Shift Crypto Review

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Contributor, Benzinga
Updated: July 13, 2021
verified by Logan Ross
Shift Crypto
Best For
  • Bitcoin Purists
securely through Shift Crypto's website
1 Minute Review

Shift Crypto is a Swiss company innovating on the cryptographic security frontier. It builds a secure hardware wallet with an innovative security architecture run on open-source code.

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Best For
  • Bitcoin purists
  • Careful diversified investors
Pros
  • Open-source code
  • Easy to use and back up
  • Innovative secure design
Cons
  • Expensive for some

Shift Crypto Ratings at a Glance

Products
Pricing
Security
Customer Service
UX
Quality and Resistance
Overall Rating

Cryptocurrency exchange and software wallet hacks have claimed billions of dollars of coins over the years. The best way to safeguard your cryptos is to buy a secure hardware wallet like Shift Crypto’s BitBox02. While hardware wallet hacks are still possible, they are incredibly difficult and require physical access to the device. Assuming you keep your wallet in a secure location, hackers and thieves can’t steal your hard-earned cryptocurrency. 

Shift Crypto Products

Shift Crypto makes 2 secure hardware wallets: the BitBox02 multiedition and the BitBox02 Bitcoin-only edition. Both products are minimalist devices designed to secure your cryptocurrencies without making it too difficult for you to access them. The Bitcoin-only edition can only send and receive Bitcoin and is perfect for investors who want to keep their favorite asset safe. The multiedition supports more cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin, Ethereum and ERC-20 tokens. It can also be used as a 2-factor authentication key to add an extra layer of physical security to your online accounts. 

The 2 editions share the same hardware: a fast microcontroller (minicomputer), secure chip, simple display, USB-C connector, microSD card slot and touch sensors. Backing up your wallet is easy and secure with the BitBox02, in case you lose or break your device. It comes with a complimentary microSD that backs up your wallet automatically. It also can display your secure mnemonic phrase to copy on paper for recovery in case you lose the microSD. Shift Crypto also offers extra accessories to keep your cryptos safe, including a backup metal punch card for your mnemonic phase and tamper-evident bags.

Shift Crypto Pricing

Both editions of the BitBox02 cost $119, which is the same price as the Ledger Nano X. While this is more expensive than some hardware wallets, the innovative security architecture of the device and other features like the easy microSD backup justify the high price tag. While $119 may seem expensive, it may be worth it to keep your entire cryptocurrency portfolio safe from online and offline attacks. 

Shift Crypto Security

The BitBox02 has a dual-chip design, combining the unique security benefits of open-source code and a secure chip. Currently, there are no commercially available open-source secure chips, and Shift Crypto believes you shouldn’t have to trust the manufacturer of your hardware wallet. 

The company made sure the secure chip will never receive any cryptocurrency-related secrets because it isn’t open-source and thus can’t be completely trusted. Instead, the open-source microcontroller encrypts and stores the secrets. The secure chip adds an extra layer of security and protects the device from physical attacks and password spraying in which a brute-force attacker repeatedly guesses the password.

Shift Crypto’s Bitcoin-only edition maximizes security for your Bitcoin by reducing the amount of code in its firmware. This makes it harder for hackers to hack into the wallet because less code translates to less code that could potentially be exploited. The security in the multi-edition will likely be enough to keep your portfolio safe, but this is a nice touch. If you are a Bitcoin purist, this is likely the hardware wallet for you.

Shift Crypto Customer Service

Shift Crypto provides multiple resources to help customers with questions and issues with its hardware wallets. The company answers a list of frequently asked questions on its support page and has useful guides on how to set up and use the BitBox02. It also has a customer service email that users can contact if the FAQs and guides don’t resolve their issues. Customers are recommended to ask general questions that don’t require personal information on their telegram. Most of the BitBox02 reviews are overwhelmingly positive, suggesting most people won’t even need this support, but it's there in case an issue arises.

Shift Crypto UX

Setting up either edition of the device is a breeze. First, go to Shift Crypto’s Startup page on its website and download the BitBoxApp. Then insert the microSD into the device and plug it into your computer or phone. Run the app and it will take you through the final setup steps, including making your password for the device and backing up your new wallet to the microSD card. It's easy to get the device up and running, even for a hardware wallet beginner.

The BitBoxApp is the all-in-one program to facilitate your cryptocurrency transactions with the BitBox02 wallet. It's easy to install and use, and the app has in-depth guides on how to use it effectively. You can manage your backups, change the device’s name, check your mnemonic passphrase, enable the optional extra password and more, all in the app. 

Shift Crypto Quality and Resistance

The BitBox02 is built with high-quality materials and technology. It's made with polycarbonate plastic and is topped with a white organic light-emitting diode (OLED) display. Its design is sleek and minimalist and replaces buttons with touch sensors. It’s small and could be easy to lose, so make sure you remember where you leave it. Although the BitBox02 design is appealing, its most impressive feature is its high-quality security architecture.

Shift Crypto Overall Rating

Shift Crypto makes a fantastic product for those looking for extensive security and ease of use. BitBox02’s security and backup features are not the best on the market, rivaled by Trezor’s Shamir backup and other competitors. However, it provides extensive security for the price, preventing anyone without access to the device itself and its password from stealing its contents.

Shift Crypto Versus Competitors

The 2 major competitors of Shift Crypto are Ledger and Trezor. Shift Crypto’s wallet has some significant advantages over its competitors, including more secure multi-signature functionality, easier setup and an automatic microSD backup. The microSD backup is extremely convenient, but it isn’t necessarily the most innovative security on the market. Trezor’s most advanced model — the Model T — uses what's called a Shamir Backup, although it’s priced at $194, significantly more expensive than the BitBox02. However, the Shamir Backup isn't setup on a default wallet, and most investors don't end up using this feature. To some, the Shamir Backup is just another layer of redundancy and isn’t necessary to keep your coins safe. 

The BitBox02 encrypts all communication with the device it's connected to, unlike the Ledger and Trezor wallets. The Ledger Nano X encrypts its Bluetooth communication, but neither brand encrypts its USB communication, leaving them vulnerable to attacks from untrusted devices. This isn’t an issue for users that only connect their wallets with their own clean computer or phone, but it could be unsafe to use with compromised devices. 

Each competitor has its pros and cons, and the BitBox02 is a great choice for risk-averse crypto enthusiasts.

Frequently Asked Questions

Q
Is Shift Crypto safe?
A

Yes, it is! Shift Crypto’s BitBox02 is one of the most secure places to keep your cryptocurrencies. It uses a combination of hardware and software protection measures to ensure no one but you can access your tokens. Unlike some other hardware wallets, it is still easy to complete transactions with its BitBox application.

Q
Where are my coins actually stored?
A

All cryptocurrencies are always stored on the blockchain. The hardware wallet secures and encrypts the private keys that give you access to your coins. In the BitBox02, the private keys are stored and encrypted on the microcontroller unit. The private keys stay on the device, and using them to access your cryptos is impossible without the physical device and your passphrase.

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