BitBox02 is a sleek crypto hardware wallet built by the Swiss-based manufacturer Shift Crypto that prioritises security and convenience above all else.
But is the BitBox02 a reliable option for storing your private keys? Can it really keep your crypto safe and secure? And is it better than popular wallets from top brands like Ledger and Trezor?
In this BitBox02 review, I take a detailed look at everything this wallet offers – including its features and flaws – so you can decide if it’s a good option for managing your crypto.
Advantages & Disadvantages
- Compact wallet design that also boasts a large, highly readable screen.
- Jam-packed with security features, including two secure chips and open-source software.
- Option for a Bitcoin-only or a multi-currency wallet.
- Reasonably priced when compared to similar hardware wallets.
- Can be backed up onto microSD cards.
- Multi-currency BitBox02 has limited support for different blockchains (only Bitcoin, Ethereum, Litecoin, and Cardano).
- Touch sensor buttons can take some getting used to.
- Doesn’t currently have an iOS app.
- Some durability concerns due to the device’s exposed USB-C plug.
The BitBox02 is currently available from the Shift Crypto online store for €119 (£100/US$130).
When you compare it to other popular crypto hardware wallets, the BitBox02 is reasonably priced. It’s definitely not a budget wallet, but it avoids the hefty price tags that we see on some other models.
Here’s how it compares to other top crypto hardware wallets:
|Ledger Nano S||£45||€53||$59|
|Ledger Nano X||£113||€135||$149|
|Trezor Model T||£198||€235||$260|
You can get the BitBox02 directly from Shift Crypto or from a local reseller.
There are a few things to keep in mind when ordering a BitBox02 directly from Shift Crypto’s online store.
First, note that Shift Crypto ships all of their hardware wallets from Switzerland. When I last checked, they charged €9.90 for shipping to the UK via UPS Express (which normally takes 2–3 business days).
But unlike some crypto wallet manufacturers, BitBox02 states that the cost of duties and taxes for shipping to the UK is already included in the wallet price, so you shouldn’t have to pay any extra if you’re getting it shipped to the UK.
The last thing to consider is your payment options. Shift Crypto lets you pay for your wallet using a credit or debit card as well as a bank transfer, Crypto.com Pay, and Bitcoin (BTC).
Before we talk about the BitBox02’s supported cryptocurrencies, we first need to point out that the BitBox02 comes in two different versions: a Bitcoin-only version and a multi-currency version.
These two wallets are the same with respect to their features, design, and wallet interfaces. The only difference is in what coins they support.
The Bitcoin-only version supports (you guessed it) only Bitcoin (BTC). The multi-currency BitBox02 supports the following coins:
- Bitcoin (BTC)
- Ethereum (ETH)
- Litecoin (LTC)
- Cardano (ADA)
The multi-currency BitBox02 also technically supports all ERC-20 tokens. However, only about 1,500 ERC-20 tokens are supported by the BitBox02 wallet interface. If you want to store the private keys to an ERC-20 token that’s not supported by the wallet’s interface, you can use your BitBox02 with MyEtherWallet (MEW).
Check out the full list of supported coins and tokens on the multi-currency BitBox02 for more information.
The BitBox02 is a decidedly sleek hardware wallet. Here’s what you can expect design-wise when you order a BitBox02.
What’s in the Box?
When you buy a BitBox02, you’ll get a compact box that’s completely enclosed in a clear tamper-evident plastic bag.
Inside the box, you’ll find the following:
- BitBox02 hardware wallet
- MicroSD card
- USB-C extension cable
- USB-A to USB-C adapter
- Rubber pulls (for storing the wallet on a keychain)
Note that the BitBox02 doesn’t come with recovery seed cards like you find with most hardware wallets. But you can buy a set of recovery seed cards from Shift Crypto as well as extra microSD cards for backing up your wallet.
The BitBox02 is 54.5 x 25.4 x 9.6 mm in size and it weighs approximately 12 g. This means that it’s nearly the same size as the compact Ledger Nano X, even though it’s about half the weight.
But one downside to the BitBox02’s design is that it has a USB-C plug and that this plug is fixed in place. This isn’t a huge deal, but a USB-C plug is arguably more prone to damage than a USB-C port, which is what you’d find on Ledger devices.
For interacting with the wallet and confirming addresses, the BitBox02 has a set of capacitive touch sensors—two, to be specific. You simply need to tap on or swipe across these sensors to make selections on the wallet or read an address.
This is an interesting innovation from Shift Crypto that certainly has its advantages over the single-use buttons that you find on some other wallets. But typing in your password to unlock the wallet can be a bit of a hassle and these touch sensors can take some getting used to.
With the BitBox02, Shift Crypto put a large emphasis on screen size. In fact, most of one side of the wallet is a 128 x 64 px OLED screen.
This makes it really easy to read wallet addresses or to confirm your recovery seed during set-up. But the screen on this wallet isn’t quite long enough to show you an entire address at once.
The BitBox02 is made primarily from polycarbonate. This is great from a weight savings perspective – as polycarbonate is much lighter than most metals. It’s also not horrible with respect to durability.
