hash power to AUTO, which will mine the most profitable coin and exchange your earnings to Bitcoin for daily payouts. But that’s not it, what really made us happy and excited to see is that you can split up your total hash rate to different coins. As of February 2016, you can distribute your hash power to: AUTO (Bitcoin), Dash, Litecoin, Dogecoin, BitcoinDark, PeerCoin, Namecoin and CureCoin. You are even able to vote via a Facebook poll which coins that they should add next into their mining portfolio. This clearly proves that GENESIS-MINING is listening to a lot to their customers and their desires. The ability to mine your own portfolio of Altcoins remains unique in the cloud mining world and is only provided by GENESIS-MINING. This is definitely a step in the right direction by giving the customers more options on how to use their X11 mining contracts. GENESIS-MINING.COM has not only a very appealing design but scores as well with an outstanding mining dashboard. Within the dashboard, you can see your current mining stats, earnings in US Dollar, mining allocation and transactions. If you decide to add more hash power you can do this easily by clicking upgrade hashpower while logged into your account.

To manage your account information, wallets for the different coins and to add two-factor authentification simply click my account. Their support is outstanding and they will address any questions or issues very fast! GENESIS-MINING.COM is a very customer orientated company and does everything to make you happy. We highly recommend them and we are sure that they will remain growing bigger and bigger in the cloud mining business.

User friendlyness?

+ Fast, easy and free signup
+ Fast and friendly support, quickly responding and resolving occurring problems
+ Investments as low as 100 GHS / 1 MHS

Website functionality?
+ Easy to understand and to operate dashboard
+ Very well thought design and general functionality
+ Mine your own Altcoin portofolio
+ Two factor authentification
+ Refferal / promo code system
– No option to trade or sell your KHS/MHS


+ Street adress
+ LinkedIN accounts
+ Telephone number
+ Pictures/Livestreaming of their hardware
+ Representing their service at the most important Bitcoin events / conferences

+ Low price per GHS / MHS
+ No hidden fees Review

HASHOCEAN has Six data-centres. High earning power. Return on investment within 5 months.

HashOcean is a cloud mining website created more than 2 years and a half years ago to the United States and it has 6 data centers in the world (2 in San Francisco, 1 in New York, 1 in Nuremberg and 2 in Singapore). Serious and transparent, it one of the biggest cloud mining sites of the world.

It’s necessary to create an account using your email address. Then you should check your email and log on to HashCoin by using the received data. As soon as you enter the site you get 15 Kh/s and your mining starts. You can control the statistics of earned crypto-currency every day on the Transaction page. If you like the productivity of this service you can purchase the powers on the Buy page.

HashOcean Cloud Mining is a good investment. Miners are going in groups to create a website and offer its customers in the use of mining powers. It is more productive than solo mining. Before investing check these projects and contact for details administration. Cloud Mining is currently the leader in the relation speed / productivity. It is an advanced type of mining team and represents the conclusion of the “contract” with the company. The entire process takes place on a remote server and does not require you additional costs.

Hash Ocean is a cloud mining site that a new site that has mixed review. Many of the bad reviews of Hash Ocean come from the fact they have the highest payout rate of any cloud mining site we have seen. Another issue is the website post news from 2013 while the domain was purchased in 2015, this interesting issued has resulted in many forum posters to call this site a scam. After reading their offer (they give a 15 GHS bonus when you purchase 20 KH/s cloud mining hash,)   I decided to do give the site  a test drive. Since there price of $6.20 (USD) for 20 KH/s  to start up was so cheap I figured I would not be out too much if the site did not pay out. After a couple hours of my 0.00025592 BTC showing up in my Hash Ocean account, I decided I did not want to wait to long for the min of .005 so I purchase and additional  50 KH/s pushing my daily yield to 0.00060 BTC. Well today was the day the balance met the minimum payout and sure enough 0.00062475 BTC showed up in my Coinbase wallet.

