I have over 200 BTC. Best way to do a test and then leave them for my next of kin?

Hey guys.

I have over 200 BTC (see post history for verification) purchased many years ago and separated across 3 Trezor units in off-site locations.

All 3 Trezors were bought from the official website. I've written down the seed phrase on the the free little paper that came with each one, these are also stored in 3 separate locations away from the Trezors in fire-proof safes. I don't have a passphrase. I never stored the seed anywhere else.

I'm going to transfer the paper wallet seed phrases over to 3 Steelwallets.

I also want to do a test on the seed phrases as I haven't check on the BTC in a few years before I put everything back in the safes. I'm a bit concerned with all the horror stories I've been reading about Trezor wallets being emptied/keylogger software or other malware.

A). What is the best way to do the test?

I'm thinking the safest option might be:

  1. Buy a cheap brand new sealed laptop without a built in webcam direct from a manufacturer.
  2. Buy a brand new Trezor Model One direct from their website
  3. Connect to my home WiFi and install the software direct from Trezor.io and nothing else.
  4. Test the first seed phrase from the newly punched Steelwallet. Wipe the test Trezor back to factory settings.
  5. Test the second seed phrase from the newly punched Steelwallet. Wipe the test Trezor back to factory settings
  6. Test the third seed phrase from the newly punched Steelwallet. Wipe the test Trezor back to factory settings.
  7. Place the 3 old Trezors and the 3 new Steelwallets back in their original locations. Burn the 3 free papers containing the seed phrases.
  8. Use Darin's Boot and Nuke programme on the harddrive of the laptop. Remove the harddrive and physically destroy it (I have access to an incinerator.). Sell the laptop without a harddrive (I already own a decent MacBook and no-one in my family needs a cheap laptop).
  9. Physically destroy the test Trezor unit.

I'm aware the above might seem overkill, but this amount is significant enough to warrant the cost. Can anyone stress test the above scenario for me and let me know any potential failure points or what they would do differently? Could anyone let me know what brand laptop they'd buy in my scenario?

B). How do I leave this stuff for my wife in the event of my death or incapacity?

The missus is not technically incompetent but neither is she a programmer. I'd rate her a 3 out of 10 on computer skills (I'd rate myself a 6 out of 10). I'm thinking about sitting down with her at the kitchen table and physically making her do points 3-6 together with me so she knows what to do if I'm no longer around. She also knows where the Trezors and Steelwallets are kept in the event I'm not around but it might be an idea for her to know how everything works. Many years ago I showed her the 4 digit pins for each Trezor (a memorable number known to her and me only shared across the 3 units) but I didn't add a passphrase as I didn't want to overcomplicate things for her. I asked her recently if she'd feel comfortable recovering the BTC in the event I'm gone and she looked a bit skeptical.

Any feedback gratefully accepted. Thank you.

**EDIT** to all the spammers clogging my inbox pretending to be from “Trezor Helpdesk 9898” or folks wanting to PM with further assistance, no need to bother. I'm savvy enough not to fall for any scams, everything is being blocked as spam, move on to the next gullible fish.

26 thoughts on “I have over 200 BTC. Best way to do a test and then leave them for my next of kin?”

  1. Don’t forget to only enter the seed directly on the Trezor device. There is also an option which lets you enter it on the computer in random order, but I wouldn’t use that in this case.

    Also, saying you have this many BTC is not a good idea. It will make you a target for attackers.

  2. Tbh this sounds good to me. You could maybe run the tails OS too but that complicates things further. 200btc… You have put your family in an excellent position for the future, well done and good luck.

  3. Your procedure seems relatively safe, but I would do it differently. You are basically doing it in a way that you pass everything through a common single point of failure (laptop, single new trezor, physically all at the same location at the same time). What happens if something goes wrong on that day? You lose everything. I think you need to split the operation for the 3 units you have. I personally would use a different approach for each. Here are some additional things to consider

    • wipe the os of the new laptop first. Some come with spyware preinstalled. Install good antivirus and compete scan before.
    • destroy the ram as well as the HDD
    • Never ever type your seed on a keyboard (use the painful trezor method)
    • wipe the trezor first
    • delete this post, you put your family at risk
    • cash out a few BTC to put in the bank (I know it sucks, but that’s safer/easier to manage for your wife if anything goes wrong)
  4. >Any feedback gratefully accepted. Thank you.

