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Author Topic: Currently Best Means of Offline Storage?  (Read 282 times)
loopylou
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October 05, 2018, 01:36:58 PM
 #1

I have had some crypto on exchanges longer than I'd like.

I'm wondering what the best means of storage currently are since I haven't been paying attention much this year.

For offline/cold storage is it still a debate between paper wallets (very annoying to setup) and the ledger nano S?

Has either been exploited yet and deemed a greater risk? Or is there any newer alternatives that are safer and more user-friendly now?

I want to store these long term. However, I worry about the Ledger because it is still operated through a third-party. I also dislike paper wallets because the process is so tedious and a hassle; especially for multiple coins.
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October 05, 2018, 01:41:56 PM
 #2

Offline computer? You can buy some hdmi stick type computer or raspberry pi if you prefer linux and store your coins there. Just never connect it to the internet and you should be safe unless someone steals the device.

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October 05, 2018, 02:29:19 PM
 #3

If you want something user friendly, safe and you're willing to invest a little bit, I highly recommend going with the Ledger nano S.

Ledger still give you control over your private keys so don't worry about them being a third party service. You can always recover your funds in other wallets and besides, most of their software are open source: https://github.com/LedgerHQ


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October 05, 2018, 04:22:13 PM
 #4

Between a paper wallet and a hardware wallet, I would rather prefer a hardware and there are several options to choose from.
Also a paper wallet is good to become a "I don't remember where the paper is in the house"

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October 05, 2018, 07:05:51 PM
 #5

I have had some crypto on exchanges longer than I'd like.
Do you really need another mt.Gox shit to take place in your life? Trusting exchanges is really bad, there may be literally very high risks associated with the exchanges holding your coins. Just move out your coins and hold only which you are trading currently.

I'm wondering what the best means of storage currently are since I haven't been paying attention much this year.
For offline/cold storage is it still a debate between paper wallets (very annoying to setup) and the ledger nano S?
It would be good if you store your coins offline. Some of the secure storage options include

[1] Buying a good hardware wallet like Trezor, Ledger or Keepkey. You can better stick to any of these 3 hard wallets.
 
[2] Creating a paper wallet if you are really aware what you are doing and have a basic knowledge on how a paper wallet works. Spending from a paper wallet quite often is really a very tedious job which may lose one's interest in them.

[3] Creating an offline environment for storing your coins securely. You can do this by buying a cheap laptop and never connecting them to network. Download Electrum from a online computer and securely move them to a offline one and store them. You can even create a multisig wallet so that it needs atleast 2 persons to sign the transaction to release the funds. Electrum offers a wide range of hard wallets support and you can integrate almost all the above mentioned hard wallet with your Electrum wallet. In order to track the funds, you can create a watch only wallet in any of your online PC or Mobile

I want to store these long term. However, I worry about the Ledger because it is still operated through a third-party. I also dislike paper wallets because the process is so tedious and a hassle; especially for multiple coins.
Hard Wallets would be safe until you generate the seeds yourselves. There needs to be trust among anyone doing a good job for the past years. If you don't believe anyone, better stick to the paper wallet and generate them by flipping a coin or a die. Ledger is an open source project as suggested by OmegaStarScream but the firmware itself is not an open source.

 
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October 06, 2018, 04:17:56 AM
 #6

Has either been exploited yet and deemed a greater risk? Or is there any newer alternatives that are safer and more user-friendly now?

the only way to "exploit" a paper wallet is if you use a fake software to generate it, do it on an unclean computer and finally if you are robbed (physically steal the paper)!

as i always say, there is no safe method available. there are only good methods each have their own pros and cons. for instance a hardware wallet is still a digital way of storing your coins. and as far as i know hardware wallets don't have any internal power like a battery. in other words it is similar to a flash drive and it an be susceptible to data loss if it is not connected to a power source (your computer USB port) for a long period of time. additionally it will be susceptible to damage and data loss like any other digital storage medium. not to mention that there can be bugs, flaws, security holes,... in it.

paper has its own downsides too. i mentioned the generation problems above. the same problems will be faced when trying to spend from a paper wallet. additionally paper is susceptible to damage from water, fire, air,...! also if you don't encrypt it, it would be easy to steal it.

