BitBox is a minimalistic hardware wallet and the flagship product of Zurich-based company, Shift Devices AG. BitBox allows you to store a number of cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin. Their wallets are currently sold in well over 100 countries, all over the world. Shift Devices AG was founded in 2015 and has grown tremendously to gain the trust of its users courtesy of its top-level cryptosecurity credentials of BitBox, which we’ll take you through below.
Pros & Cons
How does a BitBox Wallet work?
As a hardware wallet, BitBox helps you store a selection of cryptocurrencies offline in what is known as ‘cold storage’. It comes in the form of a small USB drive, so it’s very portable and plugs straight into your computer. It relies on encrypted USB communication to help better manage your digital assets and stop anyone else being able to access your wallet. The wallet comes well equipped with its own native software app, meaning that you do not run the risk of using browser-based extensions that may not be secure.
With BitBox, your private keys will never come in contact with the internet or even your computer, so they’re secure from malware or hackers and your cryptocurrency remains safe. This gives you the peace of mind that you have full control of your private keys at any time.
Which cryptocurrencies are supported?
BitBox is a multicurrency wallet. However, it is currently limited to a few of the digital assets with the company promising to add more in the near future. Having said this, BitBox gives you the ability to create a new wallet for each cryptocurrency from its interface, rather than buy a new wallet for each.
BitBox wallet currently supports the following cryptocurrencies:
What devices are compatible with BitBox Wallet?
BitBox is compatible with Windows, Linux and Mac operating systems. Additionally, it can also be integrated with mobile apps through iOS and Android. As such, you can conveniently use BitBox with:
- Mobile phones
BitBox is currently available in over 100 countries. Shift Devices AG are not specific on these, but it includes the UK and the vast majority of European countries. You may see the need to take it upon yourself and inquire from its support team in case your country is not yet supported. As BitBox is a hardware wallet, as long as you can get one delivered you will be able to use it anywhere.
BitBox Customer support
BitBox offers support through email and the post. There is no livechat or phone support offered.
However, the website is designed with helpful guide materials. The FAQ section offers answers to the commonly asked questions, giving you the chance to sample through some challenges you may encounter when setting up your BitBox, especially on the safety of your funds. What’s more, the ‘get started’ section offers you a step by step process on how to set up your BitBox to the last step of sending, receiving or storing your cryptocurrencies.
BitBox is a miniature USB device that helps offer you offline storage for a select number of cryptocurrencies. It uses an encrypted USB communication in managing your cryptocurrencies, coupled with a micro SD card meant for backup and recovery of your wallet.
Each BitBox wallet comes as a one-piece design as it does not need any batteries or connecting cables as it is synonymous with most hardware wallets. Its native software client ensures that you do not run through the security risks of using browser-based add-ons.
BitBox also stands out with its plausibility deniability feature. This is where you have to enter a different password before you get access to a hidden wallet. Hidden wallets are used to create an extra layer of security for your funds. In case a hacker manages to get access to your main wallet, they will not get access to your hidden wallets since this needs a different password. This gives you an upper hand in terms of increasing the security aspect of your wallet.
BitBox device itself has a durable case build filled with epoxy, the same material found in bulletproof glass thus assuring the physical durability of your BitBox.
How does a BitBox keep my cryptocurrency safe?
As a hardware wallet, BitBox makes sure your private key is stored offline. In addition to this, each device has a range of extra security features, including:
- Manual transaction confirmation: When sending funds from your BitBox, you can manually verify each transaction with a touch button and LED indicator found on the device.
- 2-factor authentication. The 2-factor authentication helps prevent ‘man-in-the-middle’ attacks when logging in.
- Native app. Unlike some hardware wallets, BitBox has its own app which helps keep everything you do on the wallet secure.
- Backup and recovery. Unlike most other popular hardware wallets that use a multi-word phrase for backup, BitBox uses a micro SD card. Here, you can back up your wallet and easily restore it using another compatible device in case your BitBox wallet is stolen or gets destroyed.
- Encrypted USB communication. To help protect your data, even more, BitBox uses AES-256-CBC encrypted communication through USB, keeping your private keys secure.
- Dual chip architecture. BitBox’s dual-chip system ensures your private data remains isolated on a high-security memory chip.
- Password protection. BitBox wallet is protected by a password. This password erases and resets automatically after 15 failed attempts. This is a sure protection against common password attacks through brute force.
