Bill Fodl

CRYPTOTAG Review (2020) | Best Indestructible Recovery Seed Backup?

In this review, I am going to go over the titanium recovery seed backup called CRYPTOTAG. This device is very unique to say the least. There are other comparable products currently on the market, but this one is different. I will tell a brief story I may have gone over in other reviews, but it’s extremely relevant as to why these indestructible devices were created. A few years back, one of my friends was fortunate enough to have a hardware wallet that was holding private keys to a hefty sum.

When it came time for him to move, he was looking for his recovery seed phrase and had asked his girlfriend where she may have put it, and incidentally, it was put in a bag with some toiletries and was in a small plastic bag that was partly open. This was in a larger bag where a shampoo bottle had spilled and leaked all over the large bag and smothered his recovery seed card with his 24 word phrase. Needless to say, the oils of the shampoo had removed the ink and his paper recovery seed phrase was destroyed and indiscernible.

To make matters worse, he eventually forgot his pin on his Trezor wallet and was completely out of luck. I tell this cautionary tale as a way of reinforcing that this device has a serious need and is a small price to pay to protect yourself if any unfortunate event like this were to happen to you. People’s homes get flooded or burned down all the time, and you do NOT want to lose your life savings in the event that you fall victim to this.

As a side note, I recently wrote a free e-book that outlines the “5 Best Ways To Secure Your Cryptocurrency” and I highly recommend you go to the home page and click the orange button to get your free copy! Now, onto this review of the CRYPTOTAG premium device. Do I really need one even if I’m careful? Let’s find out below.

 

cryptotag

CRYPTOTAG: What’s In The Box?

 

CRYPTOTAG Hammer

-2 Titanium Plates (96 Letters Per Plate)

-26 Letter Bits

-An Anvil

-A Bit Holder

-Ear Plugs

-Matches To Burn Your Paper Backup When Finished!

 

As you can see in the picture, the packaging is beautifully done and contains everything you need for engraving your recovery seed phrases into the plates itself. It’s a unique experience as the assembly or installation process is quite different from using a CryptoSteel or Bill Fodl, but in my opinion way more enjoyable. I will elaborate on this process below.

 

Design & Setup

 

This is device is the strongest plate I’ve personally ever seen. It even says during the testing phase that it was tested with a semi-automatic weapon firing at bullet at it, and it still not puncturing the device. This product can literally stop a bullet. Additionally, it has been tested with extreme heat at over 1665 degrees celsius. It can also handle extreme cold, and does not crack or falter under extreme pressure or ice. It also goes without saying that it does not rust or is subject to any level of corrosion.

Setup – When you open the box, you will see everything evenly laid out with a set of instructions and your 2 plates with a clip to hold them together. The hammer is very hefty and is specifically designed for this personal engraving process and has a texture that is designed to make sure it doesn’t slip and overlay your letter you begin hammering. My experience was that I had to very vigorously slam the hammer down on the bits for engraving about 5-6 times to ensure that it made a deep enough engraving on the titanium plate.

Design – The outside of the CRYPTOTAG proudly displays the products’ logo and name — which looks cool but makes the sensitive ‘document’ less discrete. Should it ever catch the eyes of a potential thief, he or she would have little doubt as to what kind of information the sheet holds. (Even if someone has no idea what a recovery seed is, most people know that “crypto” means money.)

Of course, a wise person would never leave a CRYPTOTAG in sight — just as one would never leave their gold coins or valuables lying around. Still, a little more discretion would’ve been preferred.

Aside from that, there is very little to fault with the CRYPTOTAG, which we find to be the best storage solution for your private keys and recovery seed backup available on the market.

 

Who Is This for?

This is for ANY cryptocurrency holder who has more crypto than they can afford to lose. Ultimately, this is the best form of an insurance policy in becoming your own bank, as it cannot be destroyed under any conditions. Having this device in conjunction with a hardware wallet is the best combination of security and ease of use. This is the backup to your backup recovery seed phrase that you have on paper, and without this phrase being kept in a secure location, you put your entire wallet at risk.

