Cryptotag & Cryptosteel Review
One of the worst nightmares a cryptocurrency investor can endure is losing the seed phrase for their cryptocurrency wallet. Many wallets use a seed phrase to permit access to the wallet when private keys or other information is lost. Lose this seed phrase and your nice hardware wallet is useless, and so are all the Bitcoin and other tokens that you had on the wallet. Bye bye, birdie. Their are many ways to securing your cryptocurrency.
It is only natural that someone would come up with a way to backup the seed phrase for your wallet. Say hello to Cryptotag and Cryptosteel, two backups for cryptocurrency seed phrases. Are these devices a viable method of protection against loss, or are they perhaps a passing fad that will only cost you a lot of money? Let’s take a look.
There is only one way to describe Cryptotag. It is hardcore protection for your recovery phrase. The starter kit consists of two titanium plates and a hammer. What does that tell you? We’re being serious. Cryptotag basically lets you pound your recovery seed into a plate made of titanium. The plate can then be stored or carried so that your recovery seed is always at hand.
Are you asking why? So did we. The company actually has a pretty good answer. When you receive a hardware wallet like the Nano or the Trezor you are provided with a little card on which you can write your recovery seed with a pen. We don’t have to tell you that anything written on a card can be lost, smeared, or otherwise rendered illegible. Okay, so Cryptotag has a point. You need a better way to record and protect your recovery seed.
The better way according to Cryptotag is to etch that seed into a titanium plate. When you order a starter kit you’ll get two of the plates, each of which can accommodate a 24-word recovery seed. So, one set of plates will allow you to record two seeds for Trezor, two seeds for a Nano Ledger, and four keys for a Keep Key hardware wallet. Once you have the seeds etched on the Titanium you can attach the two of them together with an included clip.
The starter kit also comes with the hammer that you’ll need to impression the titanium, an anvil, and ingots to make the words. You can also buy plates separately after you get started with Cryptotag. The plates are 6mm thick. Cryptotag has tested them by shooting them with a rifle and a 9mm pistol. In both cases the plates survived and the recovery phrase was still readable. Short of dropping a skyscraper on it, there seems to be no way to destroy a Cryptotag.
Cryptosteel is a device that is remarkably similar to the Cryptotag. One difference is that the Cryptotag cost about twice as much as you’ll pay for a Cryptosteel unit. That makes a little bit of sense. Cryptosteel is not made of titanium but of stainless steel. You also don’t etch the recovery seed into the metal itself. Instead you use pre-made tiles to make the words.
It would be fair to say that the Cryptosteel is not as durable as its competitor. You could almost think of it as the first generation of these types of products. It is, however, a little bit easier to use. Some people will have an easier time attaching the tiles to the plates instead of banging them in with a hammer. Beyond that, these two devices are precisely the same in concept and execution.
Who Uses Cryptotag and Cryptosteel?
At first reading of this article you would probably think that there is a very small market for these items. Seriously, this is a little hardcore. Well, that’s exactly who these recovery seed backup methods appeal to. The hardcore cryptocurrency investor. There are plenty of cryptocurrency geeks and investors that are always looking for a better way to protect their stash.
There are also those people who are early adopters of anything to do with crypto. They are the first on the block to buy a hardware wallet, the first to get a new mining rig, and so on. Those people will have to have one of these.
When we first read about the Cryptotag, we laughed. You probably will, too. After the laughter died away we started thinking about this and trying to put ourselves in the shoes of a person with a lot of cryptocurrency to protect. If you had over a million dollars in crypto value, a better way to protect recovery seeds might be more important to you.
Are Recovery Seed Backups Worth the Price?
We mentioned that the price point for these items is pretty high. You’re talking 170.00 Euro for the Cryptotag Starter Kit. That’s a lot of money to plunk down. At half that price the Cryptosteel is also expensive. To be honest, the items probably aren’t worth the price for someone that only holds a small amount of cryptocurrency at a time.
These recovery seed backups can be worth the price if someone has a large amount of cryptocurrency that they need to manage securely.
The Pros and Cons of Recovery Seed Backups
- Virtually indestructible protection for your recovery seed
- Cool to own if you get off on all things crypto
- Can still be lost
- Hammering in letters on titanium is for ancient dwarves, some next level Lord of the Rings stuff
- Very expensive