When it comes to bitcoin and crypto currency security, the most important element is not the hardware wallet. Instead, it’s the seed words that the wallet generates. Those seeds words are the keys to your crypto so you have protect them. This is why many bitcoin hodlers back up their 12/24 seed words onto metal backups like the ColdTi or Cobo Tablet.
There are a couple of downsides to backing up your seed words onto a commercial crypto product. The first is privacy. Buying from a crypto company puts your name on their customer list, and if they get hacked, your private information could be compromised. The second is the cost. These products range in price from $35 to as high as $350 for a Crypto Tag. There is really no need to spend that kind of money to secure your seeds.
In this video, I’m going to show you how to make your own crypto steel recovery seed backup using stainless steel washers for only $3.35. You can get all the parts to create the steel backup at your local hardware store or Amazon.
Full Parts list
- M8 x 24 x 2.0mm washers
- M8-1.25 x 35mm hex bolt
- M8-1.25 hex nut
- OWDEN Metal Stamps Kit
- Blockmit stamping jig
- 3D print file for the jig if you have a 3D printer
Instead of stamping your seed words onto a piece of expensive metal, you stamp the words onto inexpensive washers. I used washers made from 304 stainless steel. Not only are these washers extremely strong, they won’t rust or corrode, and with a melting point of 2,550 °F – 2,650 °F (1399 °C – 1454 °C), they’ll survive any house fire. The nut and bolt that hold the washers together are also made of 304 stainless steel.
If you don’t care about your letters lining up, then you don’t need to 3D print a stamping jig. However, using the jig really does create a very professional looking finish, with perfectly spaced and lined up letters.
You can easily stamp an eight letter word onto the washer (BIP39 word list have 3 to 8 letters). This is an advantage over most commercial seed backups because they only allow you to stamp the first four letters of the seed word. While the BIP39 standard only requires the first four letters, I like see the entire word. A $350 Crypto Tag will only show ACCI, but this little $3.35 DIY backup will show the full word: ACCIDENT.
The savings really become big when you follow the crypto security recommendation of using three metal backups (one onsite and two offsite). That can run into many hundreds of dollars when using a commercial device, but it’ll cost $10 and change when you make your own using the parts in this guide.
The DIY crypto steel recovery backup will take about 45 minutes to an hour to stamp out a typical 24 word seed. It’s a fun little project and one I highly recommend to all crypto enthusiasts.