When it comes to safeguarding the private key of your Bitcoin or altcoins, writing down the seed phrase on a piece of paper is a prudent practice. However, with hardware wallets, where you generate your own seed phrase and ensure it never connects to the internet (cold storage), writing down the seed phrase is not just advisable, but essential.
This precaution is necessary because if your hardware wallet malfunctions, you risk losing access to all your funds. Conversely, if you've diligently transcribed the seed phrase onto a piece of paper, you can recover your assets simply by getting another wallet. Although most hardware wallets provide paper seed phrase cards, paper possesses inherent vulnerabilities—it's not waterproof, fireproof, and degrades over time. Hence, relying solely on paper for backup is not the safest approach.
Serious practitioners of self-custody in cold storage opt for engraving their seed phrases onto 304 stainless steel plates. Stainless steel has an extremely high melting point, remaining solid until it reaches a scorching 2,550-2,650 degrees Fahrenheit (1,399-1,454 degrees Celsius). In contrast, aluminum melts at a considerably lower temperature of 1,221 degrees Fahrenheit (660.3 degrees Celsius).
In this article, we will delve into a comprehensive review of one of the most intriguing seed plate solutions on the market: welcome to the Black Seed Ink Cold Wallets Review. This in-depth analysis covers the stainless steel Seed Plates combo offered by this company based in the USA.
|📦 Product Name||Black Seed Ink Seed Plates|
|🗓 Release Year||2021|
|💰 Price Range||Starting at $27.00 USD|
|🔒 Security Features||Stainless Steel, High Melting Point, Durability|
|💻 Compatibility||BIP32, BIP39, BIP44 Hardware Wallets, Exchanges, Password Manager|
|📏 Dimensions||89 mm L x 54 mm W x 0.8mm D|
|⚖️ Weight||0.846575 oz (24 grams)/plate|
|🛡️ Melting point||2,550-2,650 degrees Fahrenheit (1,399-1,454 degrees Celsius)|
|🌡️ Corrosion resistant||Yes|
|📜 Warranty||Covers manufacturing, design, and material defects; report within 2 months.|
What Are The Seed Storage Plates by Black Seed Ink?
If you never had to know seed plates before, it might be quite hard to understand what these things actually are. They are basically stainless steel plates (the size of a credit card), where you can engrave your seedphrase, that is basically the mnemonic BIP 39 phrase (as for Bitcoin).
You can write on their stainless steel, using an engraving pen (also called: scribe tool). You can also write with a marker, but that's not advisable, bacause a marker won't last for years. With the scribe tool, you can basically do a slight engrave in the stainless steel, to make your seedphrases resistant even in case of fire or other worse damages.
How The Crypto Metal Plates By Black Seed Ink Works
Named "Build Your Stack," this offering from Black Seed Ink allows you to customize your seed plate selection on the product page to suit various purposes and assemble them using the provided binding hardware.
On the front side of the wallet, you'll find the company's logo prominently displayed. Meanwhile, the back side of the wallet is designed with seed lines to ensure that the secret words remains shielded from prying eyes. There is no separate "cover plate" included. If you opt to purchase two or more wallets, you'll receive screws and washers to securely fasten the plates together.
You can select from four distinct types of seed plates:
- Seed Wallet: This type of seed plate is ideal for backing up the paper copy of BIP32, BIP39, BIP44 compatible hardware wallet (e.g., Ledger, Trezor, etc.) hot wallet (e.g., MetaMask, Coinbase Wallet, etc.) recovery seed phrases.
- Exchange Wallet: The Crypto Exchange Wallet serves as a secure backup for your login information to cryptocurrency exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken, Binance, and others. This cold storage solution ensures that your password, user ID, and related details remain disconnected from the computer and safe.
- Master Password Wallet: The Master Password Wallet is designed for safeguarding your master password to password keeper apps or wallets such as LastPass, Bitwarden, Trust Wallet, and more. It allows you to keep your password in cold storage, keeping it disconnected from the computer for added security.
- Passphrase Wallet: an additional steel plate for storing the BIP39 25th word. Ideal for who wants an additional layer of entropy and security.
