KryptoKit is a wallet extention for google chrome. It is available on the Chrome Web Store. It is an instant Bitcoin wallet and a secure messaging system that runs in your google chrome browser. With Krypto-Kit you are able to create a bitcoin wallet instantly without usernames or passwords, and it also provides client side encryption in order to keep your wallet secure against attacks. KryptoKit also provides a new feature which scans Bitcoin addresses from webpages and offers a convenient bulleted list in the wallet window.
Today on 5/20/14 it was mysteriously removing itself from users’ computers. Keep in mind that the application is storing bitcoin which are worth quite a bit. Since the application has no username or password and simply works by storing a private key, no doubt users started to panic. We can see here the various tweets that appeared:
Users reported that the problem could be fixed by shutting down Chrome, disconnecting from the internet and then restarting the browser. However, now there is no need to do any hacking to get the application back because it is all fixed.
Developers from KryptoKit were working on figuring out why this was happening and it was not known whether all users would be able to restore their access to their bitcoins. However, rest assured that the funds are recoverable, but some technical knowledge is required.
It happened around 6:00am GMT where users started flooding twitter and reddit about chrome removing KryptoKit from their browsers. The buttons that were shown were only OK and Details so users found the their KryptoKit wallet has disappeared. KryptoKit is 6 months old and this is quite a big issue. After all they are a bitcoin wallet and it does not look good when your application which is the equivalent to a bank suddenly disappears.
Lucky for the KryptoKit users one of the project’s backers Vitalik has posed directions on reddit on how to recover you bitcoin wallet even if kryptokit was deleted from your browser. In the reddit post he wrote:
Google just removed KryptoKit’s account from the Chrome store for unspecified ToS violations. Steve sent an email asking for the details of what we did wrong, and we have so far been stonewalled.
According to the post, KryptoKit’s first priority was to make sure that people were able to get their private keys – which is the only way to get your bitcoin wallet back . If you madea a backup then you do not have to do much just take your backup seed and pass it through sha256. Let this also be a reminder for you to make sure to backup your bitcoin wallet incase something like this happens with any other wallet. Keep a backup of your bitcoin wallet on a flashdrive somewhere off-line. It only takes a couple minutes to backup a wallet but the amount of trouble it can save you is well worth it.
Even though KryptoKit had a rough time today with google, reddit users were pleased to get an official statement not 30 minutes from the problem. Shuai from reddit said: “This is the kind of people we need in bitcoin”.
Is Google becoming like Apple
Remember when Apple made the big move to ban the blockchain app and users started smashing their iphones. Well today Google made a similar decision by banning KryptoKit, or did it? UPDATE: on may 20th at 9:30 GMT Co-founder Steve Dakh says Google has now responded and reinstated KryptoKit’s account, meaning users should now be able to access their wallets again. Still no detailed reason has been given for the removals.
So Google is not like Apple after all, all it needed is some motivation from social media and everything is back to normal. Because no detailed reason for the removal has been given we can only speculate. Maybe Google removed KryptoKit because it is skeptical about bitcoin and since KryptoKit’s upcoming it had to make a decision.
For all the users of KryptoKit there is nothing to be worried now as KryptoKit is back up online. Now make sure to backup your wallet.