After some further research it seems the company use to have another domain and may have split into 2 different companies. That may explain why some of the information on the site is dated to older then the site. I will keep you posted with updates but as of today they are paying. Click here to check out their pricing.
While I have invested money into this site I recommend not spending money you can not afford to lose. There Payout is very high which often indicates a ponzi scam of some sort. To be up to this point (12/27/15) they have paid on time every time, in the end that’s what we really care about.

Hash Ocean Pros:

    Low Start up Cost
    Fast return on investment
    Easy to use interface

Hash Ocean Cons:

    They measure in Kh/s which can be a some what confusing
    No proof of mining
    Support phone has very long hold times,
    Can not select coins to mine

The Table below reflects the Payouts and ROI of Hash Ocean
Company    Date    Hash Rate    Total Investment     Total Pay Out    ROI    Status
Hash Ocean    1/1/2016    725 KH/s    0.49313983 BTC    0.33792445 BTC    68.52%    Paying
Date of 1st deposit 11/07/2015
hashOcean is Still paying as 3/15/2016

While this graph shows an ROI of 6852% these numbers a bit misleading. of the 0.49313983 BTC I have invested 0.33792445 BTC came from Hash Ocean payouts. meaning I have only really invested 0.15521538 BTC to get a current daily return of 0.00521 which calculates to a 3.35% return a day!. Now keep in mind this took a while to get to this point, but as of March 2016 Hash Ocean still has the best daily payouts that I know of in the bitcoin cloud Mining business.

UPDATE: 03/15/2016 Hash Ocean  is still paying on time! Review

Coinbase Review: A+

In my mind, nothing comes close to Coinbase in terms of ease of use and security. You link a bank account to the San Francisco-based start-up, and then send them money to buy Bitcoin at the currently offered price. They wait up to a few days to ensure your transaction clears (Bitcoin is a murky financial area, and they don’t want to risk identity theft or other problems until they have banks on their side), and then give you access to your coins. 30 days after you have a successful transaction, you can add a credit card to your account to enable “instant buys” of up to $1,000 per week. Regular speed buys are allowed at up to $50,000 per week, from a linked bank account. Their platform is very popular, and justifiably so–it makes owning and managing your coins very simple. They also take excellent security precautions–two-factor authentication on log-in AND on send, keeping the VAST majority (97%!) of their coins in offline storage, and so on. They are an excellent way to enter the Bitcoin ecosystem, and an excellent way to integrate Bitcoin into your business, if you’re so inclined. They also offer the excellent Coinbase Vault program–a system that allows you to place your coins into a very high-security lock, requiring two-factor authentication along with a mandatory waiting period before the coins can be moved.

What aren’t they? They AREN’T an exchange. They aren’t a trading platform. If your goal is to be buying and selling Bitcoin on its swings, you don’t want to be using Coinbase for your day-to-day trading.

    Backed by Andreessen Horowitz
    Biggest US player, focused on merchant integration
    Easy platform for buying and selling
    Good way to get money into the ecosystem
    High fees and long waits make it unsuited for trading. It’s more like Western Union than like Scottrade.
    There appears to be a coordinated smear campaign against them on the internet.


    Easy to use! No harder than PayPal
    Secure, trustworthy, American
    Good customer service
    They pay your transaction fees when you move your Bitcoin around


    Fees of about 1%
    Long lag time for initial purchase, and later purchases over 1BTC makes it hard to profit from market movement over the short term
    Slightly higher than market price for purchase
    Really just not intended to be used for trading
    Will occasionally cancel orders for “high-risk behavior”

Arbitrary Coinbase Review Ratings:

Legitimacy: 10/10
Ease of Use: 8/10
Trading Utility: 3/10
Customer Service: 8/10
Would I recommend it to my mother? I did.

Bitcoin transactions per day more than doubled



In December 2014, the Bitcoin network averaged 86,038 transactions per day. In December 2015, the Bitcoin network averaged 202,869 transactions per day (as of 12/23/15). This means that daily transactions on the bitcoin network more than doubled (136% growth year over year) in 2015.

Despite the strong growth in transactions, no single use case has broken out to the mainstream. This is something to keep an eye on in 2016 and beyond.