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October 06, 2018, 06:26:32 AM
 #7

Paper wallets and hardware wallets are both one of the most secured options to store your bitcoins.

Paper wallets are only suggested for long-term storage where you don't need to transact often.
Transacting with paper wallets is a pain. You need to import them to your (unsafe) computer, create the tx yourself and choose a change address (and back it up, nothing is don manually when using a paper wallet).


Hardware wallets can safely be regarded at the 'same' security level than paper wallets.
They store the private keys in an isolated environment which never leave the device.

The big advantage with hardware wallets is, that you can plug them in into online-pc's without having to worry about losing your coins.
You can transact daily, without running risk of losing your coins.

Hardware wallets are a pretty user-friendly way to securely store your coins.

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October 06, 2018, 09:59:09 AM
Last edit: October 07, 2018, 09:43:50 AM by Lucius
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 #8

Has either been exploited yet and deemed a greater risk? Or is there any newer alternatives that are safer and more user-friendly now?

the only way to "exploit" a paper wallet is if you use a fake software to generate it, do it on an unclean computer and finally if you are robbed (physically steal the paper)!

as i always say, there is no safe method available. there are only good methods each have their own pros and cons. for instance a hardware wallet is still a digital way of storing your coins. and as far as i know hardware wallets don't have any internal power like a battery. in other words it is similar to a flash drive and it an be susceptible to data loss if it is not connected to a power source (your computer USB port) for a long period of time. additionally it will be susceptible to damage and data loss like any other digital storage medium. not to mention that there can be bugs, flaws, security holes,... in it.

paper has its own downsides too. i mentioned the generation problems above. the same problems will be faced when trying to spend from a paper wallet. additionally paper is susceptible to damage from water, fire, air,...! also if you don't encrypt it, it would be easy to steal it.

Paper wallets also have one more problem, ink can fade away with time if paper is not stored in proper way and we have such case some time ago in this forum when user ask how to recover missing characters from paper wallet. So if we go in this direction to save our private keys it is much better to use some more durable materials like steel or plastic and engrave private keys in them.

Regarding hardware wallets you missed very important thing and that is backup of seed - in fact the only thing that we need if device is broken is to have seed and then it is easy to make recovery. However we are back to paper again since most users will write down seed on paper, so key thing is how to protect paper of all possible external influences and from thieves. Only way is to not use it at all and problem is solved, and to protect from thieves every users need to use their imagination.

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October 06, 2018, 01:02:23 PM
 #9

Has either been exploited yet and deemed a greater risk? Or is there any newer alternatives that are safer and more user-friendly now?

the only way to "exploit" a paper wallet is if you use a fake software to generate it, do it on an unclean computer and finally if you are robbed (physically steal the paper)!

as i always say, there is no safe method available. there are only good methods each have their own pros and cons. for instance a hardware wallet is still a digital way of storing your coins. and as far as i know hardware wallets don't have any internal power like a battery. in other words it is similar to a flash drive and it an be susceptible to data loss if it is not connected to a power source (your computer USB port) for a long period of time. additionally it will be susceptible to damage and data loss like any other digital storage medium. not to mention that there can be bugs, flaws, security holes,... in it.

paper has its own downsides too. i mentioned the generation problems above. the same problems will be faced when trying to spend from a paper wallet. additionally paper is susceptible to damage from water, fire, air,...! also if you don't encrypt it, it would be easy to steal it.

Paper wallets also have one more problem, ink can fade away with time if paper is not stored in proper way and we have such case some time ago in this forum when user ask how to recover missing characters form paper wallet. So if we go in this direction to save our private keys it is much better to use some more durable materials like steel or plastic and engrave private keys in them.

Regarding hardware wallets you missed very important thing and that is backup of seed - in fact the only thing that we need if device is broken is to have seed and then it is easy to make recovery. However we are back to paper again since most users will write down seed on paper, so key thing is how to protect paper of all possible external influences and from thieves. Only way is to not use it at all and problem is solved, and to protect from thieves every users need to use their imagination.
We think too much about the disadvantage, the possibility ink fading away from paper and thieves act we may discourage the newbie cause we both know that everything with advantages must have disadvantages. Meanwhile, both paper wallet and hardware wallet (trezor) are the best offline storage. Base on there capacity paper wallet is good for long term holding while hard ware are good for business people or trader who deal with cryptocurrency activities daily or weekly.

