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    Stress Test 2: Jameson Lopp's Heat/Acid/Crush Test

    Stress Test 2: Jameson Lopp's Heat/Acid/Crush Test

    We're very excited to show Jameson Lopp's signature review on two of our products following his proven 3-step methodology to stress test crypto steel backups. He reviewed 22 other steel backups and on August 27th 2022 he posted the results on his blog page.


    Introduction: Who is Jameson Lopp?

    Jameson Lopp is an American cypherpunk, software engineer, columnist, and Bitcoin advocate. Lopp has been publicly involved in cryptocurrency dating back to 2012 and has been a relevant figure in the crypto community for many years now. He is also known for living completely "Off the Grid".

    My mission is to use my skills as a technologist to build tools that empower individuals. The most direct way I believe I can achieve that at this time is to make it easier for people to take custody of their bitcoin and manage their private keys.

    Twitter: @lopp


    Stress Test Methodology

    Lopp's methodology is segmented in 3 different tests: Heat, Corrosion and Crushing.


    🔥 Heat:

    He uses a large propane torch that can reach 1093 °C / 2000 °F  in order to simulate house fire temperatures. Heat is applied for 10 minutes or until device failure is observed. Once the heating is done, he submerges the device in a bucket of water to quickly cool it down.


    ☣️ Corrosion:

    He submerges the device in a bucket with muriatic acid for 12+ hours and then pull them out once the bubbling stops.


    🔨 Crushing:

    He uses a 20 ton hydraulic press against the device and after that he checks the device's data for readability.


    📝 Grading system:

    In his own words, this is his reasoning for the grading.

    These aren’t highly scientific experiments and my grading system is arbitrary - my goal is to get a sense of which devices are the most robust relative to the rest of the market. If I’m unable to cause any data loss then a device should get an “A” rating, while a device that is quite easy to destroy gets an “F” - anything in between is a grey area.

    Learn more


    Plate S Stress Test

    The Plate S is our most popular backup, it has a very straightforward design that makes it extremely tough and reliable. Its main advantage is that the character/number itself is stamped directly into the steel, this means that even if the laser-etched guides fade away with extreme heat, it is instantly recoverable by the naked eye.


    Fig. 1: Front view of the Plate S

    Fig. 2: Front view of fully stamped Plate S, Lopp chose to use alphabetical stamps and wrote "HODL" in every cell.


    Testing begins...

    🔥 Heat Test: No data loss.

    ☣️ Corrosion Test: No data loss.

    🔨 Crushing Test: No data loss.


    My thoughts:

    The Plate S is uncontested when it comes to readability, all data is 100% visible and even in the case of extreme stress testing, all characters are still intact. Lopp decided to use alphabetical stamps but we currently only offer numerical stamps on our store (for shipping cost purposes); if you want to use alphabetical stamps you may purchase the plate only and buy stamps elsewhere (like Amazon or a local hardware store).


    📝 Lopp's Rating:

    Device Overall Grade 🔥 Heat Grade ☣️ Corrosion Grade 🔨 Crush Grade
    Plate S A A A A

    Full review →


    Board S Stress Test

    The Board S is our second most popular product, and excels when it comes to discreetness. This backup uses dot based encoding for BIP39 numbers so it's more difficult to decode with the naked eye. The product has the advantage of only needing a single center punch tool to punch the dots so it makes it the cheapest solution to secure your seedphrase into stainless steel.


    Fig. 3: Front view of the Board S

    Fig. 4: Front view of fully stamped Board S, Lopp punched the number 0869 ("hold") in every cell.


    Testing begins...

    🔥 Heat Test: No data loss. You can see the laser-etched guides start to deteriorate.

    ☣️ Corrosion Test: No data loss. The punch holes are now more visible!

    🔨 Crushing Test: No data loss. The laser-etched guides are barely visible but all data is still there. You can also see the big "F" on the top left corner which indicates the front of the plate.


    My thoughts:

    Although the Board S is much more discreet, this comes at a slight cost in the case of a severe damage to the plate. All punches are still 100% visible and the laser-etched guides are still there so everything is recoverable, it would just need a bit more of patience in order to decode properly.

    Question: What happens if the guides completely disappear?

    Short answer: Nothing.

    Long answer: You would need to print the template of the plate in a transparent acetate in order to decode the dots. You can use the same template for the Phrase S, which uses the exact same template and dimensions. These files are open source and will be online forever, even if we go out of business.


    📝 Lopp's Rating:

    Device Overall Grade 🔥 Heat Grade ☣️ Corrosion Grade 🔨 Crush Grade
    Board S A- A B A

    Full review →



    Disclaimer: The ratings in the scale of 10 are based on my opinion.


    Plate S → (Buy Now)

    • Backup data: FULL RECOVERY ✅

    • Ease of recovery: 10/10

    • Steel integrity: 10/10


    Board S → (Buy Now)

    • Backup data: FULL RECOVERY ✅

    • Ease of recovery: 8/10

    • Steel integrity: 10/10


    📝 Lopp's Rating:

    Device Overall Grade 🔥 Heat Grade ☣️ Corrosion Grade 🔨 Crush Grade
    Plate S
    A A A A
    Board S A- A B A


    Full Plate S review →

    Full Board S review →



    Both backups survived the tests and have shown that AISI 304 steel has an excellent price/quality ratio when it comes to protecting cryptocurrency. You may take your decision on which backup you think is the best based on the results of this experiment, stay safe out there!

    We hope that these reviews by Jameson Lopp will legitimize our products even more.

    For the next stress test I plan to do some outdoor experiments like leaving a plate on my roof for 1 year or burring it under the dirt. Stay tuned!

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