Keeping Bitcoin safe without Trezor, Ledger or HW devices | The Dev Tool |

I am a Bitcoiner, but I never used a hardware device for storing my Bitcoin.

I have grave concerns about the state of hardware devices, and why trust them when you don’t need to. But another thing is that I do not trust myself - a gangster, or worse the border patrol in a foreign country, finds a Trezor on me, they might not leave me alone before I give them a key. By the way, I like my freedom and my limbs so that’s not an ideal solution.

It also doesn't address the fundamental problem with keeping your seed phrase secure.

Here I will explain how I keep my Bitcoin safe.

How I made the address

To make the address you can follow this footprint.

  1. Ensure you have a recently updated iPhone - iOS seem to be more secure so I wouldn't recommend doing this on an Android
  2. Install Exodus, TrustWallet or any other wallet that you trust
  3. Disconnect the internet. No Wifi, GSM, etc.
  4. Create a wallet.
  5. Write down the seed phrase on a physical piece of paper.
  6. Copy the public key to a notepad app
  7. Destroy the wallet
  8. Restart the phone

Your wallet was created without internet access and you have the seed phrase on a piece of paper. Meaning even if your phone or wallet app was compromised, it is unlikely they got the seed phrase - as it was destroyed before the phone and app had internet. When you save Bitcoin, you just send it to the public address.

How to keep the wallet secure

Most described ways to keep your seed phrase secure are in fact insecure. The best is to memorize it, however trusting your memory with that task might not be the best. Another way is to encrypt your seed phrase and keep it on your computer and cloud services. Here's how.

  1. Disconnect your laptop from the internet - or even better run an live linux distro
  2. Write your seed phrase to a file
  3. Encrypt this file with a strong password
  4. Write down the long password on a piece of paper.
  5. Erase the remains of the file.
  6. Restart computer
  7. Save the encrypted file on e.g. Dropbox, Google Drive, thumbdrives.
  8. Copy the password to more papers and save some of them at your relatives/friends places

With the password you have nothing. With the encrypted file you have nothing. An attacker would have to access both the file and the physical password, which is very unlikely.

How secure is this

It is extremely safe under a some conditions:

  1. Your phone is using a good seed algorithm to make the seed phrase and is uncompromised. This is ensured by using a recently updated iPhone and a trustworthy app.
  2. Your laptop does not have malware. One way to ensure this is to boot up a Linux live distro from a USB and be not connected to the internet.

Even if your phone and/or laptop have been compromised, it is extremely unlikely that someone actually gets a hold on your seed phrase.

What are the cons of this

It is extremely annoying to recover and send transactions. This should only be used for long-term storage. For everyday usage I just use a normal hot wallet without any extra security features. The time I save using this solution is well worth it even if my hot wallet got stolen.

Created by: martin


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