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Getting Started with Storage

Updated: Apr 2


Storage Mediums For Your Encrypted Seed Phrase and Password


When it comes to securing your encrypted seed phrase, the medium you choose for storage can be as crucial as the encryption itself. Here, we explore the various storage options available for your encrypted seed phrase and password, each with its unique strengths and considerations. Remember, your encrypted seed phrase is in the same format as a standard seed phrase, so you can use any popular seed phrase storage medium.


Paper: The Classic Choice

Paper is the traditional go-to for writing down seed phrases and passwords. It's readily available, easy to use, and doesn't require any special tools—just pen and paper. For added protection against wear and tear, consider using acid-free paper or laminating your written seed phrase.


Pros:

  • Simple and cost-effective.

  • No technical skills required for use.

Cons:

  • Susceptible to damage from fire, water, or physical degradation over time.

Magnet: More Durable Than Paper

Every pack of Splitcoins comes with a magnet vault for writing down your encrypted seed phrase and password. It's readily available, easy to use, and doesn't require any special tools other than a pen.


Pros:

  • Included with your pack of Splitcoins.

  • More durable than paper.

  • No technical skills required for use.

  • Sticks to things!

Cons:

  • Susceptible to damage from fire and water (depending on the ink used).


Metal Seed Phrase Storage Devices: Durability Meets Security

For those seeking a more durable option, metal seed phrase storage devices like Hodlr disks or Cryptotag provide a robust solution. These devices allow you to engrave or stamp your seed phrase onto metal, offering a level of resilience that paper simply cannot match.


Pros:

  • Fireproof and waterproof, providing protection against natural elements.

  • Long-lasting and tamper-evident.

Cons:

  • More expensive than paper.

  • Requires additional tools for engraving or stamping.

Wood Etching: A Natural Alternative

Etching your seed phrase into wood is an unconventional but effective method. It adds a natural and aesthetic element to the process while providing a sturdy alternative to paper.


Pros:

  • Unique and customizable.

  • More durable than paper.

Cons:

  • Not as resilient as metal against extreme conditions.

  • Can be bulky and less discreet.

Digital Options: Password Managers and More

For those comfortable with digital solutions, password managers offer a secure way to store passwords. They can be encrypted and locked behind a master account, providing secure storage for your sensitive information.


Pros:

  • Encrypted and secure.

  • Convenient access across multiple devices.

Cons:

  • Reliant on the security of the password manager service.

  • Potentially vulnerable to online threats if not used with caution.

A Balanced Approach to Storage

Ultimately, the best storage solution is one that balances accessibility with security. Consider using multiple methods in tandem—for instance, a metal device for long-term storage and a laminated paper copy for easier access. Always keep backups in separate, secure locations to mitigate risks.


Remember, the method you choose should reflect your comfort level with technology, your security requirements, and your willingness to invest in the protection of your digital assets. Whether opting for the simplicity of paper, the sturdiness of metal, or the digital convenience of password managers, the priority is to ensure that your encrypted seed phrase remains accessible to you no matter what the future holds.


Understanding Storage with Splitcoin


When embarking on the journey of self-custody with Splitcoin, it's essential to grasp the foundations of how and what is stored. Splitcoin ingeniously combines physical elements and digital encryption to secure your seed phrase, the recovery key to your digital assets.


A High Level Illustration

Imagine a puzzle, each piece an integral part of a larger security strategy. This puzzle is a technical blueprint for protecting seed phrases with Splitcoin. We will use this illustration throughout this post, using a coin set made of three coins. However, remember that the Splitcoin app lets you customize your coin set to be anywhere from two to eight coins.





The Splitcoin Puzzle: How It Works

The illustration accompanying this section may appear whimsical at first glance, with its colorful puzzle pieces and vaults, but it's a visual metaphor for a robust and secure seed phrase storage strategy.


Your Personal Puzzle Piece: The Purple Piece

The purple puzzle piece represents you, the user, and your personal environment. It's where your journey with Splitcoin begins. This piece can be anywhere you are, and it's the most dynamic part of the puzzle. On this piece, you'll find a transparent blue vault symbolizing your encrypted seed phrase.


Also depicted is a pink key. This is no ordinary key; it represents the password you've created— a password that doesn't directly unlock your seed phrase but is crucial for accessing the other pieces of the puzzle.


The Importance of Color Coding

Notice the distinct colors of the key and the vault. They're different for a reason. The pink key doesn't open the blue vault. This differentiation is crucial as it means that the password (the pink key) and the encrypted seed phrase (the blue vault) can coexist in the same space without risking security. The password's actual purpose is to unlock other vaults — the pink vaults.


The Splitcoin Puzzle Pieces: Blue, Yellow, and Pink

Each of the remaining puzzle pieces represents a distinct physical location, which holds a pink vault. Each pink vault is a Splitcoin, and each one is a cornerstone in the fortification of your seed phrase. They are to be stored separately to ensure that the security puzzle can only be completed by you, the rightful owner who retrieves them.


Inside each pink vault lies a blue key. The presence of these blue keys is crucial — they are the encrypted keys of your Splitcoin set. Once you retrieve these blue keys using your password (the pink key), you can unlock the blue vault, revealing your seed phrase. Without every blue key, the blue vault simply isn't opening.


Bringing the Pieces Together

The act of retrieving the blue keys and unlocking the blue vault is representative of the Open Vault process in the Splitcoin app. You enter your password (the pink key) and scan your coins in the app (to get the blue keys by opening the pink vaults), in order to reveal your codebook in the app and decrypt your encrypted seed phrase (open the blue vault with the blue keys).


