The safest way to store your cryptocurrency is not on an exchange, but through a wallet where you have full control over the private keys to your money. However, this does mean that you need to find a safe way to store your wallet’s recovery seed, which is your ultimate safe money. So what are the options for storing crypto wallet seed?
When you set up a non-custodial wallet where you control the private keys of the funds associated with it, you need to store something called a recovery seed or recovery phrase.
The suit is a collection of so-called obituaries, memorable words. Think of it as an extended password that creates a non-custodial wallet as a way to recover all funds if you lose access to the wallet for any reason.
You don’t need Seed to access a regular wallet, be it an app, browser extension or hardware. On a day-to-day basis, you use more conventional credentials like a PIN or biometrics to access your wallet, so a seed is rarely, if ever, needed, but still very important.
As a failsafe, your seed represents all of the value of the crypto portfolio. If you lose the suit, your phone could simply be stolen or die, and your money could die with it. How should your recovery seed be stored?
Never store Seed online
Whatever you do, don’t store your recovery seed online, as you should assume that being online means you are vulnerable to hackers. This does not include writing, photography and archiving as a digital file locally or in the cloud.
Checking your Junk mailbox should alert you to constant attempts to trick you into clicking untrustworthy links that could allow someone onto your computer, putting your recovery seed at risk.
So if the first rule of safe recovery is to keep it offline, what’s the best format for offline storage?
Paper – Cheap and easy
Most non-captive wallet users write their seed on the most visible offline device: plain old paper. The simple reason is that paper is cheap, easy to use, and affordable.
In fact, most hardware wallet vendors provide a recovery home page formatted for this purpose.
If the value of the money stored in your wallet is modest – which is obviously relative – then it’s understandable to use the card to store your Seed, but it’s far from the safest option, having a few for obvious reasons.
Paper: thin and fragile
There’s a reason paper is cheap, because it’s a very simple material that doesn’t respond well to water or heat, either directly or indirectly.
All it takes is a spilled cup of coffee or a leaky pipe to render paper seeds useless. Prolonged exposure to wet or humid environments can also be fatal.
In the unfortunate event of a fire, your semen gets toasted unless you store it in a fireproof locker or safe, which seems unlikely when price is a priority.
There are other reasons why paper isn’t a good way to store your seeds, as some insects and most rodents may choose to make a meal of them or make a nest out of them.
Now, maybe you’re reading this and think they’re all ridiculous scare tactics, in which case you’d be right.
Your home probably won’t burn or flood, but you do need insurance because while the chances of these types of events are slim, they have a 100 percent chance of destruction if they happen.
You can reduce the odds in your favor by laminating your return suit or using special paper that is waterproof or tear resistant. But if you really want maximum security, there are better offline options for storing your crypto seed.
Steel Plates – Corrosion and fire resistant
For those crypto users who are serious about the security of their seed, storing it on a steel disk is the preferred method. It may sound extreme, but it’s hard to argue with it.
Stainless steel can withstand both corrosion and the extreme heat of common residential fires. All you have to do is imprint a thin sheet of your seed with 12-24 sentences to ensure it survives almost any disaster. The sheets are part of a series of easy ways to emboss letters.
Although steel plate solves the problem of seed storage durability, still have a question about where to store them?
A steel plate can protect your Seed from the elements, but you can still get lost or broken into. There is no definitive solution to this problem because you are taking on a certain amount of risk one way or another, even if you use a bank vault, you are taking on counterparty risk by trusting the bank.
Whatever you decide, you should find a very safe hiding place and tell as few people as possible, and consider keeping two versions in two completely different places.
You might think it’s safer to split the suit into parts, but this actually increases your risks, because losing one part is like losing everything.
Some forums suggest that remembering your seeds is the surest way to protect your seeds, but unless you’re a master of memory you’d be very brave to rely on organic preservation.
There is no escaping the obligation to take responsibility for one’s seed; this part of the coding self-preservation. It is up to you to determine what an acceptable level is.
A good thought experiment is to imagine how angry you would be if you lost access to your wallet. Convert this feeling into an adequate level of protection.
Remember there is no other way to return, no email/phone/chat support. There are plenty of people out there willing to rip you off by pretending otherwise, but without your seed, losing access to your wallet is permanent.