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Author Topic: How to create a safe cold wallet using only an USB key.  (Read 223 times)
Kristinnspence
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April 10, 2019, 10:55:23 PM
 #1

If you are looking for a minimal cost way to create an efficient cold wallet for your cryptocurrencies you can do so.

What you need to do for the ultimate safety is to download the free encryption software Veracrypt at
http://veracrypt.fr

then follow these instructions
https://www.groovypost.com/howto/veracrypt-encrypt-usb-stick/

this will teach you how to make the USB key an encrypted partition.

after you create the encrypted partition no device or computer can read this device except if you use Veracrypt and mount the volume and decrypt it first by entering the password you created when Encrypting the drive.

then after this, you can store what you want in the USB file encrypted container

you just mount the drive and decrypt it and right click and open it and put whatever files you want inside it, for example, you can store private keys for example or password to your wallet.

if you are really paranoid you can create a hidden volume using Veracrypt and then you actually make a volume that does not show when you normally decrypt the USB key using the mount function but you have to especially decrypt the volume on a key letter using another password for the hidden one to reveal itself but that is a tutorial for another time.

Enjoy your secure economic cold wallet.
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whotookmycrypto
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April 11, 2019, 01:57:28 AM
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #2

One thing to highlight is that for long term storage of crypto, using USB isn't adviseable cause it is susceptible to data rot. Your best bet would probably be laminated paper stored in a secure location. Or use a tool like crytpo steel.

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April 11, 2019, 02:55:18 AM
 #3

Quote
Your best bet would probably be laminated paper stored in a secure location. Or use a tool like crytpo steel.
laminated papper still not good when got fire. i thing when you seriosly using crypto steel best thing.
but need $ for store it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrB62cPPNxc

pooya87
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April 11, 2019, 03:22:33 AM
 #4

i still prefer doing it with a Linux operating system installed on the USB disk, that offers a lot more benefits: strong encryption, partitioning main part of the disk using a Linux specific format so that Windows doesn't recognize it, installation of software that you need for signing transactions like Electrum or Bitcoin-Core, storing your keys in these wallets with their encryption to add an extra layer of protection,....

that way you are basically creating a hardware wallet capable of signing transactions offline (that is if you disabled network on that Linux OS).

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April 11, 2019, 04:07:22 AM
 #5

laminated papper still not good when got fire. i thing when you seriosly using crypto steel best thing.
but need $ for store it
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=TrB62cPPNxc

Agreed. Hence the need for a secure location. Something like a bank vault.

Kristinnspence
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April 11, 2019, 12:49:43 PM
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i still prefer doing it with a Linux operating system installed on the USB disk, that offers a lot more benefits: strong encryption, partitioning main part of the disk using a Linux specific format so that Windows doesn't recognize it, installation of software that you need for signing transactions like Electrum or Bitcoin-Core, storing your keys in these wallets with their encryption to add an extra layer of protection,....

that way you are basically creating a hardware wallet capable of signing transactions offline (that is if you disabled network on that Linux OS).

Yes that is also a good way, as I said these are just basic cold storage measures, we seasoned in Linux and advanced encryption methods can, of course, secure ourselves even further.

Qubes is pretty cool
bob123
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April 11, 2019, 01:12:35 PM
 #7

[...] Enjoy your secure economic cold wallet.

That's not a cold wallet.

A cold wallet is defined by a wallet[1] (obviously) which does never touch the internet.


An encrypted USB stick is a place to store your keys at most.

If you insert your stick into your online pc and decrypt it with veracrypt, your keys can be stolen by malware on your computer.



[1] A wallet is defined as soft- and or hardware which manages your private keys and is able to create / sign transactions.





[...] that way you are basically creating a hardware wallet capable of signing transactions offline (that is if you disabled network on that Linux OS).

A hardware wallet needs some sort of a secure element.

An encrypted linux partition with your private keys stored there is not a hardware wallet.

Once plugged in and decrypted, the private keys can be retrieved (which is not possible with a hardware wallet).

This is a sweat idea and relatively secure as long as you can trust the hardware/computer you are plugging your stick into, but not as safe/secure as a hardware wallet.

Kristinnspence
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April 11, 2019, 07:07:30 PM
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[...] Enjoy your secure economic cold wallet.

That's not a cold wallet.

A cold wallet is defined by a wallet[1] (obviously) which does never touch the internet.


An encrypted USB stick is a place to store your keys at most.

If you insert your stick into your online pc and decrypt it with veracrypt, your keys can be stolen by malware on your computer.



[1] A wallet is defined as soft- and or hardware which manages your private keys and is able to create / sign transactions.