The Real World: An N-of-N Scheme with Splitcoin

An "n-of-n" scheme recovers N Splitcoins from N distinct locations. This section unpacks the n-of-n scheme, using an illustration that simplifies this security strategy.



The Splitcoin Puzzle: Recovering N Coins from N Locations

The illustration for this section depicts the set of puzzle pieces from the last illustration, each a symbol of the distinct locations in your Splitcoin strategy. These physical locations are where your Splitcoins are stored, transforming the abstract into something you can see, touch, and understand.


Your Personal Puzzle Piece: The Purple Piece

The purple puzzle piece represents you, the user, and your personal environment. This is where you keep the tools you need to access your encrypted seed phrase. On this puzzle piece, you stand with two pieces of paper: one holds your encrypted seed phrase, and the other carries your password.


While the encrypted seed phrase doesn't need to be kept secret for Splitcoin to function securely, it's important to always maintain access to it. The password should be kept secret, because the password initiates a secure channel for the Splitcoin app to communicate with your coins, whether they're accessed via NFC or QR scanning.


The Splitcoin Puzzle Pieces: Blue, Yellow, and Pink

The remaining puzzle pieces, each a different color, are home to your Splitcoins — distinct physical locations, whether those be secret hiding places or trusted people. Each coin lives on a separate puzzle piece:


  • Coin #1 resides on the blue puzzle piece.

  • Coin #2 resides on the yellow puzzle piece.

  • Coin #3 resides on the pink puzzle piece.

By distributing the coins, you're creating a robust system that ensures only you can complete the puzzle and access your seed phrase.


The Importance of Redundancy

The beauty of a resilient security strategy lies not only in its initial setup but also in its ability to withstand and adapt to unforeseen circumstances. Redundancy is the unsung hero in the realm of digital asset protection, serving as a critical component that fortifies your defenses against the unpredictable. With Splitcoin, redundancy is not just recommended; it's a necessity.





Visualizing Redundancy

Our illustration now expands to include duplicates of each puzzle piece, reinforcing the concept of redundancy. Here's what the updated picture communicates:

  • Light Blue and Dark Blue Pieces: Each with a copy of coin #1 to ensure that this element of your security strategy has a failsafe.

  • Yellow and Orange Pieces: Each with a copy of coin #2 to ensure that this element of your security strategy has a failsafe.

  • Red and Pink Pieces: Each with a copy of coin #3 to ensure that this element of your security strategy has a failsafe.

  • Purple and Green Pieces: Now we have another copy of your encrypted seed phrase and password, doubling the assurance that your access to your seed phrase is never jeopardized.

The decision to implement redundancy within the n-of-n strategy is more than a safety measure; it's an investment in peace of mind. By creating backup copies of each Splitcoin and storing duplicates of your encrypted seed phrase and password, you're not just preparing for the "what-ifs"— you're actively securing your recovery of your digital assets. Redundancy ensures that even if one piece of the puzzle goes missing, the complete picture of your asset security remains intact, unblemished by loss or damage. With Splitcoin, embracing redundancy is a simple, yet powerful action.


The Real World: A T-of-N Scheme with Splitcoin

A "t-of-n" scheme recovers N Splitcoins from T distinct locations, where T is a threshold. This adds convenience if you do not want to rely on all your locations being available. This section unpacks the t-of-n scheme, using an illustration that simplifies this advanced security strategy.





The Splitcoin Puzzle: Recovering N Coins from T Locations

The illustration for this section depicts a familiar set of puzzle pieces, each a symbol of the distinct locations in your Splitcoin strategy. These physical locations are where your Splitcoins are stored, transforming the abstract into something you can see, touch, and understand.


Strategizing with Splitcoins: The T-of-N Approach

This flexible approach allows you to access your seed phrase even if one location is unavailable, providing resilience to your security strategy. The practical difference from the n-of-n strategy is that you must store multiple coins in a single location. In this example, the blue puzzle piece is now a dual holder, keeping coin #1 and coin #2 safe. The yellow piece keeps coin #2 and coin #3 safe, while the pink piece keeps coin #2 and coin #3 safe. In this example, this configuration means that access to any two of the three locations (or people) will allow you to recover your entire set of coins, embodying the "t-of-n" scheme effectively.


Using Splitcoin Tools

Splitcoin Tools, accessible from the Home tab of the Splitcoin app, allows you to effortlessly produce copies of your coins—whether as duplicates for storage in multiple locations or as QR codes for even more versatile backup options. Run the Copy Coin tool to make a copy of one Splitcoin onto a blank Splitcoin. You can also export your coin set as QR codes and store the QR code versions of your coins too.


The Read Coin tool will also tell you the coin set ID of any coin, as well as its coin number, which will be a value from 1 to 8. So no need to label your Splitcoins with labels or markers — just scan them with the Read Coin tool in the app!


Customize Your Strategy


When it comes to implementing a seed phrase storage strategy, one size does not fit all. That's why we've introduced a variety of storage strategies like The Commoner, The Banker, The Blacksmith, and others, each with unique attributes tailored to different preferences and lifestyles. Think of these as starting points—you can adopt them as they are or use them as inspiration to craft your personalized approach with an n-of-n or t-of-n scheme.


Whether you choose to tweak The Blacksmith strategy for an ironclad defense or combine elements from The Banker and The Commoner for heightened security and simplicity, the power lies in your hands. Each strategy is flexible, allowing you to integrate your ideas and create a custom solution that aligns perfectly with how you manage your assets.


With Splitcoin, you're not just adopting a method; you're embracing a system that celebrates personalization and security in equal measure. Feel free to explore the creative storage strategies we have made for you to help you get started. We will continue adding more strategies over time.

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