The Samourai wallet is a mobile software wallet for Bitcoin that has a strong focus and emphasis on user privacy as well as security. The wallet is also very innovative and features various aspects in which other wallets do not support. It is a wallet which is fundamentally inline with the principles in which Bitcoin was founded, being decentralization, financial privacy, transparency, security, and fungibility. In the following review, we’ll delve into all the features and aspects that make up this wallet and see how it compares to the competition.
The Samourai wallet is rich with features even though it is only a Bitcoin wallet. Since the wallet is so specialized, it’s useful features are specific to holding and transacting Bitcoin and are quite advanced compared with many other more generic cryptocurrency wallets. See Samourai’s various features in the points below.
Dynamic Transfer Fees
One of Samourai’s many advanced features is the ability to increase the transaction fee to speed up your transactions. The fee is set at the standard rate, but users can increase this fee, so their transaction is completed ahead of others.
Samourai has a strong emphasis on user privacy and this is evident through their transaction process. When transacting your Bitcoin, Samourai uses a new address every time in order to protect your metadata and prevent people from identifying you, your transactional amounts, and number of Bitcoins you own.
Tor & VPN Support
Another feature related to privacy is the Tor and VPN support. Using Tor or a VPN, users can use an anonymous IP address that’s not tied to you or your location.
Samourai was one of the first wallets to implement SegWit, a transactional upgrade to the Bitcoin protocol that enables lower transaction costs for you and other users. It also speeds up transactions and is a necessary feature for the implementation of the Lightning Network in the future.
This is another transactional protocol feature in which enables privacy with public payment addresses. The way it works is, a payment channel between two wallets is opened by scanning a public payment code. This creates a special transaction on the blockchain in which you can send Bitcoin to another wallet anonymously without knowing the address you’re sending to.
This is yet another type of transaction that improves privacy and fungibility by confusing people who spy on the blockchain. This feature can help prevent transactions from being traced. Which can help in situations when banks or exchanges freeze suspicious transactions.
Users can remotely interact with their wallet via sending SMS codes to their wallet. They can even retrieve their wallet using another mobile device or wipe it clean if their mobile phone is stolen.
Another unique feature is the ability to send transactions by connecting to your own node by entering in the IP address and port of the node. By default, Samourai uses their own Iceland based Bitcoin nodes, but users can use their own if they enable this feature.
Due to Samourai’s strong anonymity and privacy aspect of their wallet, it is only available on Android mobile devices. iOS devices that Apple creates are generally not supportive of innovative and pprivacy-orientedcryptocurrency applications such as Samourai. However, the team behind Samourai is pushing for their wallet to be launched on iOS devices and may be available in the near future. As for Android devices, the Samourai wallet is available for download from the Google Play Store. However, since the Google Play Store is a centralized service operated by Google, they will know everyone who downloads and installs the Samourai app. Therefore, in order to maintain complete anonymity, the Samourai wallet app is also available in F-Droid, which is an open source and privacy oriented repository for Android applications.
Who should use it?
The Samourai wallet is clearly for advanced users who care deeply about anonymity and privacy. The wallet was created by an anonymous group of privacy advocates who developed it for users like them. We know what many of you might be thinking, the Samourai wallet is perfect for criminals and anarchists, which it is. However, it is also a perfect wallet for people from totalitarian countries who disallow the use of Bitcoin and try to penalize those who use it. The Samourai wallet is for people who want complete freedom over their finances. It allows people to freely move their money without any government organizations or centralized entities stopping or tracking them. All in all, the Samourai wallet is for anyone who cares about privacy and financial freedom. The wallet may be a little too advanced for some, but the user interface and design is simple enough for beginners to use as well. After all, users do not have to utilize all the advanced anonymity and privacy features the wallet presents. It can be used just like any other Bitcoin wallet and still maintains a strong level of privacy and anonymity.
One thing to keep in mind though, while the Samourai wallet has a strong focus on privacy and security, it is not a hardware or cold storage wallet. Therefore, users should not use this wallet to hold and store a significant amount of Bitcoin. Rather it should be used by users who want to transact their Bitcoin anonymously, rather than storing large amounts of Bitcoin on it.
The overall consensus from the Bitcoin and Samourai community towards the wallet is very positive. The Samourai wallet is highly trusted with many user reviews praising its service as a private and secure mobile Bitcoin wallet. Even though it’s not a hardware wallet, but a mobile wallet, Samourai is very secure with military grade encryption. The Samourai wallet protects and secures their users wallet data with advanced AES-256 encryption so that the wallet is protected from malware and other server attacks. As well, the user owns and has full control over their private keys as they are fully encrypted, stored on the user’s phone, and never transmitted to any servers or anyone.
