Most Durable Seed Phrase Storage - Stainless Steel Engraving

This article complements our video ‘How To Secure Your Crypto Seed Phrase: Stainless Steel Engraving,’ where we show the process of engraving crucial information, such as seed phrases, onto a stainless steel plate. 

Then, the durability of this engraved information is tested through exposure to fire and high temperatures over an extended period.

The video is divided into three segments:

  1. Engraving Process (Part 1): The initial phase shows how we engrave information onto a stainless steel plate. This process ensures the accurate transfer of crucial data onto the resilient stainless steel surface.

  2. Heat Endurance Test (Part 2): Part two involves exposing the engraved metals and other materials to intense fire and high temperatures. The objective is to assess the resilience of this seed phrase storage system under house fire conditions. This segment provides valuable insights into the system’s capacity to withstand extreme thermal stress.

  3. Iterative Improvement (Part 3): The final section focuses on applying the lessons from the initial experiment. The seed phrase storage system undergoes subsequent exposure to house fire conditions, aiming to refine and enhance its performance. The ultimate goal is to determine if there are ways to optimize the results. Post-experiment, the article evaluates whether the seed phrase remains fully readable, thereby establishing the efficacy of the storage system.

This comprehensive exploration showcases the engraving process and emphasizes a systematic approach to testing and refining the seed phrase storage system in real-world, challenging conditions.

Table of Contents

Important notice: Do your research.

Our content is intended to be used and must be used for informational purposes only. It is not intended to provide investment, financial, accounting, legal, tax, or other professional advice.

It is essential to research and verify any information you find on this website or any other website.

Seed Phrase Storage Engraving VS Embossing

Engraving and embossing are techniques used for creating raised designs or patterns, but their processes and outcomes differ.

Engraving involves removing material from a surface to create a design. This is typically done using gravers, burins, or laser technology.

The engraved design is usually recessed below the surface of the material. The incised lines or cuts give the design depth and can be felt when touched.

Embossing, on the other hand, involves raising the material’s surface to create a three-dimensional design. This is achieved by applying pressure to the material and compressing it to form a raised pattern.

The embossed design protrudes above the surface of the material. It creates a tactile, raised effect that can be seen and felt.

Seed Phrase Engraving

As shown in the video, seed phrase engraving using an engraving pen involves inscribing or cutting a cryptocurrency wallet’s seed phrase onto a durable surface. Which, in our example, is a durable stainless steel sheet.

Engraving in stainless steel using a pen

Advantages of Seed Phrase Engraving Using an Engraving Pen:

– Durability: Engraving onto materials like stainless steel provides durability and resistance to wear, tear, and environmental factors.

– Security: Engraving is a secure method of storing sensitive information, as it is permanent and less susceptible to damage than paper or electronic backups.

– Tactile Backup: The engraved seed phrase can be tactilely felt, providing an additional layer of verification.

– Ease of Use: The engraved seed phrase is a straightforward and accessible backup, especially during wallet recovery.

– Visual Legibility: When done correctly, engraved seed phrases offer clear and legible text for easy reading.

– Longevity: Engraved information can withstand the test of time without fading or deteriorating.

Disadvantages of Seed Phrase Engraving Using an Engraving Pen:

– Skill Required: Precious Engraving may require practice and skill to ensure clean and legible results.

– Material Cost: Quality materials like stainless steel can be more expensive than paper, making the initial setup cost higher.

– Limited Corrections: Mistakes in engraving are challenging to correct, and the entire process may need to be redone if errors occur.

– Accessibility Issues: The engraved seed phrase may be less accessible than digital formats, especially if stored securely.

– Susceptibility to Theft: If the engraved material is not securely stored, it could be vulnerable to theft, compromising the security of the seed phrase.

– Tool Investment: Acquiring an engraving pen and quality materials may require an initial tool investment.

– Environmental Factors: While durable, the engraved material could still be susceptible to extreme environmental conditions, such as prolonged exposure to corrosive elements.