Bitcoin became more global

U.S.vs International Coinbase users

U.S.vs International Coinbase users 
The majority of Coinbase users now reside outside the U.S (international users grew from 44% to 51% of our total user base in 2015). Despite Coinbase being founded in the U.S. and gaining initial traction there, we’re now seeing exceptional international growth in countries like Brazil, the Philippines, and Indonesia.

Bitcoin volatility decreased

BTC-USD Volatility vs.-RUB-USD and BRL-USD
Volatility has been on the decline since bitcoin’s inception. In 2015, bitcoin volatility fell by 21%. More specifically, the bitcoin vs U.S. dollar exchange volatility (trailing 30 day average) fell from 3.98% to 3.15% this year. You can see some of the more volatile government backed currencies this year in the graph above for comparison.

Will bitcoin eventually become less volatile than some government backed currencies? We’ve seen some interesting debate on the topic which could point to either answer (both short and long term).

The price of bitcoin went up

The price of bitcoin gets a bit more attention than it deserves (we prefer to look at transactions per day as a better measure of how real usage is changing). However, the price still has a big impact on mining profitability, purchasing power of bitcoin holders, and consumer confidence, so it is worth addressing.

The bitcoin price went up 40% in 2015 (as of 12/23/15), making it one of the largest gainers this year vs other asset classes. As one example amongst many, gold was down roughly 10% this year.

The Bitcoin developer ecosystem grew

Number of GitHub repositories mentioning payment methods


In 2015, the elusive “killer app” for the Bitcoin protocol did not emerge. But developer activity was strong, as suggested by the the fact that the number of Github repositories mentioning 'bitcoin’ increased by approximately 40% Y/Y. Bitcoin developer applications improve upon the core utility and utilization of bitcoin, creating value for the Bitcoin network.


While much of the industry shifted to focus on blockchain technology this year, we remained focused on bitcoin and saw the ecosystem grow nicely.

Here are a few major events to keep an eye on in 2016:

  • An emerging application layer for Bitcoin. In 2015 the infrastructure layer of bitcoin matured. With better developer APIs, the 21 Bitcoin Computer enabling a new group of bitcoin applications, and open source communities like Blockstack flourishing, we expect bitcoin applications to start to take off in 2016. 
  • The next bitcoin halving occurs in July. Currently, 25 bitcoin are created every 10 minutes (meaning that for the price to hold constant, there needs to be net buying activity of roughly 3,600 bitcoin per day). In July 2016, the mining reward will cut in half and only 12.5 bitcoin will be created every 10 minutes. This may cause the price of bitcoin to increase if buying activity remains the same or goes up.
Bitcoin’s future will be achieved by the collective work of thousands of people around the world, and we’re proud to be playing a small part in helping bitcoin grow. review

dash is a bitcoin wallet and block explorer service. Launched in August 2011, the service provides data on recent transactions, mined blocks in the bitcoin block chain, charts on the bitcoin economy, and statistics and resources for developers. Information from and links to the website are common in media coverage and in bitcoin forums. The mobile app for Android allows users to securely send and receive bitcoins and browse block chain information. In December 2013, the company acquired ZeroBlock LLC, makers of the leading mobile bitcoin app. was the world's most visited bitcoin website in 2013, with over 118 million page views and over 3 million unique visitors in November 2013, and in January 2014 reached one million user wallets.

In February 2014, Apple Inc. removed the Blockchain app from the iOS App Store, prompting a harsh response from Blockchain and public outcry in the bitcoin community, most notably within the Reddit community. In July 2014, Apple reinstated the Blockchain app back into the iOS App Store.

In October 2014, closed a $30.5 million initial fundraising round, which was the biggest round of financing in the digital currency sector at that time.

In December 2014, became one of the first prominent Bitcoin wallets to offer a dedicated hidden service on the Tor network, for users who desire to conduct Bitcoin transactions with greater privacy and lesser third party surveillance, as well as to provide end-to-end encryption for Tor users who were previously vulnerable to malicious exit nodes sniffing their keys and stealing their Bitcoins.

In early 2015, the company passed 3 million wallets created using their services.

In August 2015,'s CEO Peter Smith was invited to accompany UK Prime Minister David Cameron on a tour throughout southeast Asia to engage with local representatives about the UK's leading role as a global fintech hub.

