Best Seed Phrase Storage

Best Seed Phrase Storage

Robert McDougall 

January 9, 2024

Cryptocurrency

The seed phrase is the backup key to your crypto assets. It’s usually a string of 12 or 24 words that you have to store in the exact order. If you ever lose access to your crypto wallet, you can use this phrase to restore your private key.

This is a perfectly functional backup system to help you recover your lost crypto assets. But, all of it can fall apart depending on how you store the phrase.

If your storage method degrades over time or gets destroyed in an accident, you have no backup. Even worse is if someone else gets a hold of this phrase, they can gain access to your wallet and steal everything. 

This is why I highly recommend the most durable and secure option of them all — metal seed phrase storage. It’s also convenient to use and much easier to hide from hackers and thieves.

Not convinced yet? Continue reading to find the best options on the market, understand the key advantages of metal storage, and learn how to use them effectively.

Best Crypto Seed Phrase Storage Brands

Metal seed phrase storage is the most sensible choice for most crypto owners. But, which one should you choose from the dozens of options available on the market? 

These are the ones I recommend based on their performance during my use:

Cryptosteel Capsule Solo

After giving them all a fair shot, Cryptosteel Capsule Solo became my favorite metal seed phrase option on this list. What I liked the most about this is that it has a sleek and discreet design, is easily portable, and has high resistance to damage. But I’m getting ahead of myself. 

The first thing that attracted my attention when testing Cryptosteel Capsule Solo was its sturdiness. The whole thing is crafted from 303 and 304-grade stainless steel and it shows. It did not receive any significant damage during my testing, including a drop test. 

Then there’s the unique mechanism of this seed phrase storage. Instead of a permanent punch-card-like plate, I found a metal core inside the capsule and a large number of circular metal tiles included with the Cryptosteel Capsule Solo. 

These tiles have engraved letters and also contain a slit in the middle. To store your seed phrase, slide the first four letters of every word onto the core, and separate each word with a separator piece. This sounds tedious but is surprisingly efficient as I was able to store a 24-word phrase in under 30 minutes. 

This unique design also makes it exceptionally reusable — making it an ideal choice for folks who like to switch between different wallets on a regular basis. Just remove the fastener on the core and you can remove the stored phrase without any issues.

Price

Cryptosteel capsule solo costs 99 USD with free shipping. 

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • It’s easy to take apart and use for a different phrase
  • Its stainless steel construction makes it super durable in the long run
  • Can withstand high temperature fire and being submerged in water with ease
Cons
  • Hard to read all the words quickly if you are in a rush

Cryptosteel Cassette

Cryptosteel Cassette immediately caught my attention with its sleek and ultra portable design. Its shape is reminiscent of a credit card or music cassette tape if you’re familiar with that relic. In my experience, this slim design allows you to store your seed phrase pretty much anywhere, from hidden compartments in bags to under your mattress. 

I was a bit skeptical about the usability of this seed phrase storage upon seeing its slim design for the first time. But, the Cryptosteel cassette far surpassed expectations in that department. 

To summarize, the Cryptosteel Cassette case has six empty rows, three on each plate. To store my seed phrase, I had to insert the tiles for the first four letters of each word in order. To my surprise, handling and inserting the labeled tiles was completely effortless and I was able to store a 24-word phrase within minutes. 

Another feature that solidified Cryptosteel Cassette’s #2 position on my list is its unshakeable construction. It survived my stress test without any major damage or deformities. This makes it an excellent choice for most crypto investors looking for a portable yet secure seed phrase storage solution.

Price

Cryptosteel Cassette costs 159 USD at the time of writing.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Robust stainless steel build that’s immune to most damage
  • It took me only a few minutes to store a seed phrase
  • Can be reused for other phrases with ease
Cons
  • Requires a screwdriver to release the lever that holds the tiles

Ellipal Seed Phrase Steel

After several years in the industry, Ellipal Seed Phrase Steel (previously known as Ellipal Mnemonic Metal) is the first seed phrase solution I’ve seen with such a good value proposition. For starters, it strikes the perfect balance of compact size, robust construction, and ease of use. Here’s how.

