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Author Topic: Is there a good web wallet suitable for mobile payments? (i.e. with QR scanning)  (Read 1407 times)
Kazimir
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May 04, 2015, 10:08:23 AM
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All mobile Bitcoin wallet apps obviously support scanning QR codes to do mobile payments. There are also plenty web wallets allowing for easy accessing your wallet online anywhere.

Is there a combination of both? I.e. a web wallet that has support for scanning QR codes? Especially since phone/web camera access is possible with HTML5, I would expect most wallets to do this, but it doesn't seem to be the case.

Only example I know was coinpunk.com which worked very well, but unfortunately they're closing.

Any alternatives?

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Zawamiya
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May 04, 2015, 10:35:40 PM
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what about bitcoin's official mobile wallet, it has QR code scanning feature, search for this on google playstore and see if it suit your needs
Kazimir
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May 05, 2015, 12:12:10 AM
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what about bitcoin's official mobile wallet, it has QR code scanning feature, search for this on google playstore and see if it suit your needs
Is there an "offical" bitcoin mobile wallet? Huh

If I search for bitcoin wallet on google playstore, the two most relevant apps I find are: Mycelium (my personal favorite on android, and probably the most used and most important mobile wallet of all) and Andreas Schildbach's Wallet app (works also great). But I doubt if any of these is "official'?

But I meant web wallet as in: not an app for any specific platform. An app typically only works on iOS, or only on Android, or only on Windows Phone, etc.
Instead I meant something that runs on a website, and thus can be used from any device with internet access (granted it has a browser with HTML5 support, but that holds for pretty much any internet-enabled device nowadays).

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May 05, 2015, 12:15:03 AM
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I know of one, but it's had a massive amount of thefts and "lost" BTC, so I'm not even going to say its name, in the hope that less and less morons will use it.

I can't imagine how any web wallet can ever be moron-proof (users AND administrators).

Saying that you don't trust someone because of their behavior is completely valid.
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May 05, 2015, 12:53:19 AM
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what about bitcoin's official mobile wallet, it has QR code scanning feature, search for this on google playstore and see if it suit your needs
Is there an "offical" bitcoin mobile wallet? Huh

Certainly there isn't (and I'm happy that some people realize this); there isn't even an "official" desktop wallet.

But I meant web wallet as in: not an app for any specific platform. An app typically only works on iOS, or only on Android, or only on Windows Phone, etc.

I'm sorry that I'm not directly answering your question, but web wallets have at least one big disadvantage. Even if they're non-custodial (if you control your own private keys), they're still auto-updating.

With iOS (actually I'm not entirely sure about iOS) or Android, the application author must log into their Apple/Google account in order to upload a new version of their wallet (which then gets reviewed, signed by Apple/Google, and then finally published to the store).

With web wallets, no such extra layer of security exists. If a hacker manages to break into the web-wallet's website, they can upload their own version of a web wallet which steals your password and/or your private keys.

In other words, with apps or browser plugins, a hacker has to first break into a Google/Apple server or a Google/Apple account. It's not an insurmountable goal by any means, but it is more difficult. That's why I'd avoid them if I were you.

Of course, there's always a security/convenience trade-off. It's just that whatever convenience you gain in using a web wallet (vs. a mobile or brower-plugin wallet) is pretty small IMO compared to the security you gain from using a mobile/browser-plugin wallet.
Kazimir
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May 05, 2015, 09:57:10 AM
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Sure, even though a web wallet could do everything client side, open source, and be verified by the general audience, so malicious changes would be hard to pull off. But I fully agree with you a web wallet is by definition less secure than a verified app (assuming the app is also open source, of course).

This is just for cases where there is no better solution at hand. And then still, only for pocket change. Just for quick and easy mobile spending, not to store large sums of money.

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May 05, 2015, 12:16:38 PM
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This is just for cases where there is no better solution at hand. And then still, only for pocket change. Just for quick and easy mobile spending, not to store large sums of money.

I'd only consider non-custodial wallets (where you control your own private keys) and HD wallets (for easy backup).

I like GreenAddress.it. It has packaged apps (which are all just packaged HTML & JavaScript) for Android, iOS, and Chrome for desktops, as well as being accessible from any modern HTML browser. They also have a still somewhat experimental SPV wallet for Android called GreenBits, although it's missing some features available in the (non-SPV) GreenAddress.it apps/web page. It does support QR codes, even w/o one of the apps.

It may not be convenient enough for you though.... they never store your copy of your keys on their servers, so if you want to use it on a new device which doesn't have the keys already cached (and encrypted) locally, you need to type in (or scan) your full mnemonic. I see it as a security feature, but others may see it as an inconvenience.

The only other option I'd consider is Hive Web. It also has packaged apps for Android and iOS (but not for any browser), and can be accessed from any modern HTML browser. It also doesn't store your keys online (for better or worse).

Comparing the two, Hive has a simpler (IMO) interface than GreenAddress.it. On the minus side, it's not multisig and therefore can't offer 2FA nor GreenAddress's optional centralized "instant confirmations". It has no QR/camera integration, although it can display QR codes and it does support its "waggle" address sharing feature with other nearby Hive users. It also doesn't support multiple accounts based on a single mnemonic, nor does it support read-only logins as GreenAddress.it does (which is nice for public terminals, as long as your OK with the potential loss of privacy). (FYI Hive for OS X is something completely different & incompatible.)

I wouldn't touch blockchain.info (for security reasons) nor BitGo (for philosophical reasons).

Finally, although both Coinbase's and Coinkite's default wallets are custodial, they also have multisig options you may want to consider (I've never used either and so can't comment).

Just my 2¢....
Kazimir
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May 05, 2015, 01:22:48 PM
 #8

Thanks a lot, I will certainly check out GreenAddress and Hive! (I actually tried the Hive wallet app a while ago, not the web wallet yet)

In theory, there's no difference between theory and practice. In practice, there is.
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