Nowadays securing a private key is a big concern, specially when dealing with relevant amount of bitcoins or other cryptocurrencies. There are different backup strategies both for online and offline wallets; when it comes to cold storage, most people opt for paper wallets which are no more than a printed piece of paper containing the private key. This solution works fine as protection from hackers, but actually paper is not an optimal support for storing a so important information. It can easily be damaged/destroyed by fire, water and stains, not to mention children, pets or mice. And here comes Cryptosteel.
Cryptosteel is the premier indestructible backup tool for optimal offline storage of private keys, passwords and wallet recovery seeds without any third-party involvement. The technology combines the age-old idea of engraving with a DIY assembly format and materials that are stainless, rust-free, and fireproof up to 1200°C/2100°F to survive extreme conditions and unthinkable abuse. Applications include storage of BIP39-compatible private keys, account numbers, master passwords, PINs, GPS co-ordinates and any other sensitive information you may want to preserve in a safe way.
What’s into the box?
The product comes in a small and curated paper box, 12 cm x 16.5 cm, 1 cm height. It contains a metal plate and a set of numbers and letters to create either your private key or mnemonic seed. The metal plate is double sided, each side can hold up to 48 tiles, 96 total tiles slots for any type of sentence. Letter tiles are 5 mm x 9 mm, engraved on both sides. The CryptoSteel wallet itself is 6 cm x 10.5 cm, 60 mm height, about 250 grams in weigh.
Assembling the sentences
Setting up the wallet is pretty intuitive. All you have to do is unlock the door, inserting the tiles in the slots to assemble the phrase, and lock the door again. The operation is simple, thought it requires some time, from 15 to 30 minutes on average.
Understanding how to unlock the door took me a few minutes; I’m still making the mistake of trying to use things without caring of reading the instructions first. So, in case you get lost trying to open it, just look on the box where a picture explains in a clear way how to do that. This mechanism, where two locks need to be free before you can slide open the frame, ensures the tiles won’t fall out by mistake.
Different versions for different needs
Cryptosteel wallets are compatible with numerous Bitcoin HD wallets, including Trezor, Ledger and KeepKey. There are a few different versions you can choose from, according to the kind of information you want to store. Different versions contains tiles with different char sets, from Cryptosteel HEX designed to store hexadecimal type of sentence only, to Cryptosteel ANYKEY which includes numbers, letters in upper & lower case, and special symbols.
Cryptosteel price range varies between $55 and $69. The material used is hard and heavy, and the mechanism to open it is tight. Overall, considering the materials and quality of the product, the price is more than fair.