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coinling
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January 10, 2019, 10:39:46 PM
 #1

I dont know where this actually fits so i post it here:

I am looking for the longest-lasting solution for encrypted cold storage.

Does anyone know which lasts the longest of USB Flash Drives , Bluerays, SD Disks etc. ?


Are there different USB sticks which last longer than others(non used) ?


Thank you for any help.

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January 10, 2019, 11:11:42 PM
 #2

I dont know where this actually fits so i post it here:

I am looking for the longest-lasting solution for encrypted cold storage.

Does anyone know which lasts the longest of USB Flash Drives , Bluerays, SD Disks etc. ?


Are there different USB sticks which last longer than others(non used) ?


Thank you for any help.

try industrial or military grade usb sticks and or flash drives

note I never had a need for them but here is one company selling them

https://www.amtron.com/USB_flash_disk.htm

note I do not know the company I did a google search

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January 10, 2019, 11:24:10 PM
Merited by vapourminer (1), pooya87 (1)
 #3

The longest lasting and least vulnerable to damage is a piece of stainless, etched with your seed phrase, and stored in a safe place.

You can find stainless blanks at a local hardware store, and etch your seed phrase on it with a dremil or similar tool.

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elda34b
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January 12, 2019, 07:01:05 AM
 #4

safe place.

Put the stainless on a safe box, bury it underground. That seems to be the safest place to me, unless your place is prone to earthquake.

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January 12, 2019, 11:18:58 AM
 #5

coinling, there is Blu-ray&DVD disk called M-DISC that supposedly should last for several centuries or up to 1000 years. Difference from standard disc is that M-Disc is not contains organic dyes and therefore is not susceptible to degradation. From personal experience with CD/DVD I can say that most of disc burned 10+ year ago have problems with data reading, and some are completely unusable.

Some suggest stainless steel, how about to save seed/private key on Titanium plate? It seems to be resistant to everything Smiley

coinling
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January 12, 2019, 02:09:07 PM
 #6

Thank you for the answers.

I would prefer something encrypted so i don't like the stainless steel or sth like that versions.

Besides i want to use them every now and then and would prefer having several keys and data alongside.


So i actually prefer a USB stick over everything else.

But let's say a top USB stick only lasts 5 years versus a top M-Disc of several centuries then i would probably have a M-Disc backup version as well.

But if a top notch USB stick lasts for 20-50 years as well (not used a lot) , i am fine with that.



Does anyone have experiences with Industrial and Military Grade USB Flash Drives ?

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January 12, 2019, 03:39:12 PM
 #7

Besides i want to use them every now and then and would prefer having several keys and data alongside.

If they get online you can't really call them "cold" storage.

I have normal USB sticks that still work very good and they are 10 years old.
On the other hand USB sticks can "break" simply at plugging/unplugging. So I strongly suggest you keep backup(s) on something else too. If what you want to keep are private keys or seeds, even printing them onto paper (just make sure the font is good and you will know where you have I or l, 0 or O and so on) could be of great help someday. And then you don't even have to buy military grade USB sticks.

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January 12, 2019, 04:48:30 PM
 #8

Thank you for the answers.

I would prefer something encrypted so i don't like the stainless steel or sth like that versions.

I've used micro SD cards in the past, and actually still have my cold wallets backed up in that way.  I have three safes with a backup in each.  I Also have a small (personal) document safe that I keep off site which used to have a back up in it (not anymore.)

There are advantages and disadvantages to having multiple backups in multiple locations.

For my stainless back-ups I developed a method to encode the seed phrase.  I didn't include any encryption, but a simple seed shift based on a date or a series of numbers could easily be incorporated.  Here's a guide I put together to describe the encoding method:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=5060165.msg47428489#msg47428489

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January 13, 2019, 01:46:25 AM
 #9

Multiple encrypted micro SDs replaced regularly at different intervals in different locations is good enough for me.

As for cryptosteels I don't really get it. I'd rather create my own with a grinder and suitable lump of metal if I were to go down that route but I probably wouldn't.

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January 13, 2019, 11:14:10 AM
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #10

So i actually prefer a USB stick over everything else.
But let's say a top USB stick only lasts 5 years versus a top M-Disc of several centuries then i would probably have a M-Disc backup version as well.
But if a top notch USB stick lasts for 20-50 years as well (not used a lot) , i am fine with that.