Also in August 2015, passed 4 million wallets created using their services. is an online financial service provider that works closely with the world’s most popular form of alternative, electronic currency, Bitcoin, including offering users an exchange platform and secure wallets.
Bitcoin is a form of “crypto-currency,” which means that it is an entirely electronic form of currency that must always be encrypted to be secure. Also, it only exists in a peer-to-peer format – there is no central authority either issuing the money or tracking the transactions.
Instead, all Bitcoin functions are tracked collectively by a network. The Blockchain is a database which holds information about all the Bitcoin transactions which take place over the network. 
In addition, they also claim to offer and operate Bitcoin’s largest and most secure wallet service. Bitcoin wallets were designed to assist their users in the very specific type of security that is required by such a distinct form of currency. 
In fact, in order to get started with Bitcoins, you purchasing a wallet is the very first step to investing and trading. The online wallet they choose is extremely important because it becomes their Bitcoin address, which is necessary for all transactions. 
Because Bitcoin wallets are not secured like online bank accounts, you will want to make sure that you are working with a wallet provider that prioritizes security. says that this is their main goal for all their clientele, which currently numbers more than 110,000 registered users.
To meet that security goal, their security policy is to hold as little data as possible in the event that a security breach would affect their users so all passwords or personally identifying information wallet data is stored only in encrypted form.
They also run on privately owned hardware which can only be accessed by certain administrators and perform regular security reviews of both their code and servers.

 Important info

    Wallet Type:  Web, Android, iOS
    Verification:  Trusted Server
    Multisig:  No
    Open source:  Yes
    Privacy :  Poor
    Crypto supported:  bitcoin
    Vulnerability to malware:  Secure
    Private key stored:  client side

Pros and cons

    This industry stalwart is the most popular wallet out there
    Go to spot for block explorer tools
    Extremely well funded and working to enhance product

    Has fallen behind newer wallets
    Shares private info in certain circumstances
    Has had technical difficulties now and again

Summary set the bar for security in the bitcoin wallet industry for many years, but has fallen behind newer wallets that have been quicker to integrate new innovations in the market.

Still, blockchain remains the most popular stand-alone wallet service online, with over 1 million users, and with a recent fundraising round raising $30.5 million, blockchain is sure to maintain it's position as one of the most popular wallets in the bitcoin market.

The blockchain Wallet

Wallets are encrypted client-side using random number generation, and only the encrypted wallet is stored on the blockchain server. Passwords to unencrypt the wallet and approve transactions are held by the user and are unknown by Blockchain offers passphrases for password retrieval, 16 and 6 words for first and second passwords respectively, but if a password is lost and the user has not recorded the passphrases, a client's wallet is effectively locked forever.

Random number private key generation allows one private key per address. Multiple addresses can be generated, but each address brings with it a new private key. If you plan to utilize a number of addresses, for bookkeeping and such, this makes the backing up process a much more cumbersome task as old backups will not have any record of newly generated addresses. Automatic encrypted backups can be sent from blockchain info to email or dropbox after every new address is set. Paper wallets would need to be regenerated. So it is manageable, but not the most convenient solution in the market.

There are a number of security features aiming to limit client side and server side breach risk.
Entering the account requires two-factor authentication, and PBKDF2, a function which stretches passwords to prevent brute force attacks, is available in 5000 increments up to 20,000. Basically, this increases the computational effort required to crack a password accordingly. Users are also able to set up a an IP whitelist, allowing transactions to be made only from included IPs.

Offline Wallet

There is an option to create a watching-only wallet, or a wallet with no corresponding online private key. This means that while coin can be sent to the wallet, transactions only can be authorized from a paper wallet. blockchain calls this "cold storage", but security experts would most likely disagree for two reasons.

First, the paper wallet must be generated online. Recently, it was discovered that the unencrypted private key associated with the paper wallet was actually stored in the browser history. What a massive hole for hackers to exploit. As of February 2015, this has not been addressed by blockchain.

