Airbitz is an easy-to-use mobile Bitcoin wallet that provides some pretty good security considering how easy it is to use. But how good is this wallet really and is it safe?
In this Airbitz review I’ll be going over more about what it is, taking a look inside the mobile wallet, going over the security it has, complaints and more.
Airbitz In a Nutshell
Airbitz is a mobile Bitcoin wallet that gives you the best of both worlds somewhat. Usually when crypto wallets become easier to use this means that security is sacrificed. And while this is definitely not on the same security level as a hardware wallet, it does quite a good job and is very innovative, which I like to see.
Overall the mobile wallet is very easy to use and well laid out…. very user friendly. Users have easy access to the blockchain and can spend their Bitcoins with ease. However, its only available with the app, there is no web interface for desktop computers.
One thing that makes this wallet nice is that it is decentralized. Airbitz does not control your account or your private keys. So not only does Airbitz provide an easy to use interface but it also provides users with an easy way to have their keys encrypted and stored inside your phone and in the cloud.
A Look Inside The App
When you first install and open the app you will be prompted to create a username, make up a 4-digit PIN number, and create a password. You may be wondering why the PIN? Well this just makes it so that you can login to your account faster and more easily from devices that are already recognized.
Once inside the app the most important features are, as you can imagine, the ability to request and send Bitcoin.
If you click on Request it is going to give you your wallet address and a QR code that goes along with it if you want someone to send you Bitcoin for one reason or another. You can also easily email or text someone your address from inside the app.
The send feature is going to allow you to easily send Bitcoin from your wallet to any address you want to. When you open up this feature it will take you to your camera where you can scan QR codes that you want to send Bitcoin to. You will also be able to paste in any address you want to send.
One of the nice things about this is that you can enter in the amount you want to send in BTC or fiat money. The fiat money will be calculated based on the current market price of Bitcoin. You can set this in USD, EUR, and a ton of other currencies.
Other Features of The Wallet
Of course the main purpose of the wallet is to be able to hold and safely store your crypto, but there are some other things that you can do with it.
For one, you are able to buy/ sell Bitcoin straight from the wallet with your bank account. What you would first have to do is have an account with Glidera, Bity, or LibertyX (which are exchanges you can buy/sell Bitcoin with similar to GDAX and Coinbase) and then you would be able to integrate one of those accounts with your wallet.
Inside the wallet you are also able to search through a directory of places nearby that accept Bitcoin as payment. This is really nice because of course its a Bitcoin wallet.
Security… How Safe Is It Really?
Your wallet’s private keys, which give full access to your account and are more precious than gold, are created and encrypted automatically on your mobile device from your login/password. This encryption process happens before it is copied from your phone RAM to the storage section, which protects from potential malware problems. This encrypted data is then also backed up to cloud servers.
As mentioned earlier, there is no need for you to write anything down. You do not need to know your private keys. All you need to know is your login and password, which will give you full access to your account.
Sounds easy enough right? This allows you to access your account from any device. It doesn’t matter if your phone is lost, destroyed, etc, you can login on any device and recover your same account.
However, with all of this ease-of-use comes a serious concern….
What if someone hacks your account?
Now they have access to everything? They make it easier for people to access their wallet on the blockchain but doesn’t this also make it easier for hackers to access other people’s wallets now since all they need is your login info?
If you look at it like this then yes, it does make you more susceptible to being hacked, however, they have another security measure in place to help you stay safe…
2 Factor Authentication (2FA)
2FA works as another level of security when logging into your account. Basically what it does is ensures that the rightful account owner is accessing the account by providing a code on the device that you are using which is entered upon login. This makes it so that a hacker cannot get into your account from a computer or device that is not yours.
Unlike most other services that use Google Authenticator to generate a private code for users to enter when logging in, Airbit has its own 2FA feature. It generates a new token upon login and shares it with its servers. There is no need for you to manually enter a code.
This sounds good and all but I’m not really sure how it compares to the Google Authenticator. This is what I am used to and what I know works. If anyone has any insight on how safe this 2FA actually is I would appreciate hearing it below.
*Note: 2FA is not enabled automatically. You have to go into Settings to enable this, which I highly recommend.
Make sure to create a strong login and password. This means everything because it will be used to encrypt your private key. If you create a password like “password123” then there is a good chance you could get hacked if you don’t have 2FA set up.
So make sure you make things difficult and definitely set up 2FA.
Could You Possibly Lose Funds?
If Airbitz would shut down and you would lose your phone then yes. As far as I know one is the backup for the other. So if you lose your phone you have the cloud storage as a backup and vice versa. But if both were to disappear then I imagine you would be screwed.
Complaints… What Other Users Are Saying
Of course, as with anything, there are going to be complaints. However, overall this has a very good rating from users as I expected after looking into it. On Google Play for example it has plenty of ratings with 4.2/5 stars total… pretty solid.
A few of the more common complains that are actually worth mentioning and not just people wining about stupid things that don’t matter include…
I’ve read through quite a bit of complaints about the app crashing upon startup and not being able to be used. This happens to some users and not others and seems to be related to the device that it is being used on.
Most people don’t have a problem with this but it is something that needs to be worked on more. In particular I’ve seen more than one person having this problem with the Note 8 fyi.
Unavailable In Certain Places
Unfortunately this app isn’t available everywhere. It is not supported in some countries and even in some states in the US.
Conclusion on Airbitz
Overall I like what I see with the Airbitz wallet. It is very user friendly and provides a fair amount of security in relation to its ease of use.
For mainstream Bitcoin adoption an easy to use wallet like this is what there needs to be more of.
I personally would use this wallet for easy of use but I wouldn’t be holding long-term storage in it. I would use it as somewhat of a “Bitcoin checking account” but for long-term savings I would still definitely stick with a hardware wallet like KeepKey or TREZOR to keep things as safe as possible, which would be more like a “Bitcoin savings account”.
Airbitz makes it very easy to move Bitcoin around and it does have good safety measures in place. Its good but not good for everything. Easy of use and liquidity of Bitcoin are the positives you have when using this wallet.
Anyways… I hope this review helped you out, and as always, leave any comments or questions below 🙂