Seed Phrase Embossing

Embossing a seed phrase or password onto stainless steel using a hammer and punch set is challenging due to the hardness of stainless steel.

While stainless steel is a durable material, its hardness makes it resistant to deformation through manual embossing methods. 

Seed phrase embossing

There are some other more suitable materials for hand embossing with a hammer and punch set, metals, or materials designed for easier embossing:

– Aluminum: Aluminum is softer than stainless steel, making it more amenable to hand embossing with basic tools. It still offers good durability and corrosion resistance.

– Brass: Brass is another softer metal that can be embossed more easily than stainless steel. It has a distinctive appearance and offers good durability.

– Copper: Copper is relatively soft and can be embossed with less effort compared to stainless steel. It develops a unique patina over time.

– Anodized Aluminum: Anodized aluminum combines the durability of aluminum with a protective layer, making it resistant to corrosion and wear. The anodization process also allows for coloring options.

We plan to create a video and an article about seed phrase embossing

If you are interested, the best way to stay informed is to follow Crypto Safety First on YouTube and receive new video notifications. 

Is Stainless Steel Suitable For Seed Phrase Storage?

This section explores stainless steel’s suitability for seed phrase storage and other sensitive information like passwords, recovery codes, or secrets.

Stainless Steel Melting Point

The melting point of stainless steel can vary depending on the specific alloy composition. Stainless steel is a broad term encompassing a range of steel alloys with different properties. The most common types of stainless steel are the austenitic, ferritic, and martensitic grades.

– Austenitic Stainless Steels (e.g., 304, 316): These are the most common and have a melting point typically in the range of 1400 to 1450 degrees Celsius (2552 to 2642 degrees Fahrenheit).

– Ferritic Stainless Steels (e.g., 430): Ferritic stainless steels have a melting point of 1350 to 1420 degrees Celsius (2462 to 2588 degrees Fahrenheit).

– Martensitic Stainless Steels (e.g., 410): Martensitic stainless steels generally have a higher melting point compared to austenitic and ferritic steels, typically in the range of 1400 to 1520 degrees Celsius (2552 to 2778 degrees Fahrenheit).

Stainless Steel Corrosion

Stainless steel is known for its corrosion resistance, which is primarily attributed to the presence of chromium in the alloy.

Chromium forms a protective oxide layer on the surface of the steel, preventing direct contact with oxygen and moisture.

However, under certain conditions, stainless steel can still rust.

Here are factors that can induce stainless steel corrosion, including situations involving exposure to high temperatures and burning materials:

Harsh Environments: Exposure to aggressive chemicals, such as acids or chlorides, can compromise the protective oxide layer on stainless steel, leading to localized corrosion.

Surface Contamination: Deposits of dirt, debris, or other contaminants on the stainless steel surface can create sites for corrosion initiation. Regular cleaning and maintenance are crucial to prevent such issues.

Crevice Corrosion: Stainless steel is susceptible to crevice corrosion in areas with poor oxygen circulation, such as gaps, seams, or tight spaces. Crevice corrosion occurs when the protective layer is disrupted in confined spaces, leading to localized corrosion.

High Temperatures: Elevated temperatures can affect the stability of the protective oxide layer, making stainless steel more susceptible to corrosion. This is particularly relevant in high-temperature applications.

Lack of Oxygen: Stainless steel relies on oxygen to maintain its protective oxide layer.

Chloride Attack: Chlorides, often found in saltwater or de-icing salts, can break down the protective oxide layer and lead to pitting or crevice corrosion.

Exposure to Burning Materials: When stainless steel is exposed to high temperatures and burning materials, several factors can contribute to corrosion:

 – Oxidation: The elevated temperatures can accelerate oxidation, leading to the breakdown of the protective oxide layer.

– Chemical Reactions: Interaction with certain burning materials or combustion by-products can create corrosive compounds that attack the stainless steel surface.

