One of Bitcoin’s greatest features is also one of its most dangerous. The ability to have complete control of your assets without depending on a third party brings with it considerable risk. With cryptocurrency, your private key is everything. Lose it and you lose access to your all your coins, and whoever finds it gets full access. For people using certain software wallets and hardware wallets like a Ledger or Trezor, the private key is accessible through a 12-24 word seed phrase that serves as a recovery key. As this seed phrase serves as a master key that grants full access to the private key, it needs to be backed up securely and protected at all costs. When setting up your software or hardware wallet for the first time, recording the recovery seed phrase and keeping it safe is an extremely important part of using Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, as not doing this can result in the loss of all your coins.
Writing the seed phrase down on paper is often a recommended option and is preferable to recording it electronically or online where it is at risk to hardware failure and hacking. Obviously, paper is not the most durable material and is susceptible to damage by fire, water, and any number of other elements. Engraving the recovery seed on a metal plate solves this issue and gives the key more durability and permanency. You will still need to be diligent in keeping the metal plate secure which may mean keeping it in a safe, safety deposit box, or somewhere well hidden.
Why you should use a metal plate wallet to store your recovery seed phrase:
1. Offline: safe from hardware failure, no third-party trust required, safe from online hackers
2. Rugged and Durable: fireproof, waterproof, rust and corrosion resistant (for stainless steel and titanium plates)
3. Transferable: can be given to your loved ones or heirs, your coins are always recoverable with the seed key
The following products are metal plate wallets designed for storing your Bitcoin and cryptocurrency recovery seed key in a physical and durable form of backup.
Cryptosteel Stainless Steel Bitcoin Crypto Wallet
Cryptosteel is a highly rated metal wallet made of 100% stainless AISI 304 steel. Cryptosteel is the best option for those who want the easiest to use and most hassle-free metal seed wallet. Its rugged features include being fireproof up to 1200°C (2100°F), waterproof, and shockproof. It is double-sided and holds 12 words per side. It actually holds only the first four letters of each word but that is all you need for the BIP39 specification. The wallet comes with metal letter tiles that slide securely into the wallet for an easy method to record your seed phrase. When in its closed position, the wallet has a hole that can accommodate a padlock or anti-tampering tag (just keep in mind a padlock can be easily picked or cut off). The Cryptosteel website offers several versions for other forms of private keys and passwords. Those using a 12 to 24 word seed phrase should choose the Cryptosteel MNEMONIC wallet.
ColdTi Titanium Metal Crypto Seed Storage Wallet
The ColdTi titanium wallet is a more affordable alternative for a metal seed storage wallet. As titanium it has a higher melting point than stainless steel in excess of 1650°C (3000°F) and it is rust proof. It includes two titanium plates (with space for 24 words each) as well as two binding post sets and uniquely numbered holographic stickers to seal the wallet and provide a tampering indicator. The downside to this wallet is that it’s not as easy to use as the Cryptosteel, as you need to engrave or stamp the seed words into the titanium plates. Buyers have reported that the wallet includes numerical stamp tools but not letter stamp tools, so to record a recovery phrase you will need to convert your seed words to numbers, which you can do here. Or you can buy letter stamps or an engraving tool separately. Some people have reported difficulty with stamping the titanium plates. See this video for tips.
Blockplate Stainless Steel Recovery Seed Wallet
The Blockplate is a simple ANSI 304 stainless steel option that includes two plates that can record 12 recovery words each (6 words per side). Rather than using number or letter stamping bits, the Blockplate uses a single center punch tool to indicate the order of the letters (labeled on the plate) for each word. For an additional layer of protection you can keep each plate with half of the seed phrase in separate locations so that if one plate is compromised it can’t be used to recover your private key without the other plate.
Billfodl Stainless Steel Crypto Private Key Backup
The Billfodl has the same stainless steel design as the Cryptosteel. One of the advantages of the Billfodl is that it comes with more tiles than the basic Cryptosteel MNEMONIC model which only comes with capital letters. The Billfodl includes over 350 tiles with capital and lowercase letters, numbers, and blanks. This allows it to support alphanumeric or hexadecimal keys in addition to the 12-24 word seed phrase. It is made of 316 stainless steel versus the more common 304 type seen in other metal storage wallets. 316 stainless steel is more corrosion resistant against chlorides like seawater. Billfodl also sells accessories on its website like the Fodl Hodler hiding mount and tamper-proof stickers.
Safe Seed Copper Metal Recovery Seed Wallet
The Safe Seed metal wallet is an all-in-one solution with a mid-range price that includes two copper plates and stamping tools to record your recovery seed phrase. Copper has a slightly lower melting point than stainless steel and will not rust, so it’s probably a decent option. Unfortunately there is not much information available on this wallet.
It is highly recommended to use one of the above metal backup wallets with a cold storage hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano S, rather than a software or web wallet, for the best protection against hackers.