Secondly, for transactions to be signed by the paper wallet, the QR code must be scanned on the connected computer - severing the total disconnect between on and offline systems. The most security minded among you would most likely want to generate a new address and new corresponding paper wallet after each transaction.

However for most, this is a sufficient solution.


blockchain has very good ios and android apps, which are easily paired to the desktop account by scanning a QR code which is kept behind a user password. Once the mobile is paired, the wallet can be accessed simply by entering a four digit pin, and most important features - like sending and receiving funds, are available in app.

Bottom line

Blockchain has been around for years now, and is the most popular wallet in the market. However, it has not kept up with security trends and this has led, as of late, to a number of small security breaches resulting in lost coin. A number of user-friendly functionalities, like HD for instance, are missing from Blockchain is useful for on-the-go mobile bitcoin needs, but there are other more convenient and perhaps safer options for storing coin.

Review: Bitcoin 'Vault' Trezor Lives Up to its Name

Although most bitcoin users rely on freely-available web and mobile wallets, recent security scares clearly illustrate the need for safer alternatives. Here, we take a closer look at one device designed to address the problem.

The Trezor hardware wallet is targeted at bitcoiners who wish to maintain a substantial stash of coins, but do not want to rely on third-party bitcoin storage services or impractical forms of cold storage.

Developed by Czech startup SatoshiLabs, the $99 device is essentially a USB dongle designed to add an extra authentication layer to all outbound bitcoin transactions.

By virtue of its design, Trezor can be used to sign transactions on 'unsafe' computers and is impervious to keyloggers and many other vectors of attack, so even if your host PC is compromised, the attacker has no way of getting your private key.

That's also where the device gets its name, as 'trezor' translates into 'vault' in most Slavic languages, including Czech. A kind of 'vault' for your private bitcoin key, Trezor claims to use a number of clever tricks to maintain security even on compromised and unsafe machines.

Here, we take a closer look at these failsafes one at a time, from setup to transaction.


Unboxing and specs

The device is roughly the size of an average USB stick, albeit somewhat wider, and ships in a very small package.


The box features a holographic sticker on top and a warning urging users to get in touch with support in case they suspect the package was opened.

The sticker feels redundant however, as there is so much glue holding the box together that it is practically impossible to open without causing an obvious amount of damage in the process.


The box includes the Trezor device, a USB to micro-USB cable, an installation manual and a (very) small lanyard.


As for the device itself, we got a white, plastic sample. It also comes in grey and black.

Although the company developed and marketed metal units, they are no longer on offer and the first batches went out to early Trezor backers earlier this year.

The CE and RoHS-certified device measures 60 x 30 x 6mm (2.4 x 1.2 x 0.2 inches) and weighs in at 12g (0.42oz).

While not certified as fully waterproof, the company says the device is at least water resistant.


In terms of hardware, Trezor is based on an ARM Cortex M3 processor clocked at 120MHz. It has a 128 x 64 pixel OLED screen that is both legible and crisp.

The second component of the user interface comes in the form of two hardware buttons, used to perform a number of actions necessary to set up the device and sign transactions.

A standard micro-USB port is located at the bottom. The micro-USB port is the device's only communication with the outside world and only source of power, as there is no battery on board.


As far as build quality goes, things could have been better.

The top of the device and the edges feel very robust, but the same cannot be said of the centre, between the buttons and micro USB port. This part of the device exhibits a bit of flex and it squeaks when pressure is applied.

However, the white plastic has a matte anti-scratch finish and it should be able to stand up to a fair bit of abuse.

Trezor lanyard pin

The plastic lanyard pin is surrounded by sharp edges and the opening is poorly shaped, so inserting a lanyard can be frustrating.

This may sound like a case of nitpicking, so let's be clear: for a USB dongle, the build quality and design are excellent, but consumers spoiled by bulletproof high-end smartphones may find these minor issues annoying.

Trezor installation

Installing the device is straightforward, but it involves a bit of work.

There is no way of getting around this, as you must jump through a number of hoops since you are dealing with a secure device.

After connecting the device, the first step is to head over to myTREZOR and download a browser plugin. The process is automated, although the user needs to allow the plugin to install.


