We consider hardware wallets to be one of the safest options to store cryptocurrency private keys for signing transactions. They can be used to interact with a computer or a mobile phone without the need for the private key to touch potentially malicious software.
But even with these hardware and software security features (see BitBox02 security), your keys are not protected from threats like fire or water. No electronic device can provide a 100% long-term storage guarantee even without obvious problem parts such as batteries. Over time parts can break and deteriorate, defects can occur, which could make the private keys unrecoverable.
The BitBox02 automatically creates a backup on a microSD card. As the number of backup copies isn’t limited, redundancy is possible. However, microSD cards can’t sustain long-term water exposure, heat or damage through physical force either.
The BitBox02 optionally supports exporting your mnemonic seed phrase. This backup standard let users create a seed backup, typically made of 12 or 24 words, and enables interoperability among hardware wallets produced by other vendors, as well as software wallets. Most hardware wallets suggest that you write the seed phrase on paper. While this is a good option, we think that true long-term safety is best achieved through using steel.
We’ve liked Steelwallet for a while and for full disclosure one of the creators of Steelwallet is also a Shift employee. The Steelwallet is now available on our shop as a complementary backup tool to our latest hardware wallet, since the BitBox02 supports exporting your seed phrase.
Steelwallet is an offline backup tool for storing your recovery seed. With Steelwallet your seed is protected against fire, water, electrical-shocks, corrosion and pretty much any obstacles nature throws at it. With Steelwallet you can protect yourself against such disasters by storing your seed irrevocably into a sheet of stainless steel (see Jameson Lopp’s positive review after some rounds of intense stress testing).
Steelwallet offers a simple yet highly attack-resistant way to backup the mnemonic seed. Each Steelwallet set contains a puncher and two laser-engraved stainless steel sheets with space for 6 words on each side to store 24 mnemonic seed words. You punch the first four letters of each word, which is sufficient as the mnemonic word list used has the characteristic that each word can be identified uniquely by knowing the first four letters. You first use a pen to highlight where you are going to punch, then you read off the seed from the Steelwallet to double check that you haven’t made any mistakes. Then you use the puncher to mark the sheets in the highlighted fields. Finally, you store your Steelwallet in a secure location.
Where can I buy a Steelwallet?
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
Why is Steelwallet recommended for seed backup?
Steelwallet offers a durable and attack-resistant way to backup the mnemonic seed. It's fireproof, waterproof, and can store the seed on stainless steel sheets.
How does one use the Steelwallet for backup?
Each Steelwallet set contains a puncher and steel sheets with space for seed words. You punch the first four letters of each word and store the Steelwallet securely.
Where can I purchase a Steelwallet?
Steelwallet is available in the BitBox store and soon at selected partner webshops.