– Thermal Stress: Rapid heating and cooling cycles can induce thermal stress, potentially causing microstructural changes and promoting corrosion.

Insufficient Alloying Elements: Low-quality or improperly alloyed stainless steel may lack sufficient chromium or other corrosion-resistant elements, reducing its overall corrosion resistance.

Stainless Steel Quality Grades

Stainless steel quality is categorized into grades based on composition, corrosion resistance, and other properties.

The SAE steel grades and the AISI (American Iron and Steel Institute) classification are the two most commonly used grading systems for stainless steel. 

Additionally, stainless steel is often designated by its metallurgical structure.

Here are some common stainless steel grades:

– Austenitic Stainless Steels:

– 304 (A2): The most widely used stainless steel grade, known for its corrosion resistance and versatility. It is commonly used in kitchen equipment, chemical containers, and architectural applications.

– 316 (A4): Contains molybdenum, providing enhanced corrosion resistance, especially in chloride environments. They are widely used in marine applications and chemical processing.

Stainless steel 304 engraving

– Ferritic Stainless Steels:

– 430: Commonly used in decorative applications, appliances, and automotive trim. It offers good corrosion resistance in mildly corrosive environments.

– Martensitic Stainless Steels:

– 410: Known for its high strength and hardness. Used in cutlery, surgical instruments, and industrial equipment. Offers moderate corrosion resistance.

– Duplex Stainless Steels:

– 2205: Combines the benefits of austenitic and ferritic stainless steels, providing high strength and corrosion resistance. They are commonly used in chemical processing and oil and gas industries.

– Precipitation-Hardening (PH) Stainless Steels:

– 17-4 PH: Offers a combination of high strength, corrosion resistance, and hardness. They are used in the aerospace, nuclear, and chemical industries.

– Austenitic-Ferritic (Duplex) Stainless Steels:

– 2304: Provides good corrosion resistance and strength. They are used in chemical processing, pulp and paper industry, and marine applications.

– Super Austenitic Stainless Steels:

– AL-6XN: Known for its exceptional corrosion resistance in harsh environments, such as seawater and chemical processing.

– High-Performance Alloys:

– Inconel, Hastelloy, Monel: Unlike traditional stainless steels, these alloys offer exceptional corrosion resistance in extreme conditions and high-temperature applications.

Is Paper Suitable For Seed Phrase Storage?

This section explores paper suitability for seed phrase storage and other sensitive information like passwords, recovery codes, or secrets.

Seed Phrase Paper Storage

Paper Flash Point and Heat Resistance

The temperature at which paper catches fire is around 451 degrees Fahrenheit, or 233 degrees Celsius.

At this point, paper undergoes a chemical process called combustion, which reacts with oxygen in the air and releases heat and light

Seed Phrase Storage Fire

Remember that this is a generalization, as the ignition point of paper can be influenced by factors such as the type of paper, its thickness, and environmental conditions.

Paper Resistance to Humidity and Water

The recommended humidity level for safe storage of paper documents is typically between 30% and 50%. Maintaining a consistent and moderate humidity level is crucial for preserving paper-based materials. 

– Low Humidity (Below 30%): Deficient humidity levels can lead to the desiccation of paper, making it brittle and prone to cracking. It may also cause paper to become stiff and difficult to handle.

– High Humidity (Above 50%): Excessive humidity can promote mold growth and mildew on paper, leading to degradation and discoloration. High humidity levels may also result in paper becoming soft, warped, or prone to sticking together.

– Fluctuations in Humidity: Rapid and frequent changes in humidity levels also harm paper preservation. Fluctuations can cause paper to expand and contract, leading to stress on the fibers and potential damage.

– Storage Environment: Storing paper documents in a cool, dry place with controlled humidity is essential. Avoid areas prone to leaks, flooding, or high humidity, such as basements and attics.