In this new era of “Becoming your own bank“, that also comes with a new responsibility of being a banker that put safeguards in place to protect you in the event of an unforseen event. This is by FAR the best way to ensure that your recovery seed is safe and cannot be destroyed. I recommend that ANYONE that has more cryptocurrency than they can afford to lose, should have one of these. After all, if you lose your hardware wallet AND you lose this, you are completely out of luck and have no one to blame but yourself.

 

 

CryptoTAG Vs. CryptoSteel Vs. Bill Fodl

 

So, as you can see, this is a pretty unique device. However, you may be wondering, “How does it compare to the CryptoSteel or Bill Fodl”? Well, the latter 2 devices are very simillar. I will leave the in depth review for each of those respectively HERE and HERE. The CryptoSteel and Bill Fodl use tiles that are already pre-made with certain letters and require you to slide them into place and requires unscrewing some levers that allow you to slide them into place in the proper order.

There is no hammer, no pounding, no engraving, and as a result….No fun when setting it up.

Going through the process of hammering my crypto legacy into place was really satisfying for me as I take my crypto holdings very seriously, as well as the security of my private keys. Yes, the CRYPTOTAG is a much more expensive device (almost twice as much as these 2 competitors), but also has a superior quality in terms of manufacturing, materials used, and the overall presentation. This device is not for everyone, but if you take as much pride as me with my cryptocurrency, there is no more satisfying way to protect your keys than the CRYPTOTAG.

 

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=kLAaHjGX7Dc&t=326s

Conclusion

 

Overall, this device is probably the nicest version of a recovery seed backup you can find. The titanium is completely indestructible and can withstand even the harshest elements and has been thoroughly tested under every condition imaginable. As detailed above, it is a bit more expensive than the CryptoSteel or Bill Fodl, but it also is much nicer quality, and has a MUCH better user experience. Being able to “forge” your own seed into metal is a really fun experience and really connects your digital world with your physical world.

The one downside, which may have been mentioned in other reviews is, if you make a mistake on a letter, you will need to buy a new plate. Whereas, the other 2 devices you can simply just replace or slide out a tile with a new one if something changes. This makes those devices re-usable, whereas this one is literally written in titanium and cannot be changed. However, if you take your time and “measure twice and cut once” (so to speak), this proves to be a much sleeker and overall “better product” If you can comfortably afford the 169 Euros price tag for the starter kit.

You will not be disappointed. Additionally, if you have multiple wallets and need to expand, you can also get an expansion kit with new plates as needed, since you will be able to use the same hammer and stampers.

Bottomline: If you have the means and want to protect your seed phrase in the sexiest way possible, then CRYPTOTAG is your absolute BEST option. Hands down.

 

 

What do you guys think? Have you used a metal recovery seed backup before? Let me know down in the comments!

 

Cheers,

 

The Crypto Renegade

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

Bill Fodl Review (2020): Is It Better Than Cryptosteel?

In this review, I am going to deep dive into the Bill Fodl and whether or not you need one, and if you do, is it better than Cryptosteel? So what is Bill Fodl? It’s essentially a backup of your backup. It’s a stainless steel recovery seed backup for your cryptocurrency and your recovery seed words that you most likely have written down on paper.

As you may already know, when you setup a cryptocurrency wallet, you will be asked to write down your recovery seed phrase which is a series of 12, 18, or 24 words. These are given to you as a method to restore the funds in your wallet, in the event you lose access to it digitally or physically. This is primarily is used in conjunction with a hardware wallet.

When I started this site back in 2016, I was mainly focused on hardware wallets as the primary method to safely storing your private keys offline, and these types of devices didn’t exist at that time. As this industry has brought on more innovation, indestructible crypto seed backups were born! I also had a friend who had multiple bitcoins on a hardware wallet, and when he was moving, he realized that his recovery seed was in an open plastic bag that was in proximity to a spilled shampoo bottle.

As you can probably imagine, this didn’t end well. When he went to move and locate his recovery seed, it was useless. The oils of the shampoo had removed the ink he had on his paper backup and it was all but destroyed. This is just one of MANY reasons why you need an indestructible backup of your paper recovery seed card to protect yourself against, well, yourself. It also is designed to withstand the elements such are fire, water, wind, corrosion, and even your dog eating it.