Once the plugin is activated, myTREZOR will prompt you to enter a PIN.

This is where the keylogger protection kicks in. You don't actually type the PIN, you have to click on an obscured numerical pad displayed in the browser.


The position of each number changes randomly, so every time you enter the PIN you will have to check your Trezor device for the layout.

An attacker using a simple keylogger, or even an attacker with complete remote access to the desktop, would not be able to determine the numbers, as they are displayed only on the Trezor device.

The next order of business is to write down a randomly generated 24-word seed. This seed will allow you to reconstruct your Trezor wallet in case you lose the device.

This is the only backup that can be used to recover your wallet in case of loss or theft. Trezor uses BIP39 and BIP44 standards for creating new wallets, so the generated seed can be recovered and used by other compatible wallets.

SatoshiLabs confirmed that users can use Mycelium 2.0, Wallet32 or Multibit HD to load Trezor's recovery seed to their computer.


Technically, the device does not use standard random algorithms, as they would make it prone to random generator attacks.

Instead, it uses deterministic signatures and external random entropy sources, which means it uses multiple different sources to generate the 'random' seed.

The whole setup should take no more than 10-15 minutes.

Convenience and everyday use

The Trezor wallet tries to reconcile two opposite extremes.

On one hand it adds a new layer of security, but at the same time tries to make the user experience as simple as possible.

The device tackles the problem admirably, since there is not a lot of work left after the initial setup.


Using Trezor is not time consuming and a transaction can be approved in a matter of clicks, with minimal interaction with the device.

You have to punch in the PIN to access the wallet and each transaction must be approved on the device.


While the default myTrezor wallet offers a sleek design and works quite well, it still relies on a single service.

For this reason, users wanting to avoid any form of centralisation can opt for either third-party wallet. The device currently supports Multibit HD (beta) and Electrum 2.0 wallets.


You don't need the device to receive bitcoins, only to send them. Even then, the process is rather straightforward, but Trezor isn't intended for every bitcoin transaction you make.

Ideally it should be used to secure a substantial cache of bitcoins, transferring them to more convenient mobile wallet platforms for smaller transactions.


One potential issue for the device is its lack of mobile support.

For the time being, the Trezor device can only work with desktop operating systems such as Windows, OS X and Linux. This means you cannot pair it with your mobile phone or tablet, unless you happen to use a Windows 8.1 tablet.

However, Satoshi Labs is working on enabling USB On-The-Go (OTG) functionality, which would enable its use on Android devices.

This is planned for future releases and an open-source library for Android OTG support is already available on GitHub. Another update will enable support for BIP70, the latest bitcoin payment protocol designed to offer additional security-oriented features.


The Trezor hardware wallet works as advertised. It offers a number of advantages over traditional wallets and renders your private key impervious to many forms of attack.

The downside is that it is simply not an on-the-go device that can be used to make everyday transactions.


Rather, it is a niche product for people looking to secure their bitcoins and top up mobile wallets from time to time.

In other words, if you do not have a bitcoin stash at all times, Trezor (and other hardware wallets) are simply not designed for you.

Crypto enthusiasts, BTC hoarders and small businesses are the target audience. It lives up to its name, as it is more of a crypto vault than a wallet.

Since Trezor has no battery and relies on external power, it could work as a mobile solution, provided Android support is implemented.

It is compact enough to carry around on a keychain and connect to a phone when necessary, so we expect Satoshi Labs to tackle OTG support soon.

Mycelium Review: The Best Bitcoin Wallet

Mycelium Review: Is it the best Bitcoin wallet?

Mycelium beats the competitors in many categories, but is it the best?

    Mycelium for Android is the best Bitcoin wallet available. Aside from the enterprise-level security features, it has many other features making it more than a wallet, it becomes a trading platform, a vault, a wire-transfer, and more!

What is the Mycelium company? Who are they?

Mycelium is a semi-open-source developer/manufacturer specializing in top of the line bitcoin hardware, software, and security. Their website boasts they have the most secure bitcoin software and hardware, when combined enable enterprise level security. We’re going to review their wallet after noticing widespread acclaim. Afterall, the cryptocrooks doesn’t just reveal the scams, we acknowledge those on the cutting edge of bitcoin-based technologies.

