Shift CryptoSecurity, the team behind BitBox02 (successor of the BitBox01), takes features from both Trezor and Ledger and creates a highly secured cryptocurrency hardware wallet based on open-source transparency and compact design.
In this review we will look at some of the most important features when selecting your hardware wallet and accompanied app, like features offered, security, supported currencies, ease of use, etc. so you can decide if BitBox02 is the right solution for you.
We are digital nomads using and testing cryptos, hardware, and software around them and their applications in real life. We are using different hardware wallets to store our cryptos, and we were excited to look into BitBox02, too.
+ Developed by Shift Crypto AD company with a good reputation + Easy setup + Great Security + Universal Two Factor (U2F) support + MicroSD backup options + OLED display
+ Limited support for altcoins + No support for IOS
Specs and Features
128 x 64 px white OLED
54.5 x 25.4 x 9.6 mm including USB-C plug
Capacitive touch sensors
ATSAMD51J20A; 120 Mhz 32-bit Cortex-M4F; True random number generator
ATECC608B; True random number generator (NIST SP 800-90A/B/C)
Backup & Recovery
Instant backup and recovery with microSD card + recovery phrase
Native Desktop app, and mobile for Android
Overview: BitBox02 review
The BitBox02 is made by Shift Cryptosecurity AG, a privately held company based in Zurich, Switzerland, and is the next generation of the BitBox01 hardware wallet. The company was founded in 2015 by Douglas Bakkum and Jonas Schnelli.
The BitBox02 comes in two versions:
BitCoin-Only with limited firmware and less code to minimize the attack surface when holding your bitcoins.
You can also purchase additional security accessories, like Steelwallet, Backup card, Tamper-evident bags, etc.
Features and Accessibility: BitBox02
The BitBox02 has a simple but compact and damage-resistant appearance. Let's look at some of the main features and usability.
The BitBox02 has a built-in MicroSD slot and USB-C connector, an OLED display (128 x 64 px), and capacitive touch sensors on the sides to interact with the device. The BitBox02 has no physical buttons.
Even though it's almost entirely made of plastic material, it feels well made and resistant, weighing only 12g.
Backup and Restore feature
Backups are instantly made to a microSD card and can be managed from the desktop or mobile BitBoxApp. Once you make the backup, you should store your MicroSD card separately from the device in a secured place. Then, you would only need it again to restore the backup.
For additional protection, you write down your 24 recovery words and keep them in a safe, offline place, separately from your device.
Mobile Phones Connectivity
Due to its USB-C connector, you can plug the BitBox02 directly into your compatible Android devices and connect it with your app instantly.
128 x 64px OLED display
With an OLED display, you can see and verify all the transactions that you are about to confirm directly on the device.
Native Desktop and Mobile Apps
Their app is available for download on macOS, Windows, Linux, and Android. Unfortunately, it's not supported on iOS.
The app has an easy-to-use user interface.
The universal second factor (U2F)
You can use your BitBox02 Multi-Edition wallet as a second-factor authentication key to log in to any U2F compliment platform like Google, crypto exchanges, GitHub, Facebook, etc.
Security and Wallet Backup: BitBox02 Wallet
Firmware & software security
The BitBox02 wallet is a secure hardware wallet. All BitBox products are developed by a team of Bitcoin and crypto experts and with focus on highest security. All their products are made in Switzerland.
BitBox02 is equipped with reliable software and hardware security components. Firmware, the BitBoxApp, and x rays of the hardware are open-source, which are perceived as more reliable since the source codes are publicly shared. The BitBoxApp itself only accepts Shift Crypto's firmware.
Both BitBox02 and its ancestor BitBox01 are built with dual chip security architecture; the microcontroller chip allows running open-source security code, and the separate ATECC608B chip protects against brute force attacks.
BitBox02 doesn't offer a Bluetooth connection, which can be a disadvantage when it comes to ease of use and accessibility, but an advantage when it comes to security as it minimizes the possibility of Bluetooth exploits.