As it’s relevant here, I wanted to point out that on the home page of this website, there is an orange button that will link you to my free e-book that I recently wrote that goes in depth on this topic and provides you the “5 Best Ways To Secure Your Cryptocurrency“. Go check it out, it’s free, and it may even save you from loss in the future. One of our motto’s here is “We help you protect YOUR private keys”. So there you go, let’s get to nitty-gritty of this review on the Bill Fodl!

 

Bill Fodl: What’s In The Box?

 

You can store up to 96 characters, allowing you to backup an entire 24 word seed in one unit. Don’t worry if your entire seed is longer than 96 characters; you only need the first 4 letters of each seed word to fully backup your coins. You can read the full setup guide and video from their website HERE.

They also have expansion packs, and multi-wallet packs that you can get as well that will enable you to receive a quantity discount for multiple wallets. I used this option as I have multiple hardware wallets and therefore need this protection.

This Bill Fodl device is really a solid insurance policy on your crypto holdings, that doesn’t require you to trust any 3rd party or custodial solutions. This device is typically used with all models of Trezor, Ledger, and KeepKey. Pretty much any standard BIP39 wallet, and you can also use this for hot or online wallets as a backup as well.

 

Why Do I Need One?

 

As I mentioned above in the first paragraph, your recovery seed is typically written down on paper. Most people don’t realize how important these words in succession are as they are writing them down, as this is your only saving grace of recovering any lost cryptocurrency if you lose access to your wallet (Hot or Cold). If you lose these recovery words, you have no one to blame but yourself, and there is no way to recover your funds.

In this new era of “Becoming your own bank“, that also comes with a new responsibility of being a banker that put safeguards in place to protect you in the event of an unforseen event. This is by FAR the best way to ensure that your recovery seed is safe and cannot be destroyed. I recommend that ANYONE that has more cryptocurrency than they can afford to lose, should have one of these. After all, if you lose your hardware wallet AND you lose this, you are completely out of luck and have no one to blame but yourself.

 

Bill Fodl vs. CryptoSteel

 

Bill Fodl vs. CryptoSteel. I’ll be honest… these two devices are eerily similar, however, there are some key differences that set that apart. For starters, I noticed that the CryptoSteel has some tiles that are not the exact same shape and size, therefore making it more difficult to setup. There is a small slot for each of your letters to fit in, and even 1/8th of a millimeter difference is noticeable when you’re performing this task, as it takes steady hands and precision.

Secondly, the slats are smoother and the screws are easier to open than the CryptoSteel when it comes to opening it and closing it during the installation process. It’s not a massive difference, but still noticeable. As I said, these are VERY similar, but I am noticing that the quality on the Bill Fodl to be slightly nicer.

Thirdly, Bill Fodl takes lightning payments via bitcoin to purchase, while the CryptoSteel does not. Now, I know that doesn’t matter top most people, but I am very vocal about wanting to support vendors and businesses that accept cryptocurrency as payment. You would think that both of these companies would do this by default, but CryptoSteel only accepts credit cards at the moment.

The one thing I didn’t like about the Bill Fodl, is that the stainless steel gets scratched very easily. This won’t affect the integrity of your tiles or have any affect on the readability of the device in the event of a catastrophe, but it also doesn’t look as sleek and brand new after a handling it after just a handful of times. Lastly, the Bill Fodl is cheaper than the CryptoSteel. Bill Fodl is only $79 for their device and the CrypoSteel charges $99 for the equivalent device. Seems pretty straight-forward to me.

If you want to check out my full review on CryptoSteel, you can check it out HERE.

 

***CLICK HERE TO BUY BILL FODL FROM THEIR OFFICIAL SITE***

 

Are There Any Other Premium Options?

 

As mentioned above, the Bill Fodl and CryptoSteel are very similar devices, with only minute differences. So you may be asking, are there any other options out there? Any other options I should consider? Well, the short answer is, yes. You may have seen some knock-offs of this product on Amazon or eBay, but I strongly recommend you ignore those completely. The wannabe’s found there are not as durable or easy to use as these two (I bought one for comparison and it wasn’t pretty). However, there is a premium version of this product, but is made out of titanium instead and has a much different, (but good) user experience and setup process. Behold, the CryptoTAG!