Predicted lifetime of ordinary USB stick is about 10 years, but it depends only how you use them, and their life time is usually associated with write cycles which are from 10 000 to 100 000. The prevailing opinion is that user will probably lost USB stick before device experience a failure.

Taking this into account, military or industrial USB stick would most likely last at least 20 years with proper use, but it would be wise to have backup of the backup just in case.

I'm not sure of the truthfulness of this estimates, but there seems to be a lot longer-lasting storage methods then USB sticks :

  • CD&DVD - 30 Years.
  • Hard Drive - 30+ Years.
  • Developed Film&Slides - 50+ Years.
  • SSD - 50+ Years.
  • Vinyl Record&Memory Card - 100 Years.

How Long Can USB Drives Last?

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January 16, 2019, 03:00:22 PM
 #11

Besides i want to use them every now and then and would prefer having several keys and data alongside.

If they get online you can't really call them "cold" storage.
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thats true, but you can use them on offline devices for signing and adding seeds , whatever.


I think i go for an some M Discs for the hardcore backup as well as USB Sticks for usage.

Anyone has some experience with those ?

http://www.mdisc.com/mdisc-technology/

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January 16, 2019, 05:55:15 PM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1)
 #12

coinling, M-DISC is just improved version of regular DVD/Blu-Ray, and I explain which is the main difference between them. Properly stored it can last up to 1000 years, but they are available just for last 10 years, so no one can tell you how reliable and how durable they are. But for long term cold storage M-DISC seems like a good solution, and they are probably not expensive either.

Only problem I can see with any optical discs is their drives, in next 50-100 years or maybe even before this technology may disappear completely. Most recent devices come in no optical drive mode today.

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January 16, 2019, 06:58:00 PM
 #13

Aside form M-Disc, Blu-ray Replication (also exist for CD/DVD) also have good durability since the data already written when the Blu-ray & shorter durability because writable ability is gone. You need to use 3rd party services, but it's no problem if you sent encrypted data to them.

Only problem I can see with any optical discs is their drives, in next 50-100 years or maybe even before this technology may disappear completely. Most recent devices come in no optical drive mode today.

That apply to all medium storage, even if USB is widely used today, there's no guarantee it's still used in next 50-100 years.

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January 31, 2019, 04:07:43 PM
 #14

The longterm software hardware issue seems to be for almost any device.
I am going to check the cold storage every some years anyway so this doesn't matter.

What do you think is a good encryption solution. Just veracrypt whole device/folder ?

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January 31, 2019, 06:51:50 PM
 #15

The longterm software hardware issue seems to be for almost any device.
I am going to check the cold storage every some years anyway so this doesn't matter.

Better safe than sorry, IMO make sure storage you choose at least have few years (5-10 years) on average lifespan

What do you think is a good encryption solution. Just veracrypt whole device/folder ?

Ignoring quantum computer which could crack many encryption, VeraCrypt is good solution even though it's created to encrypt storage drive (whether full encryption or only selected partition).

Personally, i would recommend GnuPG(GNU Privacy Guard)

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February 01, 2019, 06:26:41 AM
 #16

What do you think is a good encryption solution. Just veracrypt whole device/folder ?

Multiple encryption is better I guess. VeraCrypt the folder, veracrypt the veracrypted folder, do it again, and veracrypt the whole device. It should be better than 1 layer encryption, just like 2fa, just my 2 cents.

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February 09, 2019, 04:09:47 PM
Merited by ETFbitcoin (1)
 #17

Multiple encryption is better I guess. VeraCrypt the folder, veracrypt the veracrypted folder, do it again, and veracrypt the whole device. It should be better than 1 layer encryption, just like 2fa, just my 2 cents.

Uhm, no.

That's just completely unnecessary.
Using a good algorithm / software (which veracrypt definitely is) to encrypt files / folder once is enough.

Doing it multiple times is just wasted time and ressources.


If you encrypt your whole drive, it will look like completely random data. Encrypting it again doesn't give you any benefit at all.
Rather choose a passphrase which is 1 or 2 chars longer than the previous one. Increases the security way more than encrypting something "twice".

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