Normally, when you setup a Bitcoin hardware wallet, you are directed to write down a 12 or 24 word backup seed. these words can be used to recreate and restore your wallet in case your hardware wallet is lost, stolen or damaged.
The Billfodl is made from stainless steel and has laser engraved tiles. This together allows you to place those tiles to save passwords and mnemonic phrases in its stainless-steel case that is very resistant to potential dangers like fire and water damage.
Paper seeds may seem like they are the safest and most secure way of storing your money offline. In fact, most hardware wallets come with a piece of paper that they direct you to use to backup your seed. Like this one that comes with the Ledger Nano S:
What it doesn’t protect against is when something you never expected happens. This is the most true for fire and flood damage.
A flood could easily destroy your paper backup, even if it’s stored inside a safe. A fire could also wreck your seed in a heartbeat.
There are many other downfalls of paper. Ink tends to fade after a long time and can leave you with a blank piece of paper over time.
A piece of paper also happens to just be a piece of paper. When someone sees a piece of paper with a bunch of random words their first reaction to it is that it could just be trash, and for many that’s what’s happened. You don’t want to end up like this guy who had his seed thrown away by his cleaning staff.
Here is an extreme example of what the BillFodl protects against:
As you can see in this video, the laser engraved tiles are still readable after being melted by a torch.
On the Billfodl website there are stories of investors who made the mistake of thinking that they were securing their seeds properly:
I had my seeds written in a paper notebook that I put in my safe which was 4 1/2 feet off the ground. During Hurricane Harvey we got 6.5 feet of water. I had $1 million of [cryptocurrency], now I have nothing.
We feel that anyone with significant amount of cryptocurrency who is relying on paper seeds as backups should consider a Billfodl.
For $80–or $160 if you want multiple backups–it is a rather cheap insurance policy against many potential threats that paper backup seeds don’t protect against.
You never know when misfortune will strike and there is no reason not to be prepared to the utmost level.
The price of a Billfodl is currently $80 with free shipping in the USA.
Customers from outside the USA get free shipping when ordering two or more devices.
As you first get your hands on your BillFodl box, you’ll note it is quite heavy.
Slide the inner casing out and let’s get started:
After removing your Billfodl from its box you will see that the second layer under the stainless steel apparatus is the cardboard filled with the laser engraved tiles.Just break open each section of letters as you need them.
Once you have a tile in your hand and your BillFodl in the other it’s time to place the tiles.
Take one tile and insert it into the flathead screw on the top left of the flipped open device. Take the same tile and insert it into the safety level in the bottom right and pop open the slide. If this part is confusing you should watch this video of the BillFodl team opening it up. It took me a minute to understand, but once you figure it out it’s very easy:
Once complete, your seed will look something like this:
The Billfodl does not protect against nuclear explosions. Also, if you lose the Billfodl you’ll still need either another copy of your seed or the hardware wallet itself. So it may be worth to have some backups on paper, some on Billfodls, and your hardware wallet.