When closed, the whole thing is smaller than a credit card — giving you nearly endless hiding and storage options. Its rust-resistant 316 steel construction is also the same material used in construction and infrastructure projects because of its strength. 

However, the feature that impressed me the most is its ease of use. All I had to do was remove the front plate, place the letter tiles in the correct order, and screw the front plate back on. The whole process took minutes to complete for a full 24-word phrase. In fact, it was the fastest setup among the many options I tested when putting together this list.

To top it all off, Ellipal Seed Phrase Steel is also cheaper than most of its competitors. This might not sound like a noteworthy feature for many. But the cost of metal seed phrase storage can quickly add up for crypto investors with multiple wallets, or want several backups per wallet.

Price

Ellipal Seed Phrase Steel is priced at only 59 USD.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • You can add an additional layer of security with a padlock
  • It’s smaller than a credit card which makes it very portable
  • Can survive up to 1500°F fire without any damage to the seed phrase
Cons
  • Its tiles can be a bit difficult to handle for folks with large hands

Billfodl

Billfodl is an option from the maker of one of the top crypto wallets, Ledger. Given how much I like the Ledger Nano X, I had high expectations for the Billfodl, and it did not disappoint.

While there is a lot to talk about with this metal seed phrase storage, the most notable aspect for me was its construction quality. Usually, small imperfections in the tiles of these cassette-shaped storage options can cause issues when sliding them into the designated rows. That was not the case with the Billfodl.

In my experience, almost every part of this option was cut to perfection. This saved me a lot of time and hassle when storing a seed phrase. It’ll also make it much easier to reuse this for another phrase.

This precise build is crafted from 316 marine grade stainless steel that will keep your seed phrase legible even in super humid environments. 

Build quality aside, a small detail I appreciate about Billfodl is the inclusion of a to-the-point instruction video on its product. I didn’t need it myself, but I can see it coming in super handy for users that are trying cassette-style seed phrase storage for the first time. 

Price

You can purchase the Billfodl for 99 USD with free shipping.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Its 316 stainless steel will not rust easily
  • Can withstand most extreme temperatures without deforming
  • Compatible with all BIP39 wallets no matter the brand
Cons
  • Small letter blocks can get lost during setup

Cryptotag Zeus

Cryptotag Zeus made it onto my list, primarily because of its titanium construction. In fact, it is one of the only metal seed phrase storage options I tested that was made from titanium. “Why titanium?” you might ask, especially since steel has higher tensile strength.

The answer to this comes down to the exceptional rust resistance of titanium. If you live in a very humid or flood-prone area, I highly recommend titanium options like the Cryptotag Zeus. 

Suffice it to say, Cryptotag Zeus is durable enough to last years without any damage. Plus, it doesn’t have any moving parts like hinges or screws either, which are common failure points in my time using these storage devices. 

Aside from its robust construction, the punch card design and phrase storage mechanism of Cryptotag Zeus is also quite unique as well. In essence, it stores the BIP39 code for each word, instead of the first four letters. 

I nearly removed the Zeus from this list upon learning about its unique storage system. But, after giving it a try, the BIP39 numeric code storage is actually more intuitive than using the first four letters or each phrase. Combine this with the precise center punch tool, and I was able to store a 24-word seed phrase on Cryptotag Zeus in no time. 

Price

The Cryptotag Zeus costs 129 USD for just the seed phrase storage. You can also purchase it bundled with the Ledger Nano X or the Trezor Model T.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Made from bullet-proof titanium metal
  • Easy to understand initial setup
  • Slim design that’s easy to store and hide
Cons
  • Seed phrase words are converted to numbers before they are stored; this means if you need the words to access your crypto, you have to convert them back

imKey Secret Box

In terms of raw strength, imKey Secret Box is one of the most durable metal seed phrase storage I’ve included on this list. Its 304 stainless steel body is rated to withstand up to 3,000 degrees Fahrenheit without damaging the lettering. So, your seed phrase can likely survive an unfortunate house fire with imKey.

