The cheapest sustainable seed storage

Many people keep the backup of their recovery seed on paper, but whether that will stand the test of time is questionable. There are metal solutions, but they are often expensive. However, resourceful bitcoiners have come up with an inexpensive DIY solution that offers the same protection at a fraction of the price.

Safely storing and preserving the recovery seed you get when creating a bitcoin wallet is perhaps the most important thing when it comes to bitcoin. This sequence of 12 or 24 English words provides access to your bitcoin wallet. You get the recovery seed once and you have to make a backup of it yourself.

If you ever lose the recovery seed, you risk losing access to your wallet. Others can also access your wallet with the recovery seed. It is therefore very important to store the recovery seed safely in a way that only you can access it.

Fragile paper

Many people choose to keep their recovery seed offline on paper so that hackers cannot access it. However, this is not entirely without risks. After all, paper is vulnerable to fire or water damage, and ink can also fade over time. In addition, papers can shrivel and are easy to lose among other stacks of paper.

More and more people are therefore choosing not to store their recovery seed on paper, but on metal. There are now various ready-made metal solutions for sale (such as the CryptoTag and the CryptoSteel), but unfortunately they are on the pricey side.

Do it yourself

Fortunately, with a little creativity and a trip to the local hardware store, it can also be a lot cheaper.

For example, by striking the recovery seed with stamping letters on stainless steel rings and attaching it to a bolt. It is not entirely clear who first came up with the idea, but several bitcoiners shared images of this simple and creative solution.

It works simply: you hit each of the 12 or 24 words of the recovery seed consecutively on the stainless steel rings with the stroke letters. You also hit a number on it to indicate the order of the words. Then you attach them to a bolt with an extra washer on both sides for protection. To secure the whole thing, screw a nut to the end of the bolt.

Above: Safu Ninja’s design

The result is a compact, sturdy and durable storage for the recovery seed that offers protection against a variety of physical threats.

Above: A simple design from redditor bieberfever123

According to bitcoin developer Jameson Lopp, it does that quite well. In a stress test in which he compared the sustainability of several metal solutions, this do-it-yourself solution was hardly inferior to the commercial variants. Only for a fraction of the price.

Above: A more luxurious design by James Stanley

What do you need:

  • 16 or 26 rings
  • 1 bolt
  • 1 nut
  • 1 set of punch letters + tools
  • A little patience and attention

Make sure you choose stainless steel so that it can stand the test of time.


Want to see more examples or read an explanation? Then take a look at the website of Safu Ninja or James Stanley.

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