The CryptoTAG is a high-end device that comes with 2 titanium plates and even comes with a heavy duty hammer to literally pound your seed phrase into these plates, and has been tested thoroughly for quality. In fact, I personally think the quality is MUCH nicer than the Bill Fodl, but not everyone can afford $199 for a recovery seed backup, and ultimately is only differenced by the quality and personal experience you get with personally engraving your seed.

Ultimately, both will get the job done, but if you want the “Ferrari” of recovery seed backups, you check out the CryptoTAG HERE on their official site. I also will be writing a review on this device shortly, so keep your eyes our for it.

 

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=FyEqb9Z8leE

Conclusion

 

So, Is the Bill Fodl better than Cryptosteel? Personally, I would say yes. They have some small differences that makes it better and easier to setup and use. For instance, all of the lettered tiles are all the same size and shape, so installing them into the steel plate makes it much easier for them to slide into place. The overall user experience was easier and I was able to fully set it up in about 20 minutes or so, which isn’t bad at all. It took almost half the time of the CryptoSteel setup.

This device is also the cheapest (legitimate) stainless steel recovery seed backup starting at only $79 and an unprecedented 1-year warranty and a 125% money back guarantee. If you’re getting your first recovery seed backup and you’re on a budget, I would recommend you start here. It’s a quality, durable device and it gets the job done whilst making you feel like a true crypto enthusiast.

I actually have 2 of these, but I also have multiple hardware wallets and have a lot more at risk at stake, but I’m a bit of an extremist. Overall, You can’t go wrong with the Bill Fodl, and if you have more than $79 worth of crypto, then you definitely NEED this to be safe. Don’t be sorry when it comes to your crypto savings.

 

***CLICK HERE TO BUY BILL FODL FROM THEIR OFFICIAL SITE***

 

What do you think? Do you have a metal recovery seed backup? If so, which one do you use? Comment down below!

 

Cheers,

 

The Crypto Renegade

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

 

 

 

CryptoSteel Review: Indestructible Or Not? (2020)

In this CryptoSteel Review, I am going to cover a few things that you may not see on any other reviews. This mainly consists of the quality of the product and if you have any other options out there to consider for an indestructible recovery seed backup. As a promoter of hardware wallets and complete offline cold-storage solutions, this was a no-brainer for me to try out for myself.

After all, I had recently met with a friend who was moving and found that his recovery seed was destroyed because it was in a toiletry bag and some shampoo leaked and removed the ink and made his backup completely worthless.

It was after he told me about this that I was really glad I already had my CryptoSteel in place and I felt relieved knowing that if my house burnt down or it got flooded, etc… That my precious seed words would not be lost or otherwise inaccessible. I do not wish that fate on anyone, because he had a size-able number of crypto attached to that recovery seed, but that was before any of these devices existed.

I also recently published my FREE E-BOOK that explains the what the five best ways to secure your cryptocurrency are. Give it a free download HERE.

In the next section, I am going to go over, what this product does, who it’s primarily for, and how it compares to some of the other options out there. Stay tuned for the full article!

 

WHAT DOES THIS PRODUCT DO?

 

This product is designed for having a backup to your backup, essentially. When you setup any cryptocurrency wallet or bitcoin wallet (hot or cold), you will be prompted to enter in a 12-24 word recovery seed phrase. This is to protect your private keys and to restore your coins to a new wallet in the event that your hardware wallet proves to be lost, destroyed, or otherwise inoperable.

It comes with several little tiles that contain letters and a metal plate for your to slide them in to form the words. This process can be tedious, but it’s worth it to have peace of mind. It took me about 30-40 minutes to input my entire 24 word recovery phrase as the tiles are tiny and some are mis-shaped and not the same size. That’s the bad part.

Assuming that I don’t need to do this again for any other seed phrases, it’s really not that bad. The good news is it comes with enough tiles to have 2 two full phrases if needed, so you have backups for redundancy, or can fashion another device to use it with if you happened to have an additional plate.

It’s fairly simple to use once you find the tiles you need, but for me it was kind of reminiscent of getting an Ikea table and opening it to an 86 page instruction book and over 500 pieces that needed to be assembled. Sure, that is exaggerating but it can be a tad overwhelming if you don’t know what you’re doing.

 

WHO IS IT FOR?