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October 07, 2018, 04:47:37 AM
 #10

~
We think too much about the disadvantage, the possibility ink fading away from paper and thieves act we may discourage the newbie cause we both know that everything with advantages must have disadvantages. Meanwhile, both paper wallet and hardware wallet (trezor) are the best offline storage. Base on there capacity paper wallet is good for long term holding while hard ware are good for business people or trader who deal with cryptocurrency activities daily or weekly.

it is not that we are thinking about disadvantages or focusing on them alone. it is the fact that it is a good idea to know both advantages and disadvantages of different types of wallets that exist so that we can make an informed decision while knowing the possibilities.

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October 08, 2018, 07:14:10 PM
 #11

~
We think too much about the disadvantage, the possibility ink fading away from paper and thieves act we may discourage the newbie cause we both know that everything with advantages must have disadvantages. Meanwhile, both paper wallet and hardware wallet (trezor) are the best offline storage. Base on there capacity paper wallet is good for long term holding while hard ware are good for business people or trader who deal with cryptocurrency activities daily or weekly.

it is not that we are thinking about disadvantages or focusing on them alone. it is the fact that it is a good idea to know both advantages and disadvantages of different types of wallets that exist so that we can make an informed decision while knowing the possibilities.
Its just really a matter of preference on how a certain user will choose up among the two as long we do know its advantages and disadvantages then it shouldnt matter yet this is our choice by the way.
The important thing is that neither hardware or paper wallet just be sure on keeping these things into a secure place which you cant really easily forget.

 
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October 08, 2018, 07:27:38 PM
 #12

Paper wallets also have one more problem, ink can fade away with time if paper is not stored in proper way and we have such case some time ago in this forum when user ask how to recover missing characters from paper wallet. So if we go in this direction to save our private keys it is much better to use some more durable materials like steel or plastic and engrave private keys in them.

As for ink fading away with time I think you can buy special, military grade ball pens and notebooks that should be a lot more durable.

Quote
Regarding hardware wallets you missed very important thing and that is backup of seed - in fact the only thing that we need if device is broken is to have seed and then it is easy to make recovery. However we are back to paper again since most users will write down seed on paper, so key thing is how to protect paper of all possible external influences and from thieves. Only way is to not use it at all and problem is solved, and to protect from thieves every users need to use their imagination.

This does bother me too. In my country it's very difficult to rent bank storage like you see in the movies, I've even read it's something you inherit - they're that scarce, and that would be good place to keep seed backup and generally backups.
One of the ideas I have is to encrypt the backup. You could use offline computer to burn encrypted copy to a disc or pendrive or even write down encrypted version of it.

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October 09, 2018, 04:35:02 AM
 #13

Paper wallets also have one more problem, ink can fade away with time if paper is not stored in proper way and we have such case some time ago in this forum when user ask how to recover missing characters from paper wallet. So if we go in this direction to save our private keys it is much better to use some more durable materials like steel or plastic and engrave private keys in them.

As for ink fading away with time I think you can buy special, military grade ball pens and notebooks that should be a lot more durable.

you are not going to keep the paper for hundreds of years for the ink to fade and you usually use a decent quality paper and ink for that purpose so it won't simply fade away in a couple of years that is the average time for keeping a paper wallet. and if you are too worried you can either laminate it or simply stick a see through adhesive tape (i think the word is scotch in English?) on top of it. that would make it durable enough.

for an overkill and for creating something cool you can always use "engraving a metal plate". you can acquire a small stainless steel or aluminium place and engrave your key on it with etching (electro etch for example) or physically with chisel Wink

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October 09, 2018, 10:25:00 AM
 #14

Paper wallets also have one more problem, ink can fade away with time if paper is not stored in proper way and we have such case some time ago in this forum when user ask how to recover missing characters from paper wallet. So if we go in this direction to save our private keys it is much better to use some more durable materials like steel or plastic and engrave private keys in them.