    “Growing from the dawn of the blockchain era. Acknowledged to be the best not the fanciest. Being adapted for use by the masses.“

Mycelium is not only working to create hardware that guarantees everyone access to secure Bitcoin storage, but they are working to keep Bitcoin a decentralized cryptocurrency in the hands of the people. Their ideological values reinforce their commitment to the Bitcoin industry at large. We’ll explain why we honor Mycelium as the best Bitcoin wallet.

mycelium wallet review

The main screen of Mycelium wallet showing all accounts linked to the app. We have one send/receive and 1 watch-only.

Multiple Wallet to Choose From

The Mycelium Bitcoin wallet, first-and-foremost, allows users to send and receive Bitcoin. It does this using the best security available for consumers. Mycelium is a no-BS wallet, with each linked account front and center once the app is started. It is simple to create a new wallet to send and receive Bitcoin.

Cold-Storage Wallet

The cold storage functionality allows you watch Bitcoin addresses, without storing private keys. When scanning a private-key to spend a cold-storage bitcoin wallet, the phone encrypts the data sent to the Bitcoin network in order to offer the highest level of security. Mycelium wallet boasts itself as one of the oldest most secure and reliable bitcoin wallets currently in the market. One interesting feature that the Mycelium wallet has is Local Trading. Local Trading allows users to sell and buy bitcoins inside the App with a low fee of 0.2% per trade with a system similar to Localbitcoin. The mycelium system allows contacting two people to buy and sell bitcoin with an encrypted message system.

Mycelium Interface

Mycelium lists 3 sections horizontally, Accounts, Balnce, Transactions, Address Book. Users swipe left and right, with ability to access addition operations in the upper right. Nothing special about the transaction log, except a link to hash details. Even something simple like an address book is beautiful on Mycelium’s wallet app. What I admire most is the ability to send/receive from multiple addresses under one wallet while switching effortlessly between addresses. This allows people to transfer between personal addresses and organize thei bitcoin in place.

Competition to Mycelium

There are dozens of bitcoin wallets available, so competition is tough. But for an all-around, feature-rich wallet with hgih secuirty, Mycelium takes the prize. One can choose between different android bitcoin wallets such as Coinbase (50-100k users) or (50-100k users) which store your private keys. Or choose Bitcoin Wallet (100-500k users) or Mycelium (20k users) for local-storage of the private keys. Mycelium has worked its hardest to protect private keys from being exposed. The only way for hackers to gain this data is on a rooted device, or malware with root access, although highly unlikely to happen, the possibility has to be mentioned.

Mycelium Local Trading


mycelium wallet trader map

A map showing Bitcoin buyers and sellers using Mycelium local trader.

The Mycelium bitcoin wallet integrates a proprietary peer-to-peer trading platform. This platform allows users of Mycelium to enable GPS to find sellers/buyers nearby. This system has no rating system but includes encryption for secure conversations. This allows traders to buy and sell bitocin anonymously. We tested this platform by contacting a member “CHEAPEST” to by $50 of bitcoin. Unfortunately, we will not buy bitcoin from anyone via venmo, especially without meeting in person at a local place.

Although Mycelium’s local trading bitcoin is an interesting feature, we do not recommend buying through it unless one requests cash and a public place to complete the trade. Mycelium is semi-open source, so hard forks of the program could occur, but Mycelium has been constantly integrating new features.

Best Mycelium Wallet Features

    HD Security – Sentence based wallet generation and back-up.
    Easy back-up for securing private keys
    Integrating local bitcoin trading
    Completely Free (for now, including no fees for trading)

mycelium wallet review local trader 

Even they warn you about trading without meeting!

Mycelium Negatives

    Android only – As-of press date, Mycelium wallet is only available for Android devices.
    Not able to sign messages – Although previous versions were able to
    Local Bitcoin trading is prone to scams in current state

We couldn’t recommend Mycelium bitcoin wallet more, we use the Mycelium wallet and recommend  everyone to check it out! We consider Mycelium the best Bitcoin wallet.