Bitcoin News: iOS Users Get A “Directly Connected” Bitcoin Wallet App

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Users of iOS devices can now download a decentralized wallet app that connects directly to the bitcoin network, making it different from other server-based products on the market. Breadwallet is the first bitcoin wallet app of its kind on Apple’s platform. Its creator says users are not vulnerable to server downtime or the hacking attacks that sometimes strike centralized providers, and wallet management remains straightforward enough for the average user.

It is now featured on the ‘Choose Your Bitcoin Wallet’ page at bitcoin.org, and has received favorable comments from users on Reddit. Instead of running through central servers, Breadwallet accesses the bitcoin network directly, using ‘simplified payment verification’ (SPV). Developer Aaron Voisine said he prefers this to other iOS apps that are “server-trusting” or just “wrappers around web windows”, building his own SPV backend from scratch.

Breadwallet is a BIP32 HD or ‘hierarchical deterministic’ wallet, which means all of a user’s bitcoin addresses (public and private) and balances can be recovered with a single unique phrase. Provided you remember the phrase, users’ wallets will never need backups and can be restored on other devices even if the original is lost, broken or stolen.

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That being so, Breadwallet is staking a claim as iOS’s first decentralized bitcoin wallet. The Android version of Hive wallet is built on Mike Hearn’s bitcoinj and thus is listed as ‘decentralized’ by bitcoin.org, but its iOS version is not. Hive does, however, use a similar deterministic tree structure (BIP39) to Breadwallet, meaning backup phrases from each app may be used on the other.

Voisine said he chose iOS because he wanted to create an app that anyone could use relatively safely, without needing to know how to secure a desktop or Android device – something even more technical users often struggle to do properly.

He said: “As bitcoin grows to become a major world currency, malware theft is going to be a huge problem. Stealing digital cash is way more lucrative than turning people’s machines into spambots or stealing credit cards.”

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Apple’s tight grip over its native platform was actually the best way to reduce the threat of malware, he added. Further, iOS is the only popular platform that hardware-encrypts the filesystem by default, giving added protection to users who lose physical access to their devices.

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