The BitBox devices attest the wallets during factory setup, meaning that every time you use the BitBox app, they check the device's authenticity.
They ship the BitBox devices in vacuum-sealed packages, which is another measure to prevent any supply chain and delivery attacks.
For adding an additional layer of privacy, you can enable Tor proxy and connect to your full node and keep all your data locally. You can read all the details about their security features and their technology here.
Additionally, they have a bug bounty program and external security audits.
With all these security measures, we can confirm that the team focuses on security by developing hardware and software that should resist any type of attack.
You can use the MicroSD that comes with the device to back up all your information, including the seed phrases, which ensures that you won't lose funds by accidentally writing down the wrong words.
If you want to make sure no fire, corrosion, or extreme conditions will destroy your offline stored seed phrase, you can also order their Steel wallet apocalypse-proof backup. It is made of stainless steel sheets where you can punch your recovery seeds. It comes with two sheets, where you can add six phrases on each side. Since the BIP-39 wordlist allows you to identify each word just by knowing just the first four letters, you can only punch the first four letters of each word on your Steelwallet.
The price: BitBox02
The price for both, BitCoin-Only and Multi-Edition, is 119 EUR / approx. 131 USD. This puts it in the price range of Ledger Nano X, the bigger and more known player in the hardware wallet market.
Compared to Trezor Model T, BitBox02 is a more affordable option and potentially a great alternative with comparable features. If you want to learn more, you can check our detailed review and comparison of Trezor vs Ledger, which will help you choose your best crypto hardware wallet.
Supported Currencies: BitBox02
BitBox02 supports over 1500 cryptocurrencies, like Bitcoin, Ethereum, Cardano, Litecoin, Polygon, BNB, Arbitrum, Optimism, Fantom Opera, and ERC20 tokens. You can see the complete list here.
One of the downsides is that they have limited support for altcoins compared to other multi-chain wallets. Some of the Ethereum-based tokens are integrated into the app, and for others, you will need to use with MyEtherWallet.
As mentioned earlier, you can select from Multi-Edition or Bitcoin only.
Initial Setup: BitBox02
The initial setup is straightforward and shouldn't take more than a couple of minutes.
In a nutshell, the process goes as follows:
Download the BitBox app,
Insert a microSD card & plug in your BitBox02,
Install BitBox02 firmware,
Confirm pairing code,
Create a new wallet,
Set your BitBox02 device password,
Create your wallet backup.
And you are done. The only thing left is to take the MicroSD card out and store it safely.
You can read the detailed guide on the whole setup here.
Customer Support: BitBox02 Review
The app supports Bulgarian, Chinese, English, French, German, Hebrew, Hindi, Japanese, Malay, Persian, Portuguese, Russian, Slovenian, Spanish, and Turkish. And as a Slovenian, I was surprised that they support the Slovenian language because usually, that's not the case.
You can write to them at firstname.lastname@example.org. They also have solid support documentation to answer your concerns and guide you through the essential information.
Can I use my BitBox02 with multiple devices?
Yes, as long as the devices are supported by BitBox02.
Can I have multiple accounts on BitBox02?
Yes, you can create additional accounts with their receiving addresses, transaction history & extended public key.
What types of wallet backups can I create?
Automatic wallet backup on a microSD card and manual wallet backup by writing down your 24 recovery words.
Which third-party wallet apps support the BitBox02?
Electrum, AdaLite, Rabby, MyEtherWallet.
Is there a BitBoxApp for iOS/iPhone?
At the moment, BitBox is not available for iPhones or iPads due to Apple's regulations on USB port connectivity.
Conclusion: Is BitBox02 a safe hardware wallet?
To draw the line, we agree that BitBox02 is a great hardware wallet that impresses with security features and ease of use, and is a great choice for your crypto funds.
What it lacks is the support for more currencies and third-party wallet integrations, but still offers a wide range of the biggest ones that you can store and hodl. We are looking forward to seeing more from the Crypto Shift team.
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