    Let’s first deal with B.

    1. With over 200 BTC at today’s value, you can afford $100 to teach your wife through real-world experience. Make it something you and her spend 1-2 hours doing every Sunday until she has it down pat. No matter how much “theory” you walk her through without the “practical” she will panic or not know the exact steps should the time come for her to utilize them.
    2. When doing no.1, please play with small incremental sends and not entire large amounts. I’ll be writing about this on my subReddit shortly. I see too many people often lose large amounts of money because they didn’t do a test send first.

    Now for A.

    1. Your plan sounds good but there is no need to take out the HD and destroy it. I’ve sold laptops before that held crypto. I’ve never been compromised.
    2. I would buy an MBP, brand new from an Apple store before I bought a Windows laptop. Apple products are not immune, but they’re a lot safer out of the box.

    Again, everything else here sounds good. Best of luck!

  5. You should consider making a new seed backed up by Shamir keys. This way someone getting access to one of your locations won’t be able to access the seed.

  6. For each of the 3 sets of 24 seed words, you could split the seed into 3 sets which contain 2/3rds of the seed words. Set 1 has 1–16, set 2 has 9-24, and set 3 has 1-8 and 17-24. This way you need the words from 2 locations to complete the seed. If one location is compromised you don’t lose the whole wallet. If one location is destroyed you don’t lose the whole wallet. I would also suggest using a password or 25th word.

    Finally you can write these instructions along with a seed word and leave them with an attorney included in a will that they prepare. I haven’t done this part yet, so I’m open to hearing any feedback on this suggestion.

  7. Advice – Don’t Be A Flashy D*uche

    Time after time you see crypto guys bragging about their coins on social media, and then saying they got hacked. Talking openly about your coins is like putting a sign on your forehead saying, “I am loaded hack me”.

  8. FFS even at today’s shitty price, you have over 5 million dollars. Why not just cash out and forget about worrying about your seed words?

  9. ya, i left specific instructions for the wife in the safe with the seed and the ledger, its like 4 pages long, first words are trust no one……but i do not have the stress that you have holding 200 kingcoins.

  10. You might want to hold some in a multisig wallet with a 3rd party (family, Casa, etc).

    Other than that, looks solid to me.

  11. I personally wrote the instruction down on a piece of paper in details and told my wife that when things go wrong with me, she must refer to that paper where only her and I know. I sent her several videos so she get some ideas, and told her that in case she still does not understand it, she can refer that to one of our most trusted relatives who is very tech savvy.

  12. My suggestion would be to not use trezor, but a software wallet on air gapped computer.

    For example boot a live version of some distribution from flash drive, synchronize the entire Blockchain and install some wallet that can use it (Electrum? Not sure). Then disconnect all network from the computer. Check your seeds. Destroy the flash drive.

    Even if there was a malicious software somewhere, it couldn’t send your seeds out. The best it could do is store them on the flash drive.

    Also unsolicited advise: but I would sell some of the BTC and invest in other things to minimize risk. We all hope for Bitcoin to succeed, but I wouldn’t bet all my eggs on it.

  13. Teach your a wife and go through it a few times. Maybe regularly to keep things fresh. She can buy and sell $100 of BTC on her own device and use it regularly to just gain familiarity. She doesn’t need to practice recovering your real wallets, just her own.

    I’d add a passphrase for a hidden wallet and transfer the funds into it. It’s very easy on the Model T, it gives good peace of mind in case someone gains access to your seeds. Things like safety deposit boxes can be opened by courts, private vaults have shady employees, home invasion etc.

  14. If you’re afraid of keyloggers, you should use advanced recovery on Trezor One, or buy a Trezor T. With advanced recovery you click empty buttons in a 3×3 matrix looking on the Trezor to know which button represents which option (similar to how PIN works). With the T, you do everything on the device itself.

