Backup recommendations

Careful considerations should be made in regards to how the wallet backup information will be stored. The information required for a proper backup varies depending on how the wallet was setup. These requirements may be only 24-words for a simple wallet or the requirements can include 24-words, a passphrase, master fingerprint, derivation path, and more. There are several options when it comes to picking a storage medium, each has its own set of tradeoffs. Writing the 24-words on paper is a good start and helps mitigate the risks associated with having a digital copy of the backup information. With the backup information written down on paper, an adversary would need physical access to the paper in order to retrieve the information. Where as a photo, text file, or other digital medium can be copied and replicated and shared quickly.

The trade off with paper backups is that they do not withstand fire or flooding very well. This is where steel backups come into play. Robust backups made from stainless steel can withstand fire temperatures beyond the range of a typical house fire, up to 1,500°C. Also stainless steel backups can withstand being submerged in water for extended periods of time. There is a wide range of steel backups available. Coinkite offers the SEEDPLATE which gives users a robust backup option that is resistant to fire and flooding as well as easy to conceal.

These stainless steel plates are etched with a grid on both sides. The grid contains the alphabet along the Y-axis and 48-columns along the X-axis. The 48-columns are split into 12 groups of 4-columns. Each of the 12-groups has enough room for 4-letters. Only the first 4-letters of each BIP39 seed word is required in order to restore the wallet as no two words on the BIP39 word list share the same sequence of the first 4-letters.

Use a marker to indicate the first 4-letters of the first 12-words on one side of the plate and then flip the plate over and repeat the process for the 13th through 24th words. Double check your work then use a spring-loaded punch to stamp the plate on each mark.

Now you have a robust stainless steel backup that can withstand fire and flood. This backup plate is easy to conceal measuring in at 127mm X 76mm x 1.5mm so that it can be hidden in a variety of places and environments.