Once you've made your selection of seed plates (you can purchase up to 6 plates of each type per order), you'll need to use the provided etching tool—a tungsten carbide fine tip with a knurled grip (included in every order)—to inscribe the seed phrases or passwords. The etching process is made easy thanks to the raised steel guidelines.
To ensure that your words are not visible to others while you carry the plates, make sure that the seedphrases are facing inward while you stack all the plates together and secure them using the Canadian-manufactured Chicago screws included in every order, along with nylon washers.
Black Seed Ink Cold Wallets Unboxing
Having covered the key details regarding Black Seed's seed plate stack, let's now move on to unboxing their product.
The package arrived in a double boxed configuration and was shipped via DHL from the United States.
If you happen to reside outside of the United States, it's important to take into account the potential import taxes in addition to the cost of the item itself, which is reasonably priced.
The packaging comes in an eco-friendly recyclable paper material, encased in protective plastic wrapping. It's compact and portable, making it a practical storage option not only for your seed plates but also for your hardware wallet, as I'll demonstrate shortly. The packaging itself is lightweight, tipping the scales at just 6.769 ounces (191.9 grams).
Upon unboxing, you'll notice that all the items are meticulously arranged within a custom-fit plastic foam insert. Included within the packaging are three stainless steel seed plates, the etching tool, and various hardware components. However, there's more to discover within the package.
What's in the box
Within the Black Seed Ink Cold Wallets box, you'll uncover the following items, which may vary based on your order:
- Stainless steel plates (quantity varies based on your order)
- x1 Etching tool
- x1 Cleaning cloth
- x2 Hardware for securing the seed plates
- x4 Washers
- x1 Instruction manual
The manual is available in English, Spanish, French, and Italian, offering a valuable resource, especially for those new to handling stainless steel seed plates. It's a worthwhile addition for anyone looking to familiarize themselves with the process before getting started.
The box features a concealed compartment designed for discreetly storing your stack of seed plates and even a hardware wallet like the Trezor Model T or the Trezor One. This thoughtful design by Black Seed Ink not only adds a practical touch but also exemplifies the principle that form follows function.
The Seed Plates
Now, let's delve into the most substantial aspect: the seed plates. Crafted from stainless steel and sporting a sleek black finish, these plates are packaged together neatly without any fasteners holding them in place. This design choice allows you to assemble the stack yourself, but only after you've engraved your sensitive information onto the plates.
It feels solid in hand, and even if each one of them is .8mm thick 304 grade stainless steel, they are not easy to bend.
Each one of them weights 0.846575 oz (24 grams).
Types of Steel Plates
Black Seed Ink's ingenious approach goes beyond a single seed plate with the typical 24 words. They've developed four distinct types of seed plates that you can choose to order.
While you certainly have the option to order just one or two, this flexibility enables you to utilize these seed plates for more than just cryptocurrency storage. With these versatile plates, you can create a customized stack for your Bitcoin and Altcoins, expand it to encompass your centralized or decentralized exchange details, and even safeguard other types of critical passwords.
How is this accomplished? It's quite straightforward. The team at Black Seed Ink has designed various templates to accommodate a wide range of data types, ensuring that you can securely store diverse information offline and in resilient steel. This ensures protection from prying eyes, as well as safeguarding your data against threats like fire, water damage, and even explosions.
Regardless of whether you purchase cryptocurrencies on centralized exchanges (CEX) like OKX or decentralized exchanges (DEX) like Bisq, whether they involve KYC (Know Your Customer) procedures or not, one thing remains constant: the need to securely store various passwords. With the use of these specially designed steel plates, you can conveniently and securely stack not just your cryptocurrency-related information but also these essential passwords with ease.
Imagine you wish to safeguard a password for your Bitwarden Vault or perhaps your Google Account (if you choose to store your passwords there). This method provides an excellent means to keep all your critical information secure and offline.
You have the flexibility to include up to two applications, a master password, and even a PIN code for added security.
Crypto seed wallet
Last but certainly not least, we come to the BIP39 seed phrase steel plate, where you can securely store all 24 (or 12) words that form the foundation of your seed phrase, ultimately deriving your private key. While a PIN code is included, it's important to note that a passphrase is not part of the package. While this may be seen as a limitation, it can actually be advantageous, especially in scenarios like the dreaded "$5 wrench attack."