As for ink fading away with time I think you can buy special, military grade ball pens and notebooks that should be a lot more durable.

Quote
Regarding hardware wallets you missed very important thing and that is backup of seed - in fact the only thing that we need if device is broken is to have seed and then it is easy to make recovery. However we are back to paper again since most users will write down seed on paper, so key thing is how to protect paper of all possible external influences and from thieves. Only way is to not use it at all and problem is solved, and to protect from thieves every users need to use their imagination.

This does bother me too. In my country it's very difficult to rent bank storage like you see in the movies, I've even read it's something you inherit - they're that scarce, and that would be good place to keep seed backup and generally backups.
One of the ideas I have is to encrypt the backup. You could use offline computer to burn encrypted copy to a disc or pendrive or even write down encrypted version of it.

Problem with ink fading away really exists, but if paper is stored in a way that is protected from external influences (air, dust, heat) and if user do not touch that paper every day ink will last long enough. There is for sure more professional ways as you say, but such military stuff is not something you can buy just like that.

I would never trust bank storage to keep my backup, firstly because I do not like the banks (as well as many who support cryptocurrency), and second reason is that bank sef deposit box is not 100% safe - it can be robbed same as money in the bank with the difference that the bank will compensate the customer for stolen money, but content of the safe box is secret and can not be secured as such.

For all who use paper for backup of seed or private keys best solution is to make few copies, store them on different locations which will be checked from time to time.

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October 09, 2018, 01:34:59 PM
 #15

You can also try NFC based paper wallets or NFC based card for storage but it would require NFC reader/writer. Normally NFC is present in smartphones but if not then you might have to buy a hardware that reads and writes NFC chips but will cost you.

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October 09, 2018, 01:52:13 PM
 #16

You can also try NFC based paper wallets or NFC based card for storage but it would require NFC reader/writer. Normally NFC is present in smartphones but if not then you might have to buy a hardware that reads and writes NFC chips but will cost you.

That's a nice idea. Are we also able to write seeds on the, sample a Mifare or Proximity card/Tags?

These mediums will last for years without people worrying about it. We can write here private keys with a passphrase, like what they do in paper wallets. It's just that the only way to access the key is through a reader.
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October 10, 2018, 09:20:20 AM
 #17

It's just that the only way to access the key is through a reader.

Let me rephrase this:

It is just that the only way to access the key is by being in range of a meter for less than a second.


IMO offline storage should be truly offline. No communication. No internet, WLAN, LAN, Bluetooth and also no NFC.
Either choose an old computer to achieve that or a paper wallet. There are no other ways i am aware of to achieve a (relatively convenient and still secure) cold storage.

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October 10, 2018, 10:14:36 PM
 #18

It is just that the only way to access the key is by being in range of a meter for less than a second.

NFC doesn't seem good idea especially now when car theft via intercepting radio signals from keys is on the rise. I think you could intercept NFC in similar way.

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October 12, 2018, 10:10:04 AM
 #19

 If I was planning on parking coins for a long time I'd stick with paper. Hardware wallets throw up updates, change clients, go out of business and are abandoned like the Ledger Blue.

I don't find paper wallets a hassle myself. It's far less hassle than setting up a hardware wallet and noodling about with updates and setting pins and inputting seeds.

And I wouldn't bother with literal paper. I'd put the paper wallet in multiple encrypted folders on multiple storage devices and park them hither and thither.

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October 12, 2018, 10:36:24 PM
 #20

There isn't really a "one-size fits all, best" solution for this... As with most things, you need to figure out what your specific requirements are.

For some people, "paper" wallets make the most sense. They don't want the expense of hardware wallets, are comfortable with the processes for securely creating/redeeming them, and safely storing them.

For others, who also want the ability to be able to spend coins occasionally, but still want secure storage and don't mind a little bit of extra cost, (or maybe are involved with multiple currencies) hardware wallets can be a great solution.

My advice is to specify your requirements, then find the solution that matches those requirements... asking "what is the best way to store cryptocurrencies?" will just result in 65326 different opinions on what is the best method! Tongue Most of which probably don't apply to your specific requirements.

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