The Bitfi wallet, designed by John McAfee, is supposedly the world’s first “unhackable” cryptocurrency wallet. To test its alleged security, Bitfi has a bounty reward for anyone able to hack the system and obtain the coins from where they are stored. Though this system may seem strange, it is incredibly difficult to achieve the reward and an excellent way for Bitfi to demonstrate their security and marketing prowess.
Rules of the Game
Here’s how you play:
- Hack the Bitfi wallet and make modifications
- Transfer out $10 of bitcoin on the crypto wallet to any other address
- Claim $250,000 USD
The rules of the game seem simplistic, yet the reward is very hard to achieve.
“Nothing else will qualify. Please also note that this is not a bug bounty program. This is strictly a bounty to hack into the Bitfi wallet to allow those who claim they can hack it to attempt to do so.” notes Bitfi’s website.
Did a 15-year-old Hack the Unhackable?
In recognition of @Bitfi6 and @officialmcafee and their prestigious @PwnieAwards accolades, we'd like to show you @spudowiar playing DooM on his #BitFi secure wallet! Congratulations! pic.twitter.com/50qZZu1MnF
— Abe Snowman – MMG3 (@AbeSnowman) August 9, 2018
Though the rules are clear, some competitors don’t pay enough attention to the specifications, including 15-year-old, Andrew Tierney. Tierney claims to have hacked this game and expects his bounty. Recently there has been a recent uproar between Bitfi Wallet’s creator, John McAfee, and Andrew Tierney (better known as Cybergibbons) regarding Tierney’s entitlement to the bounty money. It is understood that individuals who are able to steal crypto coins from the wallet and manage to send signed transactions using the wallet can qualify for a second, $10,000 bounty.
No Coins, No Bounty
To be clear: Tierney did not steal coins. Though, he was able to hack in and perform actions such as the following: Display silly messages on the screen, sent the device’s private keys and passphrase to a remote server, play videos, play games, play music, and root the device. However, this 15-year-old did, in fact, hack the wallet, he did not transfer out the coins as the rules plainly state.
'[Bitfi] claims that Tierney is "cleverly twisting things that were said out of context,"'
— Ask Cybergibbons! (@cybergibbons) August 15, 2018
None the less, John McAfee seems unimpressed. Thus far, he is not budging as the hacker tries to claim his funds. McAfee’s response through twitter indicates that he will not be paying the bounty and the wallet is still as secure as he claims.
The press claiming the BitFi wallet has been hacked. Utter nonsense. The wallet is hacked when someone gets the coins. No-one got any coins. Gaining root access in an attempt to get the coins is not a hack. It's a failed attempt. All these alleged "hacks" did not get the coins.
— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) August 3, 2018
Bounty hacking used as a marketing ploy seems vulnerable to scrutiny, though this marketing ploy sure seems to be working. The wallet retails for $120 and sold out in just 22 minutes on its first day available.
This wallet is special and is unhackable because private keys are not locally stored on the device. However, If you were to lose the wallet or have it stolen, you could still access your crypto. Bitfi has an open-source center to obtain your key, from which you can simply order a new device. Hackers, the bounty is still up for grabs. Even if a 15-year-old has tampered with it and, in many twitter fans’ opinions, has indeed hacked the unhackable. Just make sure you store things safely so you don’t end up like the users who got an EOS bug that allows stealing resources or the fortnite gamers who had bitcoin stolen.