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Author Topic: Weird Bitcoin wallets  (Read 386 times)
dkbit98 (OP)
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August 10, 2022, 07:19:28 PM
Last edit: August 11, 2022, 02:38:33 PM by dkbit98
Merited by LoyceV (8), hugeblack (4), hosseinimr93 (4), o_e_l_e_o (4), pooya87 (2), Pmalek (2), mk4 (2), bitmover (2), NotATether (2), SFR10 (1), ETFbitcoin (1), DdmrDdmr (1), Fivestar4everMVP (1), PawGo (1), PrivacyG (1)
 #1

I saw all kinds of crazy and interesting things made for Bitcoin but I never expected to find Bitcoin wallets like this, that are far from being a standard.

This topic will be dedicated for all the strange wallets that can be very unsecure and most of them I don't recommend using in every day life.

Emoji Bitcoin wallet is using emojis instead of boring standard 12 seed words and it's made by Stepan Snigirev as open source fun project.
Interesting thing is that emooji mnemonic seed is compatible with Electrum wallet and you can easily generate them using their web page.
Problem is there are many similar emojis for different platforms so you can easily make a mistake and lose access to your funds.
Use this wallet only for fun and educational purposes!



Border Wallets is a new way to quickly and reliably memorise Bitcoin seed phrases.
I usually don't recommend people to trust so much in their brain and memory knowing how fragile they can be, but this sounds like an interesting project and it can be use when you need to temporary remember your seed words.
It can be useful when you are moving to different country and crossing border, but you still need to learn how Border Wallets system work.

Border Wallets project is aimed at people who:
Quote
- have difficulty/concerns with securely caching physical seed backups (evil maid attack)
- want to memorise their seed words but struggle to do so
- want to carry their seed words with them at all times
- have limited access to trusted 3rd parties
- live in areas of conflict, war zones, etc.
- regularly travel or move around
- have no permanent fixed abode.

They claim you can memorise your seed phrase in under 10 seconds, by downloading EGG (Entropy Grid Generator) random grid of all 2048 seed words, and following instructions to verify latest release.
Downloaded .html file should than be moved to offline airgapped machine, that can later be used for generating your own custom Patterns.
I still didn't generate or test my own Border Wallet, but it looks like interesting project that can be used by everyone.
Using this wallet needs a learning curve and I would like to see it being tested by more security experts.





More wallets could be added in future, and you are welcome to make your suggestions.

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August 11, 2022, 11:11:05 AM
 #2

I don't understand why people make insecure things like the emoji wallet and tell people not to use it. Best case scenario no one uses it. Worst case scenario someone loses their coins behind an unrecoverable seed phrase. It goes without saying no one should use the emoji wallet.

The border wallet is different because they are promoting their scheme as a genuine alternative, which it absolutely isn't. It is a mash up between a regular seed phrase and a brain wallet, and takes all the disadvantages of both. To recreate your "entropy grid", you need a 12 word seed phrase which they give you. Without your entropy grid or your seed phrase back up, your wallet is permanently lost. This is exactly the same as a regular wallet and its seed phrase back up. However, you also need to memorize the pattern on your entropy grid and where exactly it goes on your grid. If you forget either of these things, then again your wallet is lost.

Their example of using the bitcoin symbol is a poor one, since there are dozens of different ways you could draw the symbol and there are 1,534 locations you could put the correct symbol on the grid, meaning probably around 100,000 possibilities. And there is no way to use something like btcrecover to brute force the correct one should you forget, since the entropy grid is randomized.

So all things considered, you still need to back up a 12 word seed phrase and carry it or the entropy grid with you across the border, with the added disadvantage of forgetting something resulting in complete loss of your coins. Truly the worst of both worlds.

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August 11, 2022, 12:06:17 PM
 #3

Even if Open Source, I am one of those not willing to support 'weird' Wallets such as the Emoji Wallet.  Main reason being the longer you leave the wallet untouched, the more likely it gets for that software to become discontinued and then basically you are left with a big trouble trying to find out how in the world these Emojis were turned into seed at the time your wallet was actually a working software.

Then comes another issue.  How do you back up your phrase?  Writing 12 words may be less creative than drawing some Emojis, but there are two things I would like to point out.  Emoji designs have been changed before, they are even today presented differently on different platforms (Android v iOS v Windows) and secondly, it is harder for the average user to draw an Emoji accurately instead of writing words down on a paper.

Could definitely call it an interesting approach to Bitcoin seed generation and representation but I could also call it a very dangerous approach as I think we should just stick to the basics because the more complicated things get, the harder a recovery will be even just one decade down the road.

