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What is a Steelwallet?
What's in the Box?
Step 1: Have your seed/mnemonic at hand.
All words of your seed come from the BIP-39 word list. One property of that wordlist is that it is enough to know the first 4 letters of a word to identify it unanimously. That's why you can only punch the first 4 letters of each word on your Steelwallet.
Step 2: Grab a marker and mark the holes you need to punch.
For example, if your first word is "escape", make a mark where column 1 and row E cross. Continue with the first 4 letters of each word.
Step 3: Check that you've marked all spots correctly
Before you use the automatic puncher you should verify that you've marked all spots correctly.
Step 4: Take the puncher and punch the spots that you've marked.
After having punched the first 6 words, turn the sheet around and punch the next 6 words. Repeat until you've punched your whole seed.
Step 5: Store the Steelwallet sheets safely
Once you have finished setting up your Steelwallet, make sure to store it in a safe location.
Steelwallet supports the BIP-39 standard which allows you to store 12,18 and 24 word seeds on your Steelwallet. The words on the BIP-39 word list are chosen so that there is only one possible word if you know the first four letters of that word. It is impossible that there are multiple words that start with the same four letters. That’s why you only need (and only can) punch the first 4 letters of word of your seed onto your Steelwallet.
For obvious reason you should try to avoid that at all cost. If it contrary to expectations gets stolen anyway you should immediately withdraw your funds from your hardware wallet and transfer it to a new one that has a different seed. We recommend using a dedicated hardware wallet like BitBox, Trezor, Ledger etc. If you don’t have one at hand when you need to transfer your funds (in case of a stolen Steelwallet then we recommend transferring your funds to a software wallet and send them onto a hardware wallet as soon as you have one. You may find a more detailed version of how to do so at the webpage of your device manufacturer.
In case you need to recover your wallet with your seed which is stored on your Steelwallet, you should do so without leaking it. That means that you should not type in your seed into a software-wallet on your computer or smartphone or any other device which is connected to the internet. By doing so you risk leaking your seed and thereby the theft of your funds due to the likelihood of viruses, key-loggers and malware installed on such devices. We recommend typing in your seed on a hardware-wallet like BitBox, Trezor, Legder....
You should keep it in a secure place only you know about. This can be anything from a safe, to a bank locker or bury it in your backyard. Anything is possible, since it’s made out of stainless steel it is very resistant to weather conditions. For increases security we recommend you to split your Steelwallet and store the plates in different locations. That ensures that even if one sheet is found, the attacker does not have access to your funds. However, you should still transfer your funds to a new wallet if you know that one of your sheets has been compromised.
Although we hope that won’t ever happen, nothing would change for you. Your seed, still is and will be safely stored on your Steelwallet for a very long time and you could get new sheets made yourself.
Yes, Jameson Lopp published a great article, comparing a wide variety of tools. He comes to the following conclusion: 'With these considerations in mind, I’d suggest that Blockplate and Steelwallet seem to be the most robust and simple options.' The article can be found here