In such cases, it's advisable to keep the passphrase separately, perhaps in another secure location or even committed to memory. Alternatively, if you're confident that your stack will be stored in an exceptionally safe place, you can choose to write the passphrase on the top, or on another steel plate or even in place of the PIN code for added security.
The Etching Tool
With each order, you'll also receive an Etching Tool—a 30g metal pen equipped with a tungsten scribe. This specialized pen serves the purpose of "writing" on the plates.
How To Use The Black Seed Ink Cold Wallets
Having explored the construction and purposes of the seed plates, let's now proceed to demonstrate how to utilize them effectively.
To minimize the risk of errors, follow these steps:
- Begin by writing your data lightly on the steel plate using a pencil.
- Next, carefully trace over the penciled text using the included tungsten scribe, which is provided with every order.
- You are done, you can now proceed to clean the surface with the cleaning cloth (included in every Black Seed Ink package).
- Repeat these steps for every password, passphrase, pin or words you wish to store offline.
Black Seed Ink Cold Wallets Steel Plates Design
The dimensions of Black Seed Ink's steel plates are rather compact, similar to the size of a credit card.
This compact size makes them highly portable and discreet, suitable for storage in various locations around your house, in a secure location, or wherever you deem fit.
In fact, they are small enough to fit neatly inside a wallet—I've even personally placed them inside my own wallet, and they fit perfectly!
When you stack them together in groups of three, they do become slightly bulkier, and understandably, they may not fit comfortably in a thin wallet. The combined weight of a stack of three, including the screws and washers, amounts to 76.3 grams (approximately 2.69 ounces).
It's worth noting that on the first and last seed plates, the exterior surfaces display only the logo. Consequently, all your critical data is consistently shielded within the stack, ensuring that it remains hidden from view and inaccessible to prying eyes unless, unfortunately, they are taken from you through theft.
Are The Black Seed Ink Cold Wallets Safe?
Undoubtedly, engraving your seed phrase, passphrase, PIN, and other critical cryptocurrency information onto steel provides a level of security that surpasses writing with an ordinary ink pen on a sheet of paper by manyfold.
Renowned Cypherpunk and Bitcoin enthusiast, Jameson Lopp, conducted rigorous tests on these very Black Seed Ink Plates. These tests included subjecting the plates to a heat-torching trial with a flame reaching 2000°F (1093°C), immersing them in a corrosion acid bath for 12 hours, and applying a crushing force using a 20-ton hydraulic press.
Remarkably, the Black Seed Ink plates exhibited exceptional performance in each benchmark, earning them an A Grade rating, which is the highest attainable mark in the United States. This validation underscores their remarkable durability and security features.
Black Seed Ink Cold Wallets Pros & Cons
|✅ Corrosion-resistant steel||❌ Passphrase (25th word) steel plate must be purchased separately as the seedphrase plate doesn't have an area for it|
|✅ High melting point||❌ International shipping may incur import taxes|
|✅ Durability against fire and water||❌ No comprehensive warranty information|
|✅ Secure offline storage||❌ Requires careful handling and heavy scribing for clarity when exposed to acid and fire|
|✅ Multiple plate templates|
|✅ Concealed compartment in packaging|
|✅ Additional hardware included|
|✅ Jameson Lopp's positive test results|
|✅ Multilingual instruction manual|
|✅ Versatile use beyond cryptocurrencies|
In conclusion, Black Seed Ink Cold Wallets offer a secure and versatile solution for safeguarding critical information, including seed phrases and passwords.
With their corrosion-resistant steel construction, high melting point, and durability against fire and water, these affordable plates excel in protecting your data.
However, users should be aware of the need for heavy scribing to ensure clarity when exposed to acid and fire.
Black Seed Ink Cold Wallets Evaluation
Security: Seed plates are among the best for cold storage, offering top-notch protection against fire, water, and more. 5/5.
User-friendliness: Engraving with the pen can be tricky initially, distinguishing light and firm scribes. 3/5.
Compatibility: Black Seed Ink offers diverse steel plates, including BIP39 passphrase support. 5/5.
Reputation: A reputable US company, though warranty clarity is lacking. 4/5.
Cost: Affordable, starting from a few bucks, including an etching tool and extras. 5/5.