What I’d like to highlight the most about the Secret Box is its ingenious design. Think of it as a mix between the sleek tiled system of cassette-like storage options, with the removable front plate of Ellipal Seed Phrase Steel. All I had to do was slide the front plate, place the correct tiles, and close everything back up and my seed phrase was secured. 

The whole process took minutes to complete. Plus, I also had the option to secure it further with the included padlock hole. 

One feature of imKey Secret Box that I haven’t seen in most metal storage options is a padded storage case. It makes it more convenient to store the imKey anywhere in your house while also adding another layer of safety from external damage. 

Price

You can buy the imKey Secret Box for 79.99 USD with free shipping in the US.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Can store two sets of 12-word seed phrases
  • Highly resistant to heat and rust
  • I was able to reuse it with ease
Cons
  • The lettering on its tiles is a bit faded

Steelwallet

If you don’t like the tile-based storage systems of the most popular seed phrase storage options, Steelwallet from Shift Crypto is one to consider — it is the simplest seed phrase storage from the dozens I’ve tested. Here’s how it works.

The package I received had two stainless steel plates — with A-Z letters engraved to the side — and a sturdy center punch device. Storing my seed phrase was as simple as punching the first four letters of each phrase, and that’s all. No small tiles to sort or BIP39 conversions required.

These plates also came with a handy pouch for easier storage and a full set of instructions to help new users understand how it works.

The larger size of these plates had me a little worried that they might bend under pressure. Fortunately, Steelwallet survived my durability testing without any damage or deformities and the seed phrase was perfectly legible afterward. 

This simple approach also seems to be working flawlessly as I also found hundreds of positive reviews of Steelwallet. While this list is based on my personal experience with these metal seed phrase storage options, seeing this much positive feedback does demonstrate its long-term reliability. 

Price

The Steelwallet is listed at a price of 71 USD at the time of writing.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Costs less than its direct competitors
  • Constructed from rust-resistant steel
  • Very easy to understand and use
Cons
  • Its larger size can make it a bit harder to store
  • Can’t re-use this seed phrase storage, one-time use only

Blockplate

Blockplate takes the punch-card design to its logical extreme with a 0.1-inch thick steel plate. I could not damage or bend this seed phrase storage when I stress tested it, which shows its reliability under normal use conditions.

To be perfectly honest, this durability alone is enough to earn Blockplate a spot on my list, but that is not all it offers.

One aspect of this metal seed phrase storage that surprised me was just how easy it was to set up. These storage plates have a large size, which — in turn — makes the individual blocks larger and easier to punch. It took me noticeably less time to punch a 24-word seed phrase on Blockplate than it did on other similarly designed options. 

A side benefit of this larger and more spaced out design is that the Blockplate is much easier to read, without experiencing any confusion. 

Price

The smaller 12-word option is priced at 59 USD and the larger 24-word Blockplate costs 79 USD.

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • It has an ultra-durable thick steel construction
  • You can buy the 12 and 24-word seed phrase storage options separately
  • Both options come with a handy letter-locator template for a more convenient setup
Cons
  • I had to buy the center punching device separately
  • One-time use only - if you make a mistake, or change your crypto wallet, you need to buy another one

Coldbit Steel

Coldbit Steel is one of the few options I tested that allows its users to store full words instead of just the first four letters. Its website is a bit unclear about how it works, but it all made sense once I opened the package. 

Essentially, the Coldbit Steel package includes a thick steel plate with 24 engraved sections, each for one word. Alongside this plate, I also received small metal stamps for each letter of the Latin alphabet. So, to engrave a word, you would have to place the right letter in its place and hit it with a hammer.

This process does take much longer than other options on this list. The hammer requirement isn’t for everyone either, especially users who want a more convenient solution. But, I do believe that the end result of a permanently engraved seed phrase on a steel plate is worth the extra effort.

Other than that, you also get a cover plate that contains sections for stamping your wallet ID, or other useful information. 

Price

Coldbit Steel is listed at 106 EUR on its official website. This converts to about 116 USD at the time of writing. 

