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