Greetings fellow bitcoiners! If you have any reasonable sums of money invested into bitcoin the #1 concern for you should be how to properly store and secure your coins. Having a hardware wallet is a common and popular security practice but have you ever thought about how to secure your wallet seed words? Most people just print our or write their 12 to 24 seed words on a piece of paper and hide it in a place where (hopefully) someone but themselves won’t find it. Do doubt that is a good practice to follow but even with this method you are still vulnerable to several risks. What happens if water infiltrates the location where you store your paper wallet backup and destroys it? Ah , but I have a second copy stored somewhere else says you. Smart! However what if that second location is not as secure as you think. What if a fire or something else happens that damages that copy as well. I know the probability of two disasters striking at the same time is low, but let’s be honest, most of you will not have geographically dispersed backups. Most of you will just write your seed word on a piece of paper and stick it in your desk drawer where your kid(s) may destroy or your wife will find it and think what the hell is up with a piece of paper that has a random bunch of words on it and chuck it in the trash.
Why not be 100% that nearly nothing can destroy your wallet backups! The best method that I came across this of accomplishing this is to write down your wallet backup word with letters of immutable stainless steel. Billfodl is one such product geared towards us ultra paranoid bitcoin holders. There is another product similar to it that I will review at a later time, but for now I will look at the product that I chose to buy with my own money. It is so far the least expensive of all metal wallet backup devices that I know of. It retails for $75 USD and you can obtain a 5% discount if you’re a bit “foxy” and go to the checkout page but don’t complete the process right away. If you wait a bit a notice from the site will tempt you to complete the process soon and give you a 5% discount – take it and run! It is good value for what it is and piece of mind is worth far more than $75!
Some of you may ask, but why go to such extremes?
Billfodl is constructed of 316 stainless steel. Billfodl offers the best corrosion resistance in the stainless family to protect your information in even the saltiest environments. With a melting point of 2500 – 2550 deg F (1371 – 1399 deg C), it can withstand more than double the temperature of an average house fire (1100 def F/ 600 deg C) and it’s impervious to any type of electrical hazard you could dream of. For extra paranoia points you can even put a lock on it via the conveniently located holes at the top and bottom of the unit.
How to use it:
Using it is very simple! All major crypto wallets (Exodus, Jaxx, Ledger, Mycelium, Trezor, etc) use a system of Seed Words to back up your private keys. If your phone or hardware wallet gets destroyed, you will need this 12 to 24 word phrase to recover your funds. Billfodl gives you stainless steel letter and symbols that you slide into the sheet placeholders. There are two sheets or sides. This should give you ample character space to backup even 24 world backup phrases that hardware wallets such as Trezor One use. The process is a lot like old fashion typewriter setting but sometimes old fashion is better. Don’t worry about not knowing how to do this. There are instructions that come with the unit and trust me it’s a piece of cake.
You may also notice that each spot has room for 4 letters only. This may confuse some of you when your seed word is longer than 4 characters. Don’t worry, this is not a problem. All these hardware and software wallets use the BIP39 standard. The beauty of this standard is that you only need to store and access the first 4 letters of each word. These 4-letter sequences are unique and sufficient to recover the full sentence – ie the entire sequence of 24 words. So what you do is insert into the numbered slots the first 4 starting letters of each word and you are good to go.
Now what are you waiting for, go grab your own Billfodl and secure your wallet backups!