That said, polycarbonate definitely isn’t as durable in the long term as the stainless steel we see on Ledger devices.
One thing that could give the BitBox02 an edge durability-wise is its capacitive touch sensors.
Instead of physical buttons that you have to be pushed to make a selection, the sensors on this wallet just need to be tapped. This could be a durability-related advantage for the BitBox02 as it eliminates some moving parts on the device that are arguably more prone to breaking or malfunctioning.
Since the BitBox02 is a hardware wallet, the device itself is only used to store the private keys to your coins and to confirm transactions. To manage your crypto, you’ll need to use a wallet interface.
The BitBox02 works with a number of wallet interfaces, but the official interface for the device is the very user-friendly BitBoxApp.
This interface is currently available as a desktop and Android app, though the company hopes to release an iOS app in the near future. The desktop version of the BitBoxApp can also connected via Tor to obfuscate your network activity.
Like most wallet interfaces, the BitBoxApp lets you see your current coin and token holdings. It also lets you set up multiple accounts on a single device so you can separate your funds for different purposes, such as everyday spending and HODLing.
In the BitBoxApp, you can also send crypto to friends and get your wallet addresses to receive coins. The BitBoxApp even lets you categorise transactions so you can keep track of your spending and receiving activity.
There aren’t too many other extra features in the BitBoxApp, though there is an option to buy Bitcoin (BTC), Ethereum (ETH), and Litecoin (LTC) using the interface’s integration with MoonPay. MoonPay supports bank transfers and credit card payments, but the fees are very high compared to what you’d get at a proper exchange or broker (e.g., CoinJar, Coinbase, or Gemini).
If there’s one area where BitBox02 really impressed me, it’s Shift Crypto’s commitment to security.
Shift Crypto has an entire page on its website dedicated to the BitBox02’s extensive list of security features that you can check out if you want more detailed information.
Some of the features that stuck out to me were:
- Dual Secure Chips: The BitBox02 has a dual chip system that provides extra protection to your device. The first chip is a microcontroller chip and it’s what runs the open-source code that the device operates on. In addition to this, the BitBox02 has a secure ATECC608B chip that offers a number of security benefits, such as added resistance to brute-force attacks. Head over to this article if you want the specifics on how this dual chip system works.
- Device Password: In addition to the multi-layer protection afforded by the wallet’s dual secure chips, the BitBox02 also requires a password whenever you start up your device.
- Open-Source Firmware: The firmware in the BitBox02’s secure chipsets is completely open-source. This means that you can verify the firmware on your device with the official firmware on BitBox02’s Github page.
- Device Authenticity Checks: When you first set up your BitBox02, the BitBoxApp will automatically verify your device’s secret attestation key. This helps your wallet interface determine whether your device is genuine before you start using the device.
- microSD Card Backups: The BitBox02 supports microSD cards so you can backup your device. Doing so helps ensure that you won’t lose your crypto if your recovery seed cards are accidentally destroyed or lost.
The BitBox02 also supports other advanced features such as multisig, encrypted USB communication, and dual functionality as a FIDO-compliant U2F key.
Each BitBox02 wallet is also designed to withstand physical threats thanks to its solvent-resistant epoxy construction and its built-in breaking pins. If someone tries to physically muscle their way into your wallet, these features make it obvious that someone tried to tamper with your device and will render it unusable.
The BitBox02 is a solid hardware wallet, but what if you want access to a wider range of supported currencies?
My top choice for a multi-currency BitBox02 alternative is the Ledger Nano X.
It offers support for thousands of cryptocurrencies, is built using cutting-edge security features, and it’s ever-so-slightly more compact. The downside is that the Nano X runs on closed-source firmware and it’s a bit more expensive.
But if you’re solely looking for an uber-secure way to store the private keys to your Bitcoin, the Coldcard should be on your radar.
The Coldcard MK3 is easily my favourite hardware wallet and it’s set the standard for security in the industry. I love that this wallet can be operated without ever being connected to a computer and that it runs on open-source software. You can also back it up to a microSD card and it comes with a slew of other fantastic security features.
BitBox02 Review: The Bottom Line
The BitBox02 might not be as well-known as the hardware wallets from companies like Ledger and Trezor, but I think it’s a great alternative for a security-conscious crypto investor.
Here’s what I like about the BitBox02:
- Security: Shift Crypto loaded an impressive array of physical and firmware-based security features into this wallet.
- Portability: The BitBox02 may not be the smallest crypto hardware wallet out there, but it’s pretty darn close.
- Reasonably Priced: I wouldn’t say that the BitBox02 is cheap, but when you compare it to other similar wallets and consider its many security features, it’s an excellent value for the money.
There are only a few downsides to this wallet. The big drawbacks in my opinion are the fact that the BitBoxApp doesn’t yet work on iOS and that the wallet’s touch sensors can be a bit finicky at first. If you want a true multi-currency wallet, the BitBox02’s relative lack of supported coins and tokens is a bit of a bummer, too.
Thanks for checking out this BitBox02 review!
What are your thoughts on the BitBox02? Is it a wallet that you’d use for your crypto?
Or have a question you want to ask me?
Let me know in the comments below!