Crypto Security How-tos
If you are considering the incredibly-secure option of backing up your seed phrase onto metal, read on.
March 01 2021
A highly secure way to backup your seed phrase is by recording it onto indestructable metal plates. This type of backup strategy is one of the most likely to pass the "test of time."
Extremely resilient to physical damage.
The metal plates used for recording seed phrases are made from robust materials such as stainless steel or titanium. These forms of metal plates are resistant to much more than fire ... they also resist fading, flood, rust, electromagnetic bursts, being chewed on by pets, and just about any type of physical assault that you could think of. If your house burns to the ground, your seed phrase will survive - unlike paper or electronic devices.
How is the seed phrase recorded onto the card?
A few companies offer ready-made steel plates, and all you have to do is input your seed phrase onto the steel. Different companies offer different ways of doing this, from sliding metal tiles into locking slots, to engraving, or using a metal punch. If you are handy and have the tools, you can even make a steel plate backup yourself.
There are 2 rules that you must follow if you are considering using metal plates as a backup:
1. Simplicity is the win-win! Some solutions are way too complicated. Fewer pieces = less chance for failure.
2. You should never ever provide the card manufacturer with your private key or seed phrase for "engraving" or whatever process they use. Unfortunately, some reckless manufacturers expose their customers to this severe risk ... pease keep your seed phrase safe by avoiding them.
What risks are steel cards still subject to?
Backing up to a steel plate is great - but don't forget about the importance of keeping that plate in a safe location. There is no "data security" layer present on a steel plate, so it becomes critical to implement steps to prevent unauthorized people from accessing the plate. Keep it in a safe place! If the plate is exposed, then your seed phrase is exposed, and you become at risk of your funds being drained.
What commercial steel card options should I consider?
We are currently reviewing steel plate backup solutions including the Ledger Cryptosteel - stay tuned for an upcoming How-to Guide on this topic. Some other available brands are Crypto Key Stack and Hodlinox (engraveable options), ColdTi (titanium), and Billfodl.