    Also try the recovery process with a random throw-away seed first to get familiar with the process.

  15. Can you clarify what exactly you intend to test? If the only intention here is to verify that the seed phrase still derives to a public key that owns the bitcoin you could easily just turn one on and get the public key without connecting to a networked device and follow last steps mentioned below. There’s no reason to unnecessarily purchase a new one unless you actually require a 4th one for your opsec in which case it may be a good idea to also get a ledger to diversify your risk in the event software fails from trezor.

    Also, I wouldn’t recommend downloading the installer via the actual device you want to test with. Instead I’d suggest downloading the .exe/.dmg to a USB device that you trust and keeping it on the USB and running it from the USB. At this point you could keep the device completely airgapped. Depending on your level of paranoia you could even pull the WiFi card from the device ahead of time or get one that has a switch to disable it so that you can be certain no network connection is made.

    Then once you’ve confirmed the seed phrase properly derives to a public key write it down on a piece of paper. Then on a separate device validate the account balance via the public block explorer. This way the seed phrase never gets connected to a networked device.

    On the other hand, if the goal here is to teach your wife how to utilize the trezor this makes a bit more sense. In that case, I’d still utilize the USB method but also place a copy of the usb drive with each trezor. This way your wife can easily go out and purchase a new laptop and plug in each device to make a transaction. One thing to note though is she not only needs to be aware of how to use the Trezor but also needs to know how she can convert to fiat via a sale. Often times these practical instructions our overlooked which could leave her susceptible to a social engineering attack when she asks for help. I’d suggest making sure it’s clear how to do this as well by writing a basic text file that’s also kept on the USB with instructions. This way you can be certain she can run through it in the event she ever needed to.

    Also, while I assume you trust your wife with this information in the event your relationship went south you may want to have a backup plan in place financially. This may mean it would make more sense for you to utilize a multisig solution with a fiduciary who requires proof of a death certificate to utilize their key share with just your wife. Ultimately it’s up to you to decide if this is a necessary step, but it’s something you may want to consider within your opsec plan.

  16. Seems like you could save a lot of hassle by doing all the testing on a ColdCard hooked up to a 9v battery.

    In regards to your wife, that’s a point of concern, maybe an idea would be to just get her used to transacting in bitcoin first and foremost, stick twenty quids worth of BTC into a bluewallet or something and get her buying gift cards for Starbucks or something.

    Just so she can get familiar with it, then, wipe her wallet on her phone at random and get her to recover it etc, those connections can form in her mind over time regarding the basics, then graduate her up to interacting with HWWs etc.

    In a way, you’d hope that she wouldn’t be able to access the funds in her “learner” wallet again, so she can understand the gravity of ‘no key no coins’ etc and won’t make that mistake when it actually matters.

    Once she is up to speed, test her knowledge, frequently. I cannot stress that enough.

    Apart from that, I would use a Trezor T over the Trezor One as you don’t input your seed via the keyboard on the T, it’s done on device.

    Good luck anon.

  17. Even if you show her the steps 3-6 today, how well do you think she’ll remember it in the future? Say, a year or five or twenty

    With that brand spanking new laptop you want to buy, also buy a cheapo laser printer, and do up exact instructions for her.

    If you expect she’ll need to sell, sit with her and help her create and verify an account somewhere. Make sure she has that information.

    And every few months when you’re checking on things, sit in the passenger seat and let her drive so the process of interacting with your wallet and Trevor become more familiar. Heck, even have her do a few small transfers to her new account, sell, she withdraw the proceeds to her bank so she’s actually experienced the process start to finish.

    You’re coming up with great technical solutions but the weak spot in all this is insuring that your wife actually knows what to do with the gadgets, papers and cards you’re leaving her

  18. For test units, consider coldcard only airgap , put your seed then check your receiving addresses on the coldcard only , if it matches yours then it is good you have the keys, no need for any internet connection nor sending btc.

  19. Consider getting at least one other different bitcoin signing device other than trezor (eg coldcard) just in case trezor rug pulls you.

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