[...] that way you are basically creating a hardware wallet capable of signing transactions offline (that is if you disabled network on that Linux OS).

A hardware wallet needs some sort of a secure element.

An encrypted linux partition with your private keys stored there is not a hardware wallet.

Once plugged in and decrypted, the private keys can be retrieved (which is not possible with a hardware wallet).

This is a sweat idea and relatively secure as long as you can trust the hardware/computer you are plugging your stick into, but not as safe/secure as a hardware wallet.

I get what you mean.

And yeah you of course would have to be doing this on a highly secure computer in the first place.
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April 12, 2019, 07:13:31 AM
Merited by vapourminer (1)
 #9

And yeah you of course would have to be doing this on a highly secure computer in the first place.

Yes, but if your computer needs to be 100% clean, there is no reason to store the keys on an USB.
Might as well store them on the computer (using a desktop wallet).

You don't benefit storing them on the USB and using them like this, in any way.


Either use a 2-computer-setup with a dedicated computer which is offline only (very very secure) or use a hardware wallet (also secure, but not as the 2-computer-setup, but much much more practical).
Those are the best two options for a cold wallet

Kristinnspence
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April 13, 2019, 06:01:39 PM
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And yeah you of course would have to be doing this on a highly secure computer in the first place.

Yes, but if your computer needs to be 100% clean, there is no reason to store the keys on an USB.
Might as well store them on the computer (using a desktop wallet).

You don't benefit storing them on the USB and using them like this, in any way.


Either use a 2-computer-setup with a dedicated computer which is offline only (very very secure) or use a hardware wallet (also secure, but not as the 2-computer-setup, but much much more practical).
Those are the best two options for a cold wallet

Yeah but you would be pretty Fkd if there was a fire in your house though, so if you use USB sticks you can copy the volumes multiple times and scatter the addresses to a few places.

It would be pretty costly to buy multiple computers and spread them, assuming you are just going to HOLD for a long ass time
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April 14, 2019, 06:43:35 AM
 #11

You wouldn't need multiple computers spread about... You would only need your wallet backup to be "spread about"... so, either an encrypted backup of the wallet file or an encrypted backup of your seed mnemonic.

Either/or would enable you to recover, should your house burn down.

Kristinnspence
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May 03, 2019, 03:10:51 PM
 #12

You wouldn't need multiple computers spread about... You would only need your wallet backup to be "spread about"... so, either an encrypted backup of the wallet file or an encrypted backup of your seed mnemonic.

Either/or would enable you to recover, should your house burn down.

You would not need it to be computers but USB drives would be enough
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May 09, 2019, 08:03:30 AM
 #13

The "dangers" of relying on digital storage are relatively well known... Bit rot is a reality.

Still, as long as you take adequate precautions to mitigate that sort of thing... storing your (encrypted) key on a USB drive is probably no better or worse than using paper and/or cryptosteel. At the end of the day, all these methods have various pros and cons... You just need to make sure you're aware of what the "cons" are and how to mitigate the issues associated with whatever method you choose to use.

bob123 was still correct tho... what you have described in the OP is not a cold wallet... the "highly secure" (ie. offline) computer would be the actual "cold wallet"... your USB drive would essentially be just a backup device.

Kristinnspence
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May 13, 2019, 05:25:53 PM
 #14

The "dangers" of relying on digital storage are relatively well known... Bit rot is a reality.

Still, as long as you take adequate precautions to mitigate that sort of thing... storing your (encrypted) key on a USB drive is probably no better or worse than using paper and/or cryptosteel. At the end of the day, all these methods have various pros and cons... You just need to make sure you're aware of what the "cons" are and how to mitigate the issues associated with whatever method you choose to use.

bob123 was still correct tho... what you have described in the OP is not a cold wallet... the "highly secure" (ie. offline) computer would be the actual "cold wallet"... your USB drive would essentially be just a backup device.

Yeah but if you are using cryptosteel then its not your own homemade one
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May 13, 2019, 09:46:21 PM
 #15

There is no reason you can't make your own "homemade" cryptosteel... it's relatively easy to go and buy a sheet of metal, a metal punch set and a hammer Tongue

There are even step by step guides: https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Bitcoin-Cold-Storage-Stamping-Stainless-Steel-/

Kristinnspence
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May 24, 2019, 05:32:10 PM
 #16

There is no reason you can't make your own "homemade" cryptosteel... it's relatively easy to go and buy a sheet of metal, a metal punch set and a hammer Tongue

There are even step by step guides: https://www.instructables.com/id/DIY-Bitcoin-Cold-Storage-Stamping-Stainless-Steel-/

Haha wow this is great :')
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