Storing Bitcoin in Self-Custody Using Blockstream Jade

These are my recommendations for storing Bitcoin in self-custody using a Blockstream Jade. Some of these steps can be tedious, but they result in a setup that is very difficult to compromise.

  1. Order a Blockstream Jade directly from Blockstream. Blockstream also sells the Jade on Amazon, but be aware that this introduces the possibility of the device being compromised by a third party.
  2. Create a wallet with a password, and store the password. You can stamp the password on metal and store it separately from your seed phrase. You can also store the password in a password manager like Bitwarden.
  3. Stamp your Jade’s backup seed phrase in steel using a device like Cryo (Amazon page).
  4. Store the metal Cryo plates in a fire safe like this one – Honeywell Fire Safe.

More Details

Blockstream Jade Wallet

Blockstream Jade is a Bitcoin-only hardware wallet (Jade wallet home page). Blockstream is a blockchain technology company founded in 2014 and headquartered in Victoria, Canada. The Jade device uses open-source code, which ensures the community can audit and verify the code. Here’s an overview of the Jade wallet.

Set up a Jade Wallet

  • Start by setting up a new wallet using the device’s screen and interface.
  • Update the Jade firmware – use a no-Bluetooth version of the firmware.
  • Select a 12-word backup seed phrase (i.e., not a 24-word backup). The 12-word backup option is sufficiently secure.
  • Choose “NativeSegwit” as your wallet type.
  • Generally, you’ll want to add a BIP39 password to your wallet. You might want to skip the password if you are a beginner. You can stamp this in metal or store your password in a password manager.

Now let’s perform a test where you’ll restore your wallet from backup. Follow these steps:

Test Your Backup Seed Phrase

  • Send a small amount of Bitcoin (i.e., $5 worth) to your wallet.
  • Wipe the Jade device by performing a factory reset.
  • Perform a seed recovery on the Jade.
  • Verify that your wallet is restored and still contains your Bitcoin.

Access Your Jade

You can now use the Blockstream Green app to access your Jade wallet. Alternatively, if you are technically inclined, you can use the Sparrow Wallet (Github Page) software to access your Jade. Here’s a video on the Sparrow Wallet.

Backing Up Your Seed Using Cryo

I recommend backing up your hardware wallet using a physical device like a Cryo.

Cryo is a set of stainless plates and a metal punch tool. You use the tool to punch holes in the plates to encode your seed phrase. This is a durable backup solution. See the results of some stress tests on these devices. The tests involve a 2000°F flame test, a corrosion test where the device is submerged in 16% muriatic acid for 12 hours, and a crush test involving a 20-ton hydraulic press. See the full methodology.

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