Jaxx Wallet Review
Jaxx offers an HD multicoin wallet with all addresses connected to a single master seed
- Bitcoin Cash
- Ethereum Classic
- iOS, Android, Desktop, Web
- Trusted Node
- Dozens of crypto can be restored from one master seed
- Shapeshift integration
- Not Segwit compatible
Jaxx is a Kryptokit product which offers a multi-platform wallet for both Ethereum and Bitcoin. Jaxx is the most serious wallet to offer both products within the same interface, no small task as the lack of shared codebase between the two coins makes integration difficult. Jaxx is uniquely placed to succeed in such an integration due to previous Kryptokit releases of both bitcoin and ethereum wallets.
Kryptokit is a very interesting company. Their CEO Anthony Di Iorio has an impressive background, both inside the cryptocurrency market – within as a co-founder of Ethereum, without as the Chief Digital Officer of the Toronto Stock Exchange. They have quite lofty ambitions with Jaxx, which after launching across all platforms will integrate with Shapeshift, offering secure, client-side storage for both bitcoin and ethereum with embedded trading capabilities. This would be a market first.
Another market first is that Jaxx is an HD wallet for Ethereum (and bitcoin). This means that not only are Ethereum addresses rotated with each sending/receiving of ether, but the wallets may be restored from seed. That’s all addresses, Ethereum and Botcoin, from one master seed.
As we write this review, all platforms have been launched in beta aside from iOS, which is meant to launch within the week (today’s date is May 22nd). We took a look at Jaxx’s chrome and desktop applications for this review.
The download installation is a bit user-unfriendly as, at least for me, I was left guessing as to which folder within the package would actually launch the app, which is highlighted below.
After unzipping that folders content, we were returned to the previous screen, only this time with a working exe file.
Once clicked bingo you are in and you’ll see the welcome page, offering you to create a new wallet, restore an old, or pair a device. This is the same screen that will be displayed once you’ve downloaded the chrome extension.
After first opening the application, you’ll see a blue notice urging you to write down your mnemonic, which is used to restore the wallet or pair the wallet with another device. To access your mnemonic, click on the accordion tab in the upper-right-hand corner and select tools. Click on “Back Up Wallet” and the wait until the tab “proceed to backup” becomes clickable. You will then see a warning screen advising never to allow anyone to view your mnemonic, or to send it via email, stick it in password managers or anywhere on electronic devices. After you click “I understand” 12 words will display on a copy-paste proof background, to protect us from our own folly, which must be recorded in a safe spot exactly and in order. You’ll then need to transcribe the very same words back into Jaxx to confirm, which will effectively back up your wallet.
Now why, you might be asking, would Jaxx make such a fuss about not writing your mnemonic on electronic devices and then immediately request you writing the mnemonic on an electric device? Well, first is that you enter the words client side, meaning that Jaxx never actually sees nor stores your passphrase. However, in the event that your computer has been compromised, you very well could be giving your mnemonic to an ill-intentioned cyber stranger. Of course, this is the case with most any non-cold storage wallet, there are weak points that can be exploited. Please make sure you are on a clean device when going through this process.
In terms of the UI, receiving and sending of bitcoin is easily done from the main interface, where your QR code, current address and transaction history is displayed. A click on send opens a simple receiving address line, and users may toggle between ethereum and bitcoin by a click on the respective logos.
Jaxx has developed the foundations of what could be a benchmark product if Ethereum lives up to the hype. An HD wallet with one seed for both bitcoin and ethereum addresses is really convenient, and when shapeshift is integrated this might be the wallet that a good portion of Ethereum traders are using. From the perspective of usability, this wallet is well ahead of most of the Ethereum side competition as well.
Will be paying attention to subsequent releases to see how the product moves forward.