Paper Degradation Over Time

Practically, everyday documents, newspapers, and lower-quality papers may show signs of degradation within a few decades.

The lifespan of standard paper can vary significantly based on several factors, including the quality of the paper, environmental conditions, and storage practices. Here are some general guidelines:

– Acidic Paper: Paper that contains acidic compounds, such as lignin and acidic sizing agents, tends to degrade more rapidly. Lower-quality papers with higher acidity may show signs of degradation within a few decades.

– Acid-Free Paper: Acid-free or archival-quality papers, manufactured to be more chemically stable, can last much longer. Acid-free paper can last for several centuries under optimal conditions, such as controlled temperature and humidity.

– Environmental Conditions: The environment in which paper is stored plays a crucial role. Exposure to high humidity, fluctuating temperatures, light, and pollutants can accelerate degradation. Storing paper in cool, dry, and stable conditions helps prolong its life.

– Handling and Use: The frequency of handling, exposure to light, and usage patterns can impact the lifespan of paper. Documents that are frequently accessed or exposed to sunlight may degrade faster.

– Protection Measures: Taking preventive measures, such as storing paper in archival sleeves, using acid-free folders, and minimizing exposure to pollutants, can contribute to longevity.

Is a USB Flash Drive Suitable For Seed Phrase Storage?

This section explores the suitability of digital devices for seed phrase storage and other sensitive information like passwords, recovery codes, or secrets.

Seed Phrase Flash Drive Fire

If you store seed phrases or essential information in a USB drive, you most definitely want to make sure that, in any case, it is exposed to out-of-specification temperatures.

Please do your research, but below is some information that can give you an initial understanding of what you need to consider for keeping that USB Flash Drive where you store your cryptocurrency wallet seed phrases, private keys, backup codes, or any other important information.

USB Flash Drive Heat Resistance

The operating temperature of USB memory sticks can vary depending on the specific manufacturer and model.

However, most USB flash drives are designed to operate within a standard temperature range of 0°C to 70°C (32°F to 158°F). This range covers typical usage conditions for electronic devices.

It’s essential to note that extreme temperatures, either too hot or too cold, can affect the performance and reliability of electronic devices, including USB memory sticks.

Therefore, avoiding exposing them to temperatures outside the specified operating range is generally a good idea to ensure optimal functionality and longevity.

If you have a specific USB flash drive, it’s recommended to check the product documentation or contact the manufacturer for precise information on its operating temperature range.

Some examples:

iStorage datAshur PRO+C is a user-friendly USB 3.2 (Gen 1) Type-C flash drive

Operating Temperature: Between 0 and 40 degrees Celsius

Storage Temperature: Between -20 and 60 degrees Celsius

Kingston IronKey S1000 Encrypted USB Flash Drive

Operating Temperature: Between 0 and 70 degrees Celsius

Storage Temperature: Between -40 and 85 degrees Celsius

SanDisk USB 3.0 Flash Drive

Operating Temperature: Between 0 and 45 degrees Celsius

Storage Temperature: Between -10 and 70 degrees Celsius

USB Flash Drive Humidity Resistance

Like many electronic devices, USB memory sticks are generally best stored in conditions with moderate humidity.

USB memory sticks’ recommended safe storage humidity level is typically between 20% and 80%.

Storing them within this range helps prevent the accumulation of moisture, potentially leading to corrosion and damage to the internal components.

Excessive humidity, significantly above 80%, can increase the risk of condensation inside the device, potentially causing electrical issues.

On the other hand, extremely low humidity may contribute to static electricity buildup, which can also be detrimental to electronic components.

USB Flash Drive Degradation Over Time

If the flash drive is not used often, accessing and refreshing the data periodically is a good practice. Reading and rewriting the stored data helps prevent potential data degradation over time.

It is not an option to store your USB Flash Drive in a safe place and forget about it. Please ensure your USB drive is properly maintained to minimize degradation over time.