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August 11, 2022, 01:22:31 PM
 #4


Border Wallets project is aimed at people who:
Quote
- have difficulty/concerns with securely caching physical seed backups (evil maid attack)
- want to memorise their seed words but struggle to do so
- want to carry their seed words with them at all times

So, at the end what you have is generated grid (kind of paper wallet?) on which you "paint" your seed (something like other project - forgive me, I do not remember now the author - which builds private key using grid where user switch on/off some cells). I wonder how they generate the last word, as there could be several words which build the correct seed (with checksum). If for example they select always "the first valid one", it is already a simplification.

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August 11, 2022, 01:38:13 PM
Merited by dkbit98 (1), PawGo (1)
 #5

(something like other project - forgive me, I do not remember now the author - which builds private key using grid where user switch on/off some cells).
Here it is: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5187401

Draw a picture in a 16×16 grid and it will use it to generate a 256 bit number which is then used as a private key. As pointed out in that thread, this is still just a glorified brain wallet and should not be used.

I wonder how they generate the last word, as there could be several words which build the correct seed (with checksum).
It gives a list of the 8 valid final words and lets the user pick the one they want. They even suggest writing down the number of the final word you pick on the grid. Roll Eyes

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August 11, 2022, 09:52:58 PM
 #6

Emoji Bitcoin wallet is using emojis instead of boring standard 12 seed words and it's made by Stepan Snigirev as open source fun project.
Emoji wallet is one that I've never heard of and I am just seeing this for the first time,  I am super curious to test this out and see how it works.
Could be fun using emojis in place of seed phrases,  but like you said, this is highly risky as some emojis look same in physical but has different background settings,  a big problem can arise if for any reason,  the user forgets the arrangement of the emojis and end up mixing them up.
This wallet should only be used as an experiment and not be taken serious.

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August 12, 2022, 07:10:31 AM
 #7

I don't understand why people make insecure things like the emoji wallet and tell people not to use it. Best case scenario no one uses it. Worst case scenario someone loses their coins behind an unrecoverable seed phrase. It goes without saying no one should use the emoji wallet.

It can just be a fun project, no? It seems like the developer released it just as a fun experimental project, and not something he highly promoted as a wallet generator for retail users. I see nothing wrong with that as long as the risks are explicitly mentioned, which it definitely is on the webpage.

Some coders just like to code for fun, I guess!


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August 12, 2022, 07:19:59 AM
Merited by mk4 (1), dkbit98 (1)
 #8

I guess that the Photo Seeds project may need mentioned here, at least briefly, since it was already discussed on bitcointalk.
Of course, like with the rest, it's (imho) riskier to use than a normal wallet with a normal seed.

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August 13, 2022, 07:24:42 AM
Last edit: August 14, 2022, 10:13:29 AM by o_e_l_e_o
 #9

Could be fun using emojis in place of seed phrases,  but like you said, this is highly risky as some emojis look same in physical but has different background settings,  a big problem can arise if for any reason,  the user forgets the arrangement of the emojis and end up mixing them up.
More importantly than that, is that emojis differ between devices, between operating systems, between languages, between websites, between apps, between software, even better different versions of the same software. You could easily find that a simple update to some part of your device, even an update that happens in the background you are unaware of, could render your "seed phrase" incorrect and unrecoverable. Far too risky.

It can just be a fun project, no?
But with every such fun project, there is a non-negligible risk that someone actually uses it and loses all their coins. I guess I just don't see the point.

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August 13, 2022, 07:38:58 AM
 #10

I wanted to see if it really works, so I copied one of the seeds from Emoji wallet and then tried to recover a wallet on Electrum. And indeed, the seed gets recognized as a valid Electrum seed. It's a really an interesting concept, but besides having a bit of fun, I wouldn't recommend using this for anything serious. 

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August 14, 2022, 10:01:54 AM
 #11

But with every such fun project, there is a non-negligible risk that someone actually uses it an loses all their coins.
That is true, but dumb people do dumb things. If you're not going to doing something because someone might misuse it, then you might as well not release anything.

I guess I just don't see the point.
You'd be surprised what developers could do/invent when bored.

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August 17, 2022, 10:11:03 AM
Merited by dkbit98 (1)
 #12

Problem is there are many similar emojis for different platforms so you can easily make a mistake and lose access to your funds.
For those who might face such problems in the future, you can refer to "Emojipedia [copy paste a particular emoji in its search field, then scroll down to see the results in different platforms]".
Note: My post shouldn't be counted as a recommendation for using this specific wallet!

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August 17, 2022, 03:12:24 PM
Merited by NeuroticFish (1)
 #13

For those who might face such problems in the future, you can refer to "Emojipedia
Doesn't really help.