Another important security measure is the utilization of a BIP 39 passphrase encryption upon wallet creation. This provides an extra layer of security before your wallet is even setup. Also, when creating a Samourai wallet, users set a 5 – 8 digit PIN which is used to access your wallet. Upon logging into your wallet, the PIN screen is randomized each time you go to enter your PIN, therefore thwarting screen recording spyware.
Another security measure which we found very unique is the “stealth mode feature”. When this feature is enabled, the shortcut icon completely disappears from the phones home screen, app lists, recent apps list, or launcher. You could search the entire phone and the Samourai app is nowhere to be found. The only way to access the app is to dial your PIN into the phone pad as if you were dialing a number to call. In doing this, the Samourai app will launch making is accessible to you. We thought this feature was very interesting and have never seen or heard of it before.
All in all, the Samourai app is a very safe, secure, private, and trusted mobile Bitcoin wallet.
The Samourai wallet prides themselves as being the most private Bitcoin wallet on the market. The team has a strong commitment to anonymity and privacy as the team themselves are an anonymous group of privacy advocates. Samourai wallet users can remain completely anonymous and implement added layers of privacy protection when transacting Bitcoin. To see which privacy features are supported, look back to the features section of this review.
The Samourai wallet can be fully restored and recovered as it implements a sophisticated backup system. If anything were to happen to your phone such as it being lost, stolen, or destroyed, the user can fully restore their wallet on a new device as the Samourai wallet is a hierarchical deterministic wallet. What this means is, the wallet can be restored by using your 12 word key phrase that you wrote down upon setting up the wallet. All the user would need to do is download the Samourai wallet app on a new device, restore their wallet by entering in their 12 word key phrase; and their private keys, Bitcoin addresses, and Bitcoins will be restored on the new device. Also, a really cool feature to go along with this, is the ability to test your backup to ensure your 12 word key phrase works. This is an important aspect that is often overlooked among crypto wallets and users.
Unfortunately, the Samourai wallet is strictly a Bitcoin wallet and thus only supports the storing and transacting of Bitcoin. While this is unfortunate, it allows the app to offer highly sophisticated and advanced features which are only compatible with Bitcoin. By only supporting Bitcoin, the Samourai wallet can focus on the security and privacy aspects of just one cryptocurrency.
Can you trade cryptocurrencies from inside the wallet?
The Samourai wallet is a specialized wallet that focuses on security and privacy, rather than the support of numerous cryptocurrencies and the ability to exchange and trade them. Therefore, the answer to this question is no, Samourai does not support the trading of cryptocurrencies from inside the wallet. Users will need to buy their Bitcoin from another source and then send it to the Samourai wallet.
Free. The Samourai wallet is absolutely free to download and use. Users do not pay any transacting fees to Samourai for sending Bitcoin to their Samourai wallet and storing it here. However, users must pay a minuscule fee to Samourai on outgoing transactions. This small fee is in addition to the mining fee, which the user can customize. Also, if the user wishes to utilize some of the additional privacy transaction features, there is a small cost. For instance, to open up a private payment channel between two wallets, there is a one time cost of 0.00015 BTC plus the normal miner fee paid at time of connection. As well, to use the ricochet feature, Samourai charges 0.002 BTC for every 4 hop ricochet transaction.
Setup Guide & How to Use it
Getting started with the Samourai wallet is simple and easy. The whole installation and setup process can be done in a matter of minutes with a few simple steps. See the steps below.
Step 1: Install the App
Using your Android mobile device, navigate to either the Google Play Store or the F-Droid repository and download and install the Samourai wallet application.
Step 2: Create Wallet
Launch the app and click create a wallet. You will first be asked to set a secured passphrase which acts as an additional level of security before you create your wallet. Be sure to write the passphrase down on a piece of paper and store it in a safe and secure place.
Step 3: Set your PIN Code
Enter in a 5 – 8 digit PIN code. This will be your primary PIN for opening the wallet.
Step 4: Note your 12-word Recovery Seed
This is perhaps the most important step if you wish to be able to recover your wallet. Write down and confirm the 12-word mnemonic recovery seed on a sheet of paper and store it in a safe and secure place.
Step 5: Complete
The installation and setup process is now complete, and you can begin using your Samourai wallet.
Pros and Cons
- Increased anonymity
- Secure and private transactions
- Rich with highly advanced features
- Great user interface
- Only supports Bitcoin
- No in-app trading or exchanging
- Not as secure as a hardware wallet
Support representatives can be contacted via email and other support features include a comprehensive support page with numerous articles and FAQs. Users can comment and submit requests here as well. All in all, the support provided by Samourai is superb.
The Samourai wallet is probably the most privacy oriented mobile Bitcoin wallet available and is definitely worth considering if you’re someone concerned about privacy. As well, the wallet is very secure and rich with highly advanced features. The wallet is of very high quality and has an excellent user interface. Bitcoin enthusiasts and privacy advocates will appreciate everything the Samourai wallet has to offer.
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