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Moving continents with Bitcoin metal seed backup plate

Soon I will be moving from the EU to the US for work purposes. My seed backup phrases are stored on a metal plate like this: [https://store.coinkite.com/store/seedplate](https://store.coinkite.com/store/seedplate), whereby one punches the seed words into an exposed metal surface. Each side has 12 words, so one would need to see both sides to access my keys.

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I am questioning what is the best way to take this metal seed phrase plate during the international flight. Obviously, it should never be transported via checked baggage; the only possibility is for carry-on luggage. If anyone sees it, it could be compromised. If it is exposed anywhere in an airport, CCTV could capture it. If the security x-ray screen records it, it could be compromised. A significant (to me) quantity of BTC is kept on these keys, so the compromise case is unacceptable. I could purchase a tamper-proof bag, but I feel like that would only draw more attention to it.

My current thinking is that it is not worth the risk of carrying this metal plate with me. I should destroy it, write my keys on paper, carry those in my wallet with me, and then as soon as I arrive in the US, purchase a new metal key backup system. My main concern is that I am nervous about just having my keys on a piece of paper during the flight. What if I lose my hardware wallets and my keys at the same time? Maybe it’s worth committing the 48 seed words to memory (2 separate private keys). I don’t trust anyone else to store the metal plate for me. Another possibility is moving all of my crypto to a reputable exchange and destroying the seed plate. In that case, even if I lose the backup phrases and hardware wallets, the crypto will (hopefully) be safe on the exchange. I could also purchase a metal backup system that is better for traveling with.

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This is an amusing, curious, and slightly concerning situation, which I couldn’t find much prior discussion of. Any thoughts/suggestions very much welcomed.



View Reddit by Ridge_SoarerView Source

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23 Comments

  1. I’ve moved mine words in the past.
    1)destroy the metal backup – cut it into bits, dispose at different locations.

    2)create a new (12 seed words plus passphrase) wallet and move all coin into it.

    3)remember the 12 words (try couple per day, easily doable)

    4)grab an old book and mark the words in it. Open your email and type the number of pages and order of the words, marked. Save it as draft.

    5)take the book with you to “read” on the plane

    6)once moved to a new location, get a new plate. **Don’t relay on your memory,** it’s just a nice to have, not a proper backup.

    Edit: formating.

  2. Print a copy of the non-punched plate as above. Get a blank sheet of metal the same size. Overlay the printout and punch the words on. Destroy the printout. Now you’re travelling with a blank sheet of metal with a bunch of random dots on it. Create a few decoys if you like, create a convincing backstory for them. When you reach your destination you can create another printout to line up the letters & retrieve your seed phrase.

  3. > I should destroy it, write my keys on paper, carry those in my wallet with me, and then as soon as I arrive in the US, purchase a new metal key backup system.

    This sounds reasonable, imo.

    Another possibility might be to put one plate into carry-on baggage, and the other plate into checked baggage, so neither half would be useful on its own to someone going through your stuff.

    Still not without risks (your checked in baggage could get lost, or you could get stopped for a search and forced to expose both of them to other people), but I guess a bit more convenient.

  4. Do you have a loved one you trust where you are going? Have them set up a wallet and send to them. Once you get there you can retake control.

    Or leave your stuff with relative where you are. Once you get to new place make your new setup and have them send to you.

  5. Paper words in transport on your person. Have the new plate with you but empty. After arriving transfer to metal that night.

    Or memorize them. Few a day while pooping does the trick in short time.

  6. Coldcard can export the mnemonic seed as an AES encrypted .7zip file to MicroSD.

    At least a MicroSD is inconspicuous to airport security, perhaps as is a coldcard if you throw it in your camera bag.

    You would still need the .7zip unzip password (which is a 12 word sentence)

  7. 1. Go to a photo shop and buy a few canisters of undeveloped film that are over 800 ISO.

    2. Put them in a backpack along your seed plate.

    3. Ask them to do a manual inspection because the x-ray scanner will burn the film.

    4. Sell canisters on Craigslist for crypto when in the US.

  8. 1. Create a new strong 25th seed word (new)
    2. Move coin to an address on thar
    3. Create another seed set and bury that in your home county before you leave, save one address (recovery)
    4. Generate a TX from your new address ro the recovery address. Don’t broadcast it, but save the TX so you can
    5. Travel to your destination, if all ok, move the coins to a new address on the seed you hold.
    6. If you’re fucked over by customs and lose the seed, broadcast the TX and head back home

  9. you better hope that the TSA / customs enforcement officials don’t notice it and know what it is.. they will hold you while they import your private keys into their own wallets..

  10. you’re waaaaay to much of a “what if” kinda person. I’m sure if you just brought the plate on the plane you’d be completely fine, this just sounds like a lot of unneeded stress for you.🤨😁

  11. Get a tattoo on your thigh (do it yourself). Destroy plate. Travel. Buy new plate, create new seed phrase. Move coins to new seed phrase. Get tattoo removal (or dont).

    Just joking, but imagine if someone actually did this hahaha

  12. X-ray can pickup metal place with stamping and read it easily.

    Your metal plate is going to the X-ray device for hand luggage.

    Do you really wish to do so? You should at least encrypt it a little bit + password. And move the fund to a newly created wallet once you arrive at your destination.

  13. Consider a 2-out-of-2 multisig wallet, with two seeds. You can then even save the second seed on the cloud (zip and encrypted!) and carry one seed as checked luggage. Even if compromised, no one can do anything with it.

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