Pros and Cons

Pros
  • Allows its user to store full word instead of just the first four letters
  • Comes with two bolts to secure the plates for added security
  • Can also store a 16-letter wallet ID on the cover plate
Cons
  • Requires a hammer for engraving
  • Can only be used once

Advantages of Metal Seed Phrase Storage

A good seed phrase storage system should be durable, easy to hide, and resistant to common forms of external damage. Metal storage options fulfill all of these requirements with flying colors. 

But, before we dive deeper into the advantages of metal seed phrase storage, here are the most significant downsides of alternative storage methods I’ve experienced.

Paper

Most wallet guides will tell you to write the seed phrase on paper during the setup process. But, what many of these guides fail to convey is that this method is for creating a temporary copy, not for long-term storage. 

Think of how fragile a paper is. A few drops of water and you could lose your only seed phrase backup. I’ve also heard of many investors lose their entire crypto fortune due to unexpected disasters like house fires or flooding. It wouldn't be wrong to say that paper is one of the worst seed phrase storage methods you can use. 

Electronic storage

At first glance, electronic storage appears to be a more secure seed phrase storage option. Taking a photo of your seed phrase, or keeping it in a note on your phone may seem like a good idea. However, this comes with its own set of issues that make it an unsuitable option. 

One of the biggest issues with this method is the risk of getting hacked. A hacker can use methods like phishing and social engineering to access your computer or phone and rob you of your crypto assets.

Even if you store your seed phrase on a completely air-gapped device with no internet access, it can still get stolen or lost. Plus, most electronics have a limited lifespan. What do you do if your electronic storage device stopped working one day with no hope of recovery?

Advantages of metal

For starters, metal does not have the weaknesses of either of the two methods I discussed above. 

Unlike paper, metal is very durable and long-lasting. In my experience, a well-made metal seed phrase storage can withstand moisture, fire, or most other forms of damage without any issues.

Compared to electronic storage, it is completely safe from hackers. There is no way for someone to read the contents of your metal phrase storage without getting physical access to it. There is also no risk of electronic failure. 

The metals used for these storage devices — like high-quality steel and titanium — are extremely durable. From what I’ve seen, metal seed phrase storage should be perfectly legible, even decades in the future.

A side benefit of this durability is that metal storage options offer limitless hiding options. I know someone who has buried his metal seed phrase storage in a backyard for years without experiencing any damage. You can store them almost anywhere without any worries. 

Best Practices for Using Metal Seed Phrase Storage

Here are the tips, tricks, and best practices I employ when using metal seed phrase storage:

Proper storage location

Take some time to find the right storage location for your metal seed phrase storage. This location should be hidden from everyone else, but easily accessible for you. A few locations I recommend include your home safe or a bank vault. 

Backup and redundancy measures

I suggest creating a backup of your seed phrase storage and hiding both copies in completely separate locations. This redundancy will ensure that you have a copy of your seed phrase even if one of them gets destroyed in an accident or becomes inaccessible for some other reason. 

It’s also a good idea to check if both copies are in their correct location and legible every 6 months or so. 

Security precautions

These are the methods I use to make my seed phrase storage even more secure:

Avoiding public locations

Do not hide your seed phrase in a public location that can be accessed by others with ease. Keeping it within your private property will protect it from thieves and ensure that you have quick access to it when in need. 

Keeping seed info private

Do not tell anyone about where you’ve stored your seed phrase. Treat that location like a password and follow the “security through obscurity” concept. You can even go one step further and don’t tell people you even own crypto.

Swapping word position

Swap the position of two words in the seed phrase and memorize which ones you swapped. This way, even if someone found the seed phrase, they won’t be able to access your crypto assets.

Hardware wallets

While most investors looking at seed phrase storage are already using hardware wallets, some may be using a mobile wallet, such as Trust Wallet or Exodus. I recommend switching to a hardware wallet to add another layer of security to your crypto assets. You can read the best options available in my article here.

Conclusion

Metal seed phrase storage is the best option for keeping your crypto seed phrase secure. These metal storage devices can withstand housefires, flooding, and most other forms of external damage while keeping the seed phrase intact. 

Of course, they are only one part of your crypto asset safety. So, make sure to pair them with a robust hardware wallet and follow the best security practices to protect your crypto assets from thieves.


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