The Cryptosteel Capsule is the latest storage device to protect your Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency wallet seed phrase. It is sleek, sexy and pretty easy to use. But how safe is it? Let’s take a look at the new capsule style storage device and compare it to the the Billfodl metal storage wallet.
What is the Cryptosteel Capsule?
The Cryptosteel Capsule is a powerful backup solution for preserving critical and sensitive information offline without relying on third parties. You use it to protect and store a passphrase, software generated key, PIN code or other valuable secret.
It’s a sturdy stainless steel capsule-shaped device, intended to endure harsh environments and function under virtually any conditions.
The capsule features engraving, a do-it-yourself assembly process, and a stainless, shockproof, acid-resistant and fireproof material. It is compatible with the majority of secret sharing and key generation algorithms, ensuring that the enclosed data stays safe. Even in cases of aggressive acts such as theft, bribery, vandalism or violence it’s designed to protect the master secret contained inside.
Like other wallets of its kind, it’s stainless steel metal construction is far more durable than paper, wood, and corrosive metals. It is also hard to detect using next-gen methods of surveillance because of the stainless steel metal used.
With Cryptosteel, your most valuable secrets are kept safe both from hackers and from environmental events.
Why do you need one?
Cryptosteel is a physical backup solution for your digital assets and data. Physical storage devices like the cryptosteel are best to keep your sensitive data in an offline environment, safe from cyber criminals and hackers. The durability of a stainless steel construction means that the device will last for years and is impervious to damage and destruction.
The most common use of the Cryptosteel Capsule is to safely store the seed phrase (back up phrase) to your cryptocurrency wallets. Hence the name ‘cryptosteel’. Paper wallets are used for this purpose today, but can be easily destroyed, lost or stolen. Even if you use a hardware wallet, you should still have a Cryptosteel as a backup in case of loss or damage to your hardware wallet or compromise of your private keys.
A metal storage solution for your seed phrase means that you can recover your cryptocurrency as a last resort should anything go wrong with your digital wallets.
The Cryptosteel Capsule is an excellent choice to store your cryptocurrency seed phrase because:
- it is made of a sturdy, shockproof and acid-resistant material
- the assembly is do-it-yourself, so you can be sure that the encryption process is done properly, by you!
- it features a variety of compatibility with secret sharing and key generation algorithms, including the BIP39 standard for mnemonic seed phrases commonly used to recover lost cryptocurrency.
- it is fireproof and waterproof.
- its stainless steel construction means it can’t be detected by high tech scanners.
- it can function under virtually any conditions.
For more than just your crypto seed phrase
Cryptosteel Capsule can also be used to protect other types of secrets or keys such as:
- BIP39 (unabbreviated 12-word recovery seeds),
- Shamir Backup SLIP0039 (4-letter abbreviations of 20-word recovery seeds)
- BIP32 root keys
- WIF private keys
- Monero mnemonic seeds (25-word recovery seeds)
- Random ASCII passwords
- Insurance account numbers
- Master passwords to your password manager (e.g. LastPass, KeePass, 1Password)
- Bank account info and passwords
- GPS coordinates
- Poems and haiku
- Rainbow Codes
- Elliptic curve coordinates.
How is the Cryptosteel Capsule different from other metal storage wallets?
The Cryptosteel is also unique in that it allows you to use a variety of secret sharing and key generation algorithms. This provides extra security for your data. The Billfodl and other similar metal wallets only support the BIP39 standard for mnemonic seed phrases. While you might buy the Cryptosteel Capsule for your cryptocurrency, you can use it to store a range of other secrets.
The design of the Cryptosteel Capsule is also different. It’s a cylindrical shaped device containing a stainless steel rod on which you arrange the engraved tiles into words, numbers or phrases that form your secret. The tiles are kept in place with a fastener and there are spacers that you can use to break up words. The tiles contained within the cylinder are obscured from view by the stainless steel capsule and cap. The device measures around 10cm in length and 1.6cm in diameter. It is slender and therefore easy to conceal somewhere or to hide.
Most other metal storage wallets are shaped like a cassette or credit card holder. They’re flat with a stainless steel sleeve and a chassis with your tiles hidden in between.
Is the Cryptosteel Capsule safe?
The answer is yes, the Cryptosteel Capsule is safe. It’s safe from damage, destruction, prying eyes and of course from cyber attack. But not as inherently safe as the Billfodl metal storage wallet in our view. This is because the device itself doesn’t lock. A cap screws on to the capsule and can be fitted with tamperproof seals. While you will (eventually) know if someone finds your Cryptosteel Capsule (because the seal is broken), that person will also have almost immediate access to the inside of the device, and your secret phrase. They could access your seed phrase and write it down easily, with no deterrent except a seal sticker to overcome.
The BillFodl on the other hand has separate locking protection on the outside of the chassis, where you can fit your own padlock. While padlocks can be broken, this does add an extra layer of protection on top of the Cryptosteel. If someone finds your device, they can not get into it as quickly or easily. And this may just be enough to deter their curiosity, so that they move on to something else. If you want the BillFodl to remain undetectable to scanners, you simply need to buy a stainless steel padlock to use with it.
Like any metal storage wallet, the Cryptosteel Capsule itself can still be stolen. So you need to keep it in a safe place. The good thing about the capsule design is that there are no hinges, pins or moving parts. You can bury it, or hide it inside a wall and still retrieve your tiles from inside of the capsule without worrying about dirt jamming up the device.
The Cryptosteel is a nice addition to your crypto security arsenal. It’s also more flexible than other wallets in that it can be used to protect lots of different types of secrets or keys. It’s the slickest, sexiest looking metal storage wallet on the market! But if you’re strictly buying a metal storage wallet to protect your crypto seed phrase, then we prefer the BillFodl for that extra level of security that acts as a deterrent from prying eyes.
You can buy the Cryptosteel capsule directly from the Ledger website here. The device will cost you a little more than the Billfodl will.
The Billfodl is available for purchase direct from the manufacturers Privacy Pros.
Click here to read more of our seed storage wallet reviews and recommendations.