I just generated a random emoji seed phrase on that site. The first emoji was a "growing heart". Type that in to emojipedia, and there are 21 possibilities. Next was a baguette - 17 possibilities. Then a clock. There are emojis with every time in half hour increments. So if I remember the right time on the clock, 21 possibilities. If I don't, then 21*24 = 504 possibilities! So it is entirely possible to correctly and accurately back up your entire emoji seed phrase and yet still end up in a situation where you can never successfully recover your wallet.

So as I said above: No one should ever use this.

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August 17, 2022, 05:20:39 PM
 #14

I just generated a random emoji seed phrase on that site. The first emoji was a "growing heart". Type that in to emojipedia, and there are 21 possibilities.
I wouldn't call it "possibilities" if we're not going to get those 21 variations within a single platform.

Then a clock. There are emojis with every time in half hour increments. So if I remember the right time on the clock, 21 possibilities. If I don't, then 21*24 = 504 possibilities! So it is entirely possible to correctly and accurately back up your entire emoji seed phrase and yet still end up in a situation where you can never successfully recover your wallet.
It seems you're mixing two slightly different situations... In the first part, you mentioned remembering it and I believe that implies memorizing it [no one should do such a thing (it's nonsensical)], whereas in the latter you mentioned backing it up correctly and that's where I fail to see how it can still lead to not being able to recover your wallet [it might require a conversion of some sort in the future, but I don't think that's a major stumbling block (unless I'm missing something)]?

So as I said above: No one should ever use this.
I completely agree, but it's perfectly fine to use such things for testing purposes.

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Custodial exchanges were a mistake


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August 17, 2022, 07:34:03 PM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1)
 #15

I wouldn't call it "possibilities" if we're not going to get those 21 variations within a single platform.
No, but if I come back in 20 years time, will I definitely remember which platform I may or may not have used? What about a family member trying to recover my coins after I have died?

whereas in the latter you mentioned backing it up correctly and that's where I fail to see how it can still lead to not being able to recover your wallet?
Example: I am shown a clock emoji. I draw a picture of a clock. Only when I come later to restore from my seed phrase do I realize there are hundreds of clock emojis showing different times.
Another example would be that there are dozens of different Planet Earth emojis, all centered on different countries, but there is a good chance that someone backing up their emoji seed would not realize that.

I completely agree, but it's perfectly fine to use such things for testing purposes.
This is the point I don't understand. Testing for what? Why create tools which will most likely end in people losing their wallets and then say "Don't use this"? What's the point?

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August 18, 2022, 07:39:31 PM
Merited by o_e_l_e_o (4)
 #16

No, but if I come back in 20 years time, will I definitely remember which platform I may or may not have used? What about a family member trying to recover my coins after I have died?
Good questions... Off the top of my head, I'd say the easiest and simplest approach is to also include the name of the platform in question in your backup.
- I'm just trying to offer a solution in advance, for those who might have a hard time recovering their wallet in the future (I do know it might not be a straightforward process for everyone, but it's doable).

Example: I am shown a clock emoji. I draw a picture of a clock. Only when I come later to restore from my seed phrase do I realize there are hundreds of clock emojis showing different times.
Another example would be that there are dozens of different Planet Earth emojis, all centered on different countries, but there is a good chance that someone backing up their emoji seed would not realize that.
I completely understand what you're trying to portray. I just checked in one of the platforms and I counted 24 similar clock emojis [and 5 more that are slightly different] + 4 similar planet earth emojis and I do get it that depending on the set of emojis [especially those with many variations], it could significantly extend the trial and error phase but personally, I don't think it makes it an impossible task.

This is the point I don't understand. Testing for what?
Testing for fun or it might even come in handy for educating the younger kids.

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Custodial exchanges were a mistake


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August 20, 2022, 09:09:30 AM
Merited by SFR10 (2)
 #17

Good questions... Off the top of my head, I'd say the easiest and simplest approach is to also include the name of the platform in question in your backup.
I would say the easiest and simplest approach would be to write down words instead, which are universal across all platforms. Tongue

I don't think it makes it an impossible task.
It easily could. It generates seeds which are 14 emojis in length. Even ignoring the outliers like the clock with >500 possibilities and assuming only 20 possibilities per emoji, that's 2014 combinations. Write a program which can test a million possibilities a second, and it will take ~52,000 years to try them all.

Testing for fun or it might even come in handy for educating the younger kids.
Educate them to generate wallets in stupid ways? Bad idea.

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August 20, 2022, 09:24:37 AM
 #18

Many people are lazy enough to write down a set of 12/24 words let alone the same number of emojis. If people are warned that different platforms/devices have different types of emojis, this can make them want to save the seed emojis in digital format to make sure they got the correct ones. This is not recommended. Give the people a new option and they will find shortcuts that make an unsafe implementation even worse.

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