Hardware Recovery Seed

Published June 10, 2019 by Charlie Humberstone

Pirate pistol black and white image.

Ledger Firmware Troubles are Forcing Users to Recover Wallets

It’s likely many of our readers take the security of their cryptoassets seriously and own hardware wallets you will be interested and perhaps a little concerned to hear of recent reports of Ledger's malfunctioning firmware updates, and of the stress, they’re causing.

According to a thread on the r/ethtrader subreddit, French cryptocurrency hardware wallet manufacturer Ledger has been struggling with firmware updates, as some users are unable to access their funds after updating the firmware.

What this means is that users who have tried to keep their devices as safe as possible by updating the firmware are having to use their seed recovery phrases to restore their wallets to access their funds. The user who created the thread claimed that although Ledger released several firmware updates, some users are still reporting malfunctions.

The firmware issues and Ledger’s shipping delays on the new Nano X model meant the redditor has ended up with 4 devices to keep his funds secure as they rightly wanted to get their assets into their own custody as the value of their holdings increased during the recent price rally.

“My original ledger S I hadn't updated in awhile ... so I figured I'd get one more ledger as a back-up before updating my original device... then I see you could get an X and S for $150 ... so I order that ... but then I see there is a one-month wait time. Great. Meanwhile, market is moving fast and I needed to get my original ledger S updated ... so I buy another.
Now I am in the possession of three ledger S devices and one X device.”

A quick look at Ledger’s support forums and subreddit show users are dealing with firmware update issues on the Nano S, with build quality issues on the Nano X, and with connectivity issues on both devices.

As the affected Ledger users attested in the Reddit thread restoring your wallet from the 24-word recovery seed can be a stressful process. Especially when you dig your recovery seed paper out from under your mattress or safe, and after a few years you find a smudge or faded ink obscuring the words! It does seem strange to store the failsafe to potentially millions of dollars worth of crypto with pen and paper.

Some have suggested the solution are metal seed storage devices. These are essentially an upgraded version of paper wallets, made out of material that can survive natural disasters and doesn’t deteriorate easily.

Bitcoin engineer Jameson Lopp has looked into what material may withstand natural disasters, but showed the search wasn’t easy. CRYPTOTAG, a cryptocurrency security firm, believes to have found the answer: space graded titanium wallets, which can withstand almost anything. However you decide to store your cryptocurrencies remember that if you don’t control the keys, you don’t control the funds.

What is the CRYPTOTAG?

CRYPTOTAG, is used to secure your Recovery Seed, generated by your Cryptocurrency Hardware Wallet.

Cryptotag pack

The CRYPTOTAG is currently compatible with Hardware wallets such as Trezor, Ledger and KeepKey. If you have any of these Hardware Wallets, your device will have generated for you a recovery seed in case your device is lost, stolen or malfunctions, as a way to recover your lost Cryptocurrencies. This recover seed is either a 12 or 24-word Recovery Seed which you will have to store securely, as anyone with this Recovery Seed can gain access to your hard-earned Crypto! The convention is to write this 12 or 24 word Recovery Seed on a piece of paper that you will store securely; as saving it on any device with access to the internet (such as your laptop or phone) defeats the purpose of having a cold storage Hardware wallet.

As you can tell already, there are problems with writing your Recovery Seed on a piece of paper and storing it safely. Even the most organised of us may forget where we stored that piece of paper securely, or even worse accidentally throw it away. Some people have even reported that their Recovery Seed was destroyed when their house flooded or burnt down. In comes CRYPTOTAG to save the day! CRYPTOTAG is a premium product intended on storing your Recovery Seed securely, and in doing so eliminating most of the risks associated with writing your Recovery Seed on a piece of paper.

The CRYPTOTAG is a combination of two titanium plates which are: bulletproof, erosion and corrosion resistant and fireproof up to 1665°C! The two metal plates can each store up to 24 words, thus allowing you to store the Recovery Seed of ‘2 Ledger Hardware Wallets’ or ‘2 Trezor Model One’ or ‘4 Trezor Model T Hardware Wallets’ or ‘4 Keepkey Hardware Wallets’.

CRYPTOTAG in fire pit

So if these plates are made of titanium, how the hell do you get your Recovery Seed inscribed on there?

Well, it’s quite simple really, and ingenious to be fair. You do it with a hammer and letter Bits that are hammered on the plates using a specialized Bit holder and Anvil. What’s fantastic about the CRYPTOTAG is that the Anvil, Hammer, Letter Bits and Bit holder, are all provided with the CRYPTOTAG making the process as smooth as possible for the user.

If you need to beef up your crypto security then a backup is important to address. Check out the CRYPTOTAG to see their solution that solves the problems of paper backups.