While information about how blockchains and cryptocurrencies work can be studied and learned over time, keeping your assets secure requires never-ending care and vigilance. Keeping your tokens safe is one of the greatest challenges of the crypto world.
As such, any help we can get is gratefully received. We were delighted, therefore, when we read about BANK, a new decentralized wallet app for smartphones.
Who Is Behind BANK?
BANK is the brainchild of Horizontal Systems.
The BANK wallet is just one part of Horizontal System’s vision to launch a DAO (decentralized autonomous organization). If you’d like to learn more, the founder of Horizontal Systems expanded on his long-term goals in a recent interview with Joe.
What Is BANK?
BANK is a fully decentralized crypto storage app. In practice, it means BANK works almost entirely on a peer-to-peer basis. There are no central servers, and as such, the app can never be blocked or taken offline by hackers, governments, or corrupt operating systems.
Very few parts of the app are still centralized. Some non-vital data—such as exchange rates—rely on third-party providers, but the developers stress that they are quickly moving towards decentralizing those aspects of the service as well.
Importantly, the app is open source. That differs from some of its competitors in the smartphone crypto wallet sector. Because the app is open source, you can dive into the code on GitHub and ensure that there aren’t any privacy issues or security loopholes.
At the time of writing, BANK can support Bitcoin, Ethereum, Bitcoin Cash, and other ERC 20 tokens. If your token of choice is not supported at the moment, keep an eye out. The developers are adding support for more tokens with every new release.
All your private crypto keys are encrypted and stored on your local device; nothing is sent outside of your smartphone or kept on remote servers.
But don’t worry; just because the keys are kept locally, it doesn’t mean you’ll lose all your cryptocurrency if something happens to your phone or tablet. Users can create a 12-word secret key which they can use that key to restore their wallet on any other deterministic wallet app.
Lastly, it’s important to note that you should not install BANK on a rooted Android or jailbroken iOS device; the storage mechanism for your keys would no longer be 100 percent secure.
Benefits of Open Source Crypto Wallet DApps
The world of crypto wallet apps is a crowded space. You’ll have probably heard of some of the most popular options—Coinomi and Jaxx immediately spring to mind.
However, neither of those two popular options are a) decentralized nor b) open source. That raises two potential red flags.
Firstly, you have no guarantees that the developers are trustworthy. You are placing large amounts of capital into their systems with no assurances of their safety.
Secondly, if experts cannot inspect the code, you run a higher risk of being hacked. Remember, all the biggest crypto hacks have occurred at the exchange and wallet level. They are caused by the developers’ poor code that hackers can exploit, rather than by problems with the crypto and blockchain technology itself.
BANK App Overview and Features
Let’s talk a quick walk through the BANK app so we can explain some of its features in more detail.
When you fire up the app for the first time, you will be prompted to create a new wallet or restore an existing one. If you create a new one, the next screen will prompt you to create your secret key.
The main interface is crisp, clutter-free, and easy to navigate.
The first tab lets you see your crypto balances in the wallet. When you load your wallet for the first time, there will be a short loading period while the app reads your data.
Below the name of each coin, you will be able to see live USD exchange rates for each of your coins.
If you want to perform transactions using a specific token in your BANK wallet, tap on the token’s name and select Send or Receive in the popup window.
Public keys are provided in both QR code and alphanumeric format.
The second tab provides a list of your transaction history. You can use the tabs at the top of the screen to filter by specific coins.
The list provides incomings and outgoings as well as information about the sender or receiver’s address.
The final tab is where you will find BANK’s settings:
- Security Center: Change your PIN code, enable/disable fingerprint recognition, make a copy of your wallet using your secret key, and unlink your wallet from your device if you plan to sell it or throw it away.
- Base Currency: Set the currency for the in-app exchange rates.
- Theme: Flick between light and dark mode.
- Language: Choose to use BANK in English, German, Russian, French, Turkish, or Persian.
Cost and Availability
BANK is free to download and use, and there are no in-app purchases. The app is available on both Android and iOS. You can download it using the links below.
BANK Has a Positive Future
Despite the widespread media coverage, the truth is that we are only just experiencing the beginning of the crypto boom.
As such, it’s easy to argue that BANK is starting up at the right time; it feels like the app has considerable long-term potential.
Other Crypto Storage Options
Finally, remember that despite the positives, BANK (and smartphone apps in general) are not the only way to store your crypto.