Home Safe Box

Protect your physical and digital assets from robbers, fire, and water accidents.
GOOD PRACTICE

Bitcoin BIP39 Seed Phrase Words

In our video, we engraved our Bitcoin wallet seed phrase into stainless steel.

While most crypto users are very familiar with seed phases, seed words, and standards like the BIP39, here is some information for those new to the space who are still building their knowledge.

“BIP39” stands for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 39, which outlines the standard for creating these mnemonic phrases.

A BIP39 seed phrase is a sequence of words (usually 12, 18, or 24) that is a backup for a cryptocurrency wallet’s private key. It is designed to be easier for humans to remember and transcribe than raw cryptographic keys.

More information is in the post below.

Wallet Seed Phrase

What is a seed phrase, and why it is so important?
KNOWLEDGE

It is paramount to safely store seed phrases, private keys, and stainless steel engraving. It is a perfect system to keep this sensitive information offline and away from hackers or accidents.

The video below shows how a YouTube Streamer accidentally displayed his Metamask wallet seed phrase and private keys and lost part of his cryptocurrency portfolio due to the mistake.

Do not Forget To Take Note of the Derivation Path

Adding derivation path details when safely backing up a seed phrase is important for wallet recovery due to the hierarchical structure of deterministic wallets, especially those following standards like BIP32, BIP44, and others. Here’s why it matters:

– Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) Wallets: Many modern cryptocurrency wallets use HD wallet structures, allowing for generating multiple key pairs from a single seed phrase. Each key pair is associated with a specific purpose or coin.

– Derivation Paths: Derivation paths define the hierarchy and structure of key pairs within an HD wallet. They determine how keys are derived from the master seed. For example, BIP44 specifies a standard derivation path structure for multiple coins.

– Multiple Wallets from a Single Seed: With a single seed phrase, you can derive multiple wallets containing key pairs. For instance, you might have one wallet for Bitcoin (BTC) and another for Ethereum (ETH) derived from the same seed.

– Ensures Coin-Specific Recovery: Including the derivation path details ensures that, during wallet recovery, the software knows where to look in the hierarchical structure to find the specific key pairs associated with a particular cryptocurrency.

– Wallet Compatibility: Different wallets might use different default derivation paths for the same cryptocurrency. Including the derivation, path ensures compatibility when recovering the wallet on a different platform.

– Avoids Confusion and Errors: Without the derivation path, users might recover a wallet and see a zero balance if the software defaults to a different path. Including the correct derivation path prevents confusion and potential loss of funds.

Derivation Path

Learn what is a Wallet Derivation Path and why it is essential for wallet recovery.
GOOD PRACTICE

Do not Forget To Inform Your Heirs About Your Seed Phrase

Planning cryptocurrency inheritance is crucial for several reasons, considering the unique characteristics of digital assets. Here are key reasons why it’s essential to plan for the inheritance of cryptocurrency:

– Digital Nature of Assets: Cryptocurrencies exist only in digital form. Unlike traditional assets, there are no physical certificates or documents. Proper planning ensures that heirs are aware of the existence of these digital assets and how to access them.

– Private Key Security: Cryptocurrency ownership is tied to private keys. Without the private key, access to the funds is impossible. Inheritance planning involves securely storing and passing on the private keys to heirs, ensuring they can access the funds.

– Complexity of Wallets: Cryptocurrency wallets can be complex, especially for those unfamiliar with blockchain technology. Planning inheritance includes providing clear instructions on navigating and using wallets, ensuring a smooth transition of ownership.

– Preventing Loss of Assets: Without proper planning, the risk of heirs being unaware of the cryptocurrency holdings or how to access them increases. This could lead to the permanent loss of assets if private keys are lost or forgotten.

– Ensuring Smooth Transition: Inheritance planning allows for a smooth transition of cryptocurrency assets, minimizing delays and complications during the settlement of an estate. Clearly defined procedures and instructions prevent confusion among heirs.

