John McAfee, who has over 846,000 Twitter followers, has recently been promoting the new BitFi cryptocurrency hardware wallet, which claims to have “fortress-like security.” Most of the legitimate reviews available online about the BitFi wallet have been fairly positive, however, Ryan Castellucci, a cybersecurity researcher, wrote a review stating that it was “terrible” – adding:
I strongly advise against using one of these devices.
Soon after, McAfee reacted to the researcher’s review – insisting that his comments were not credible, adding that other negative reviews about the BitFi hardware wallet should not be taken seriously because the people criticizing the device had not even used it.
Rob Loggia's rebuttal to the fake "reviews" of BitFi. I say fake because none of the reviewers actually had acces to a BirFi wallet. Its impossible to say you reviewed something without actually seeing that thing. My haters are extreme.https://t.co/X5aw2DwKwI— John McAfee (@officialmcafee) July 28, 2018
“Fake” Negative Reviews
Rob Loggia, one of McAfee’s technical advisors, then wrote his own review after he reportedly purchased and used the wallet himself. In his detailed blog post, Loggia wrote
Over the last several days I have seen a few negative “reviews” of the Bitfi online. The word “reviews” is in quotes because none of the pieces I have seen were written by people that actually owned the device. A strange way to review a product, and most of these were just rants by clearly disgruntled anti-fans of John McAfee. Yes, that is a thing for successful people, and McAfee has plenty. Even the real Satoshi Nakamoto has come out of the termite-infested woodwork once again to tender his opinion on the Bitfi, for whatever that is worth to anyone these days.
In the excerpt from his review shared above, Loggia was sarcastically referring to Dr. Craig Wright, a controversial crypto personality who claims to be the real Satoshi Nakamoto, the pseudonymous inventor of Bitcoin (BTC).
Wright is notably among a number of crypto personalities who’ve called the BitFi wallet a “scam”, while McAfee has challenged everyone to try and hack the “optimized utility” device. McAfee claims it is unhackable and says he’ll give $100,000 to anyone who is able to hack it.
Flawed Arguments Against BitFi Wallet
Getting back to Loggia’s review, later he takes a serious jab at Castellucci - claiming that his arguments as to why the BitFi wallet is vulnerable are flawed. The computer security researcher had said that brain wallets “are not 100% secure.” However, Loggia points out that hardware wallet is not a “pure” brain wallet.
Loggia goes on to explain that:
A brain wallet is simply a tool that allows you to generate a private key from your phrase for one currency and store it offline. The Bitfi does much more than this, both in terms of actually using cryptocurrency and in terms of authentication. So arguments against a "pure" brain wallet do not allow us to dismiss the Bitfi.
The technical advisor also criticizes a number of other reasons given by Castellucci as to why the BitFi wallet may be insecure, pointing out that simply because Castellucci had the credentials and background to support his negative review of the wallet does not mean that others should “extend credibility” to it.
He further noted that people had been sharing Castellucci’s review online without even reading it carefully, presumably because he was an “expert.”
Notably, not all of Castelucci’s comments were critical of the BitFi wallet. He did say that “for some users, this really will provide adequate security.”
Thus far, there are still no reports of anyone being able to hack a BitFi hardware wallet.