 

This device is for every single cryptocurrency or bitcoin wallet holder that has enough cryptocurrency that they cannot afford to lose. Unfortunately, paper just doesn’t cut it and even if you laminate it, it still wont be protected if there is a fire or any other type of destructive force, even if it happens to survive water damage.

As cryptocurrency is the wave of the future, it is extremely likely that almost every single person on the planet is going to have a bitcoin wallet at some point in their lifetime, and some people have many (myself included). It is only smart that if you are going to be self-sovereign with your finances, that you find a way to be responsible and have a back-up for the worst case scenario. There is no 1-800 number to call and complain to if you lose your “secret code words” to recover your bitcoin or other crypto.

Because it’s relatively cheap and most companies now even bundle it with hardware wallets, like Trezor, you can save money and have a backup and a hardware wallet for about $200, which is a small price to pay to protect your wealth and investment. It’s an entry level device and is one I would recommend if you currently hold more than $200 worth of cryptocurrency or you plan to in the future. This is a no brainer.

It’s also nice that it has a hole big enough to stick a padlock in there to lock out potentially nosey intruders, nice security touch!

 

HOW DOES CRYPTOSTEEL COMPARE TO THE COMPETITORS?

 

This is an entry level device and it absolutely gets the job done. I have found and tested this myself by having it sit in water overnight, and even used a blow torch to see if I could burn it to the point where I couldn’t make out the letters and it’s rock solid. It does everything as advertised and currently comes in multiples versions, depending on how much of a maximalist you are. For instance, the Cryptosteel Hex, features a unique way to secure just the private key without any seeds.

cryptosteel

 

“Featuring just the right character combo to keep things “necessary and sufficient,” the Cryptosteel Hex allows users to store raw cryptocurrency private keys with no third-party involvement.

The set contains one double-sided Cryptosteel stainless steel cold-storage wallet and over 285 tiles optimised for hexadecimal passkeys. These include uppercase letters, numbers and the lowercase x.

If you’re a less-is-more pragmatist – here is all you need and nothing you don’t.”

 

This is rarely used, but it’s nice to know they have several other options, instead of just the standard mnemonic phrases that come with standard bitcoin wallets.

The premium level recovery seed backup wallet that competes with CryptoSteel is called the CryptoTag. This device allows for a different method of actually using a hammer to imprint your seed phrase directly onto the device and is made with much nicer quality titanium and has a cleaner look and finish.

This is NOT targeted for your average cryptocurrency user and is designed for the more seasoned and upper class investor. It is a fantastic device, but at $199, it is more than double what the Cryptosteel offers and essentially does the same thing. It also has a much nicer presentation, and an entirely different user experience.

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xmEINI08g3U

 

CONCLUSION

 

In the end, you can’t go wrong with this device. It solves a proven problem and it is trusted and cheaper than the current competitor or CryptoTag. If you have the means, I would strongly recommend getting a CryptoTag, as it is a MUCH nicer version of this product, but hey, we all can’t necessarily afford that level of a premium product.

Someone asked me, “Can’t I just forego the hardware wallet and just get the CryptoSteel? After all, if my mobile wallet gets hacked, I can just use this seed to restore it to a new mobile wallet”. Here’s why that’s a bad idea. Sure, you could do that, and if your hot wallet does get hacked, it’s not very likely that you will be in a place where you can quickly access your CryptoSteel, setup a new wallet, and go through the full recovery process on a BIP39 compatible wallet before the “hacker” already transfers it to its own wallet with backup recovery.

It’s a smarter and better practice to have both, a hardware wallet AND a backup recovery seed device, whether it be CryptoSteel for the average consumer or the CryptoTag for the consumer that wants a higher end device that has a nicer feel and user experience. This will make it easier to have both devices stored in separate secure locations for when you need it most. That way, you never have to have the thought of your “Hot” wallet being hacked and rushing to your secure location when/if that scenario happens. Just my two satoshis…

 

Buy CryptoSteel Starting At $79 From Their Official Site

 

What do you think? Do you think CryptoSteel is a good device for Recovery Seed Backup? Sound off below in the comments!

Cheers,

 

The Crypto Renegade

 

NOTE: This post may contain affiliate links. This adds no cost to you but it helps me focus on giving as much value as possible in every single post by being compensated for recommending products that help people succeed.

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