– Legal Considerations: Cryptocurrency regulations and tax implications vary by jurisdiction. Planning for inheritance involves considering legal aspects, such as tax obligations for heirs and compliance with local laws regarding digital assets.

Planning Your Cryptocurrency Inheritance

Securing the Future for Your Loved Ones
GOOD PRACTICE

Commercial Alternatives For Seed Phrase Storage

If you think that home made systems to store seed phrases is not for you, there are several commercial alternatives that can be of interest for you.

Ledger Seed Phrase Storage Solutions

Ledger is a very well-known cold wallet manufacturer that, at the moment of writing this article, offers three different systems for seed phrase storage.

Cryptotag Zeus: 6mm-thick titanium that’s waterproof, fireproof, corrosion-proof, hackerproof, and bulletproof

Cryptosteel Capsule Solo: A solid steel capsule to protect your 24-word Recovery Phrase. They are designed to resist extreme conditions.

The Billfold: Billfodl is a solid steel case to store and protect your 24-word recovery phrase, designed to resist fire, water – and more. Using character tiles, you recreate your recovery phrase in the steel unit, creating an almost indestructible backup.

Legder

Cold Wallets and Seed Phrase Storage
NON-CUSTODIAL

Trezor Seed Phrase Storage Solutions

Trezor is a very well-known cold wallet manufacturer that, at the moment of writing this article, offers one systems for seed phrase storage.

Trezor Keep Metal 12-word recovery seed: Protect your recovery seed with unparalleled peace of mind, expertly made from premium stainless steel.

Trezor

Cold wallet for desktops and mobile devices
Non-custodial

Coinplate Seed Phrase Storage Solutions

As described on the Coinplate website: 

‘We have over a decade of experience in manufacturing metal nameplates, signs and panels for underground mining equipment, wind farms, trains and other demanding industries. We are a family company and quality is our priority.’

At the moment of writing this article, Coinplate offers three different seed phrase storage systems:

Coinplate Alpha: An ultra-thick stainless steel sandwich to protect your seed phrase. No tools are needed; center punch included.

Coinplate grid: 100% Stainless Steel crypto wallet Fireproof • Hackerproof • Ultra Durable

Coinplate punch: Use stamps and a hammer to mark your seed phrase in stainless steel.

CoinPlate

The Ultimate Seed Phrase Storage
NON-CUSTODIAL

How Did We Measure the Fire Temperature?

To measure the temperatures we have used the following:

– A Fluke 87V TRMS Industrial Multimeter

– A Fluke 80BK-A Integrated DMM Temperature Probe

Fluke meter temperature measurement

According to the Fluke website, the Fluke 87V can measure temperatures up to 1090 degrees Celsius or 1994 degrees Fahrenheit.

Likewise, according to the Fluke website, the 80 BK probe can measure temperatures up to 260 degrees Celsius or 500 degrees Fahrenheit. 

But as shown in the video, the probe can measure significantly high temperatures. But not without receiving some damage. Because the insulation material that covered the probe and got exposed to temperatures up to 850 degrees Celsius melted away.

Still, even after subjecting the probe to such punishment, works correctly.

We will conduct further experiments and measure the temperatures using other systems to ensure the reliability of the results. If you want to know the results, please consider subscribing to our YouTube channel and leaving us a comment on the video so we know that there is interest and we can prioritize this type of content.

Has this post been of value to you?

If the answer is yes, and you think that it will be of value to someone else, please share it:

Thanks for sharing,

and promoting crypto safety and digital security.

Please, if you have one more minute, consider leaving us feedback

We would love to hear your opinion.

How do you rank the content of this page?

What kind of information or resources were you looking for?

Is there anything else that you would like to tell us:

– Is there any other topic of your interest that we should cover?

– Is there something we should be aware of?

Please fill out the form below or send us an email to feedback@cryptosafetyfirst.com

This post has been crafted by: