How To Protect Your Bitcoin From Emergency With The BitPlates Domino

Preserving your Bitcoin wallet recovery seed is critical to self sovereignty. Here’s how to do so with the BitPlates Domino steel backup plate.

This article demonstrates how to use the Domino stainless-steel Bitcoin seed phrase backup plate, by BitPlates, to secure the recovery information for a Bitcoin wallet against fire, flood or other disaster.

Preserving your Bitcoin wallet recovery seed is critical to self sovereignty. Here’s how to do so with the BitPlates Domino steel backup plate.

Congratulations on taking the leap into bitcoin self custody. By doing so, you no longer need to rely on third-party permission to access and use your bitcoin however or whenever you see fit. An added benefit of self custody is mitigating third-party risk — you no longer need to worry about an exchange hack depleting all of your bitcoin from your trusted custodian’s control. Self custody puts you in control of your bitcoin, ensuring that you maintain access to your bitcoin in case of a catastrophe.

By stamping your BIP39 Bitcoin wallet recovery words into a stainless steel medium like the Domino®, you can rest assured that you have the necessary information secured to restore your Bitcoin wallet and regain access to your funds whether you lose your mobile, desktop or hardware wallet and/or you are the victim of an environmental hazard such as fire or flood. If you secured your Bitcoin wallet with an added passphrase during initial setup, it is possible for you to purchase multiple Domino plates to secure that information as well.

BitPlates offers several different options in two different grades. The industrial grade is made of 304 stainless steel and the marine grade is made of 316L stainless steel. There are three sizes available in each grade: pocket, original and grande.

Preserving your Bitcoin wallet recovery seed is critical to self sovereignty. Here’s how to do so with the BitPlates Domino steel backup plate.

The larger the plate, the more space there is in each square for stamping the appropriate dots.




Each plate is 3 millimeters (mm) thick and 100 mm tall, but the widths vary depending on model:

  • Pocket: 3 mm x 100 mm x 75 mm
  • Original: 3 mm x 100 mm x 100 mm
  • Grande: 3 mm x 100 mm x 125 mm



The generation two line of plates feature an etched alphabet on the left side, as compared to the generation one plates which did not include the alphabet. Every Domino also includes a 3 mm hole which can be used for a range of storage techniques, like hanging the plate behind a picture on your wall or attaching the plate to a lanyard.

Preserving your Bitcoin wallet recovery seed is critical to self sovereignty. Here’s how to do so with the BitPlates Domino steel backup plate.

For this guide, I will be demonstrating the industrial grade, original Domino. I used a 24-word seed phrase generated by a ColdCard, which is the hardware wallet I recommend for reasons I outline here, but you can use any BIP39-compatible Bitcoin wallet. If you are looking for guidance on the available choices, here are recommendations I make for getting started with Android, iPhone and desktop. The Domino can be used for any BIP39-compatible seed phrase such as those with 12, 18 or 24 words.

Preserving your Bitcoin wallet recovery seed is critical to self sovereignty. Here’s how to do so with the BitPlates Domino steel backup plate.

Only the first four letters of each word are necessary, as no two words on the BIP39 word list share the same sequence of the initial four letters. Start with a permanent marker just in case you make a mistake and then double check your work before proceeding with the spring-loaded punch. The alphabet template can assist in keeping the letters properly aligned while moving across the grid.

On the first side of the plate, use a single dot for words one through six and a double dot for words seven through 12. If any words share a common character, stamp three dots in that square. Some words from the BIP39 list are only three letters in length so the fourth square in those instances will be left blank if not needed. Use the reverse side of the plate and repeat the process for words 13 through 18 and 19 through 24. Ensure that the words are kept in order of one through 24.

Preserving your Bitcoin wallet recovery seed is critical to self sovereignty. Here’s how to do so with the BitPlates Domino steel backup plate.

Here is a video demonstrating the process:

Once finished, you can clean the permanent marker off of the plate with rubbing alcohol or acetone and the results are a clean, legible and organized backup.






Now that the Bitcoin wallet recovery seed words are secure, let’s test the durability of the Domino against white-hot temperatures of about 1,500°C, just below melting point. Then we can verify that this backup method is guaranteed to withstand a house fire. After you have checked and double checked your backup by restoring your wallet, consider safely burning the paper copy.

The Domino survived the test and all 24-words are 100% recoverable!

In conclusion, the Domino is a robust Bitcoin wallet backup method. One of my favorite features is that it is thicker than most steel backups at 3 mm. I also like that it is available in multiple sizes to fit a wide range of needs or hiding places. Multiple plates can be used for backing up more advanced security methods, such as an additional passphrase, a SeedXOR or multisig. For example, a secondary Domino could be used to stamp a second set of words from the BIP39 list and this could even generate a decoy wallet with some duress funds stored in case of emergency. Then the first six words, for example, could actually be the passphrase for the primary wallet secured by the first Domino. This video demonstrates the technique.

There are many clever solutions you could implement to secure your Bitcoin wallet using a high degree of entropy.

To learn more about BitPlates and its line of secure Bitcoin backups, check out its website, follow it on Twitter or check out its how-to video guide here.

This is a guest post by Econoalchemist. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine.

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How To Backup Your Bitcoin Seed With RoninSteel

This article demonstrates using a stainless-steel backup plate for securing bitcoin against fire, flood and other disaster. This backup will work for securing any BIP39 word-phrase and it is specially-tailored for use with Samourai Wallet.

IMG_5983

Self custody of your bitcoin is serious business, it is a radical responsibility. You and you alone are responsible for the security of your bitcoin.

The majority of wallets used for securing bitcoin will provide the user with a 12- or 24-word seed phrase. This goes for mobile wallets, desktop wallets and hardware wallets. But storing the wallet information in digital media such as a text document or image file is risky, because anyone with access to that digital file will be able to withdraw the bitcoin from that wallet.

Writing down these words in order on a piece of paper is a great way to ensure that the information necessary to restore the wallet is secure in a way that is never accessible by internet connection. But how secure is paper, really? What happens if there is a fire where this paper is located? What about a flood? Preventing loss of bitcoin by securing the seed words in a steel medium is a great way to protect against such incidents.

A passphrase can also be used to add additional wallet security. Passphrases are kind of like having a 13th or 25th seed phrase word, but only you know what the passphrase is. The passphrase can be any combination of letters, numbers or special characters. And remember: No one can help you recover your passphrase, so be sure to take care and secure it accordingly. If you lose your passphrase and need to recovery your wallet, the 12-words alone will not be enough.

Introducing The RoningSteel Backup Plate

The RoninSteel backup plate, designed by the RoninDojo team, is a steel plate for storing your Bitcoin seed phrase and protecting it against disaster. While its tailored for Samourai Wallet users, it will work with any BIP39 seed phrase.

Upon receiving the RoninSteel backup, you will find:

  • An envelope with tamper-evident seals
  • A stainless-steel plate measuring 6 and 1/4″ x 3 and 1/4″ x 5/64″
  • A 12-word seed phrase template sticker for use with Samourai Wallet
  • A passphrase template sticker

If you’re using Samourai Wallet, then the 12-word seed phrase will be punched on one side of the plate and the passphrase will be punched on the other side of the plate.

Alternatively, there are other sticker templates available for 24-word seed phrases. The idea with these is that you would use both sides of the steel plate for the words and a second plate for the passphrase, if applicable. You will notice that there are places to indicate the word number and whether or not a passphrase is used.

IMG_5989

How To Generate And Secure A Bitcoin Seed Phrase With Samourai Wallet

I’ll demonstrate how to generate a new seed phrase and passphrase using Samourai Wallet and then how to secure them.

The basic steps to create a new wallet are:

  1. Step through the introduction
  2. Allow file access
  3. Enable Tor
  4. Connect a Dojo if you have one
  5. Create a passphrase
  6. Create a PIN
  7. Generate a 12-word phrase
  8. Claim a PayNym

Once the wallet is set up, the 12-word seed phrase and passphrase can be transferred to the steel backup. First, gather the steel plate, the 12-word seed phrase sticker, a sharpie, a spring-loaded punch and also the 12 words by navigating to the three-dot menu in the upper right-hand corner of the Samourai Wallet application, then “Settings,” “Wallet,” “Show mnemonic.”

IMG_E6005

Carefully place the sticker on the steel plate so that all of the edges are aligned. Then, use the sharpie to mark the corresponding circles on the sticker. The A-Z alphabet runs horizontally and the 12-word columns run vertically. You only need the first four letters of each word, as all words on the BIP39 list have a unique sequence of the first four letters.

Double check your work before using the spring-loaded punch. Make sure to also indicate if you are using a passphrase in the lower right-hand corner. Then peel the sticker off.

Once the sticker is removed, the information is obfuscated and just looks like some random dots. If someone were to gain access to this steel plate, they would not be able to determine the information contained here without a recovery sticker.

IMG_5995

Next, you can stamp your passphrase on the reverse side of the plate. Double check that your passphrase is correct by navigating to the three-dot menu in the upper right-hand corner of the Samourai Wallet application, then “Settings,” “Troubleshoot,” “Passphrase/backup test.”

Then, carefully place the passphrase sticker on the steel plate so that all of the edges are aligned. Again, use the sharpie first and then double check you work before using the spring-loaded punch. You will notice that there are rows on the top and bottom edges indicating which column the character for a particular row belongs.

Then, peel the sticker off and the information is obfuscated.

Now, all of the necessary information to restore your wallet is secured in a durable, stainless-steel medium and it is obfuscated. You can use the included red envelope and seal it with the included tamper-evident sticker. Then, store this securely as if it were gold or jewelry.

Let’s see how well this stainless steel plate withstands white-hot temperatures near melting point, 1,500°C:

The plate survived the fire test, but let’s see if the information is recoverable:

IMG_6022

The information was 100% recoverable! Even after the fire test, by applying a recovery sticker, the 12-word seed phrase and the passphrase were both recovered. The recovery stickers are clear in the little circles so it is easier to see the divots. Using the tip of the spring-loaded punch, I was able to locate the divots and impress the sticker to make it more visible.

12-Word Phrase:

Passphrase:

Wallet Recovery Check:

IMG_6032

In conclusion, the RoninSteel backup plate is durable enough to withstand white-hot temperatures and still secure your wallet recovery information. The plate is small enough to be easily concealed anywhere in your home.

One plate can be used for a Samourai Wallet 12-word phrase and passphrase or multiple plates can be purchased for 24-word seed phrase/passphrase combinations. The tamper evident seal on the envelope adds some peace of mind in knowing if anyone has accessed the steel plate.

By removing the stickers, the information is obfuscated in a way that makes it useless to anyone who doesn’t know exactly what it is and doesn’t have the stickers to use. All in all, I thought this was a cool way to secure Bitcoin wallet recovery information.

To learn more about Ronin Dojo check out these resources:

This is a guest post by Econoalchemist. Opinions expressed are entirely their own and do not necessarily reflect those of BTC Inc or Bitcoin Magazine. 

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Ledger Scam: Scammers Mail Hacked Ledger Devices To Steal Crypto

Scammers are now mailing hacked ledger devices to Ledger users in a bid to steal crypto from unsuspecting users.

An alarmed user made a post on Reddit that they had gotten a Ledger device that they hadn’t purchased. In the package was a poorly worded letter riddled with grammatical errors that explained that due to a cyberattack, Ledger was replacing all old devices with new ones for the purpose of safety.

Ledger scam letter sent to the user explaining the reason for the replacement

Ledger scam letter sent to the user explaining the reason for the replacement


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Letter explaining the reason the device was sent

In further pictures posted by the accounts was a sealed and authentic looking Ledger device.

Sealed box ledger device sent to the user

Sealed box ledger device sent to the user


Device sent in a sealed box

The user then went on to open the device which contained instructions for connecting the device to a computer and installing the application from the device. Asking to choose seed phrase length and inputting your seed phrase into the device.

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Instruction manual in the device to input seed phrase

Instruction manual in the device to input seed phrase


Instructions contained in the device asking to input seed phrases

Growing more suspicious, instead of plugging the device to their computer, the user went on to dismantle the Ledger device itself.

Ledger devices look like flash drives with a small screen on them. The screen is to make sure that your seed phrase is yours alone.

This proved to be the right move as upon dismantling the device and looking at the circuit board, there were obvious differences between the new device and the original Ledger device.

Side by side comparison of original and scam Ledger devices

Side by side comparison of original and scam Ledger devices


Side by side comparison of the device sent and an original Ledger device. Fake device on the left and original device on the right.

The scam is obviously a phishing scam meant to send the attackers the seed phrases once they are entered on the compromised device.

In the Reddit post, they issued a warning to other users. A bold new way of attacking with the poster referring to it as “some next level of scam attempt.”

Ledger Hack

Late last year, Ledger had announced that there had been a data breach and the attackers had gotten access to their databases. The names, phone numbers, and mailing addresses of 272,000 customers were stolen and subsequently posted on Raidforums. Raidforums is a platform where hackers go to post the information of hacked databases.

Related Reading | Why Bitcoin Is Actually “Bad For Crime” Contrary To Belief

Ledger had come forward after the breach to assure customers that there was no need to worry. The hack had no way of affecting the hardware wallets of users. As the private keys to the wallets were only held by users and there was no way for the hackers to actually get their hands on them.

This seemed like it was under control and users could rest easy. Ledger was very clear that the data breach only affected information that had to do with e-commerce purposes. No crypto balances were in jeopardy.

The company further posted on Twitter that they were working with law enforcement to stop any breach-related scams. Stating that they had, with the help of law enforcement, taken down over 170 phishing scam websites since the breach happened.

Crypto and Hacks/Scams

The crypto space isn’t new to hacks and scams. There are countless successful and unsuccessful attempts carried out yearly on investors. Some attackers set their sights on smaller scams, going after individual crypto investors in a bid to trick them out of their coins. Other attackers have their eyes on bigger fish like crypto exchanges and malware attacks on large corporations demanding crypto as ransom.

Current crypto market cap

Current crypto market cap


Total Crypto Market Cap | Source: Crypto Total Market Cap on TradingViews.com

One such case is in the case of Colonial Pipeline being hit with a malware. The corporation had to pay $4.4 million in ransom to get operations back up.

The irreversibility of crypto transactions makes it so that coins sent out of a wallet cannot be reversed. This means that if anyone were to get their hands on your seed phrase, they could take all of your coins. The transactions would be visible on the blockchain for you to see but there is no way to actually tell who is on the other end of the transaction.

Related Reading | Will A Large Spike In Bullish Sentiment Translate To A Bitcoin Rally?

So crypto investors are always advised to never reveal their seed phrase to anyone. Never enter it into any website. Do not store it online.

A good way is to write it down on a piece of paper and place it somewhere only you can get to.

The safety of your coins are of the utmost priority.

Featured image from Crypto Network News, images in article from Reddit, chart from TradingView.com

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