Do I need to download any software?
Yes, BitBox comes with its own native app to help you manage your cryptocurrency, thus helping you avoid browser-based add-ons. However, you will still need to download compatible apps to help communicate BitBox with your device. Before using BitBox on your desktop, you will need to download the BitBox desktop app, and if you are using BitBox to receive, store or send Ethereum and ERC20 token, you will need to download MyEtherWallet app.
Can I back up my BitBox wallet?
Yes, BitBox offers you a backup option through its Micro SD card that comes as a package with your wallet. The BitBox features a micro SD slot where you can insert your card for backup during the setup process. In case you lose or damage your BitBox, you can use this Micro SD card on another compatible device to recover your wallet and subsequently your funds. After your initial set up, remove the SD card and store it securely.
Can I use BitBox anonymously?
Yes, just like any other hardware wallet, BitBox is anonymous. All that will show up on the blockchain is your wallet address, which cannot be traced to your identity. BitBox also integrates Tor and Tails OS to ensure that your operations remain totally private and anonymous.
Are there any extra fees for using my BitBox wallet?
BitBox is a hardware wallet and this means you do not incur any additional fees to use it apart from its initial buying price. However, you will have to incur some fees when sending funds and the rates will be dependent on the type of cryptocurrency and the rate of incoming transactions on the blockchain. These fees are usually very low and are used to pay the miners who verify transactions on the blockchain.
Are there limits to the amount of cryptocurrency I can deposit and withdraw?
BitBox wallet does not have any deposit or withdraw limit. This is because essentially, your cryptocurrency and transaction history is not stored in your wallet but will remain recorded on the blockchain. Your wallet simply acts as a secure store for your private keys. So, as long as your BitBox can verify a transaction and you have your private keys for the transaction, then there is no limit on what you can deposit or withdraw.
How much does a BitBox wallet cost?
Prices for BitBox are all in Euros, and Each BitBox costs €59. However, postage will cost an extra €19 unless you live in Switzerland, bringing the price up to €78. Remember, the Wallet and the Micro SD card come as a package and are therefore priced together.
What are the differences between the BitBox wallets available?
BitBox is currently available in one model only.
BitBox stands out with its native software app. This helps avoid the security risks usually associated with browser-based extensions and this basically means more security to your private keys. It also helps that it comes in one piece to reduce the cumbersome connection issues common with most hardware wallets that use USB cable connection.
Open source software
All BitBox code are set up so that the bootloader, firmware, desktop and mobile apps are open source. These signed deterministic tools mean that you have the liberty to audit, build and even load official firmware on your own.
BitBox is a good, affordable choice for anyone looking for a hardware wallet. It’s small and lightweight design also makes it easy to transport around (you can even keep it on your keyring). It’s also user-friendly, coming with its own dedicated app to manage your cryptos, which also avoids the security problems with using browser-hosted software. On top of this, backing up your BitBox to the Micro SD card that comes with it is very easy.
In terms of its drawbacks, Shift Devices AG’s lack of livechat or phone support means that the customer service around BitBox leaves a little to be desired. And it is also to be noted that BitBox holds a smaller range of cryptocurrencies than some of its competitors. However, there is an extensive FAQ section on their website that covers almost anything you could need to know about setting up and managing your wallet, and if you’re only looking to hold the major coins and ERC20 tokens, then BitBox will work just fine.
Even with the additional shipping cost outside of Switzerland, BitBox is cheaper than other major hardware wallets and comes with many great features.
How to set up a BitBox wallet
- Download software. Download, run, and install the latest desktop app depending on your operating system.
- Plug in your BitBox to your computer. Ensure that you have inserted the Micro SD card in the wallet before you plug in. Using the desktop app, enter a wallet name and password for the device. The BitBox will then set up your first wallet while at the same time generating backup on the micro SD card.
- Note down your password. Remember to keep a copy of the device password safe since, without this, you will not have any access to your wallet nor the backup saved in the Micro SD.
- Remove the Micro SD card. Remember to keep this card in a safe and secure place. This backup will be used to recover your wallet in case you lose or damage it.
- Set up MyEtherWallet (if storing Ethereum). In case you would like to have Ethereum integrated you will need to complete other additional steps (which are clearly outlined) to help manage your Ether through MyEtherWallet.
- Start using your wallet. You are through with the setup and can now start transacting with BitBox.