The worst way to self-custody your bitcoin?

Self-custody is an integral part of the Bitcoin experience. It’s about holding and transacting the native currency of the Bitcoin network the way it was meant to be used – peer to peer, without trusted third parties that can decide to censor or confiscate funds, and preferably in the presence of self-validation.

Thankfully, self-custodying your bitcoin has never been easier. Thanks to improvements in user experience, large amounts of educational materials, and products that are designed to make everything easy, now the only concern a bitcoiner should have is to safely store a private key. But this can still lead to many mistakes.

This is why I’ve decided to ask my Nostr and Twitter/X followers a very simple question “what is the worst way to self-custody your bitcoin?”. Had I asked about the best, it’s likely that I would have triggered marketing departments that promote their own product/service. Or I would have ignited tribalistic wars between hardware wallet manufacturers. But since this is about the worst type of setup, everyone jumped in to provide funny or else depressingly real answers about self-custody.

As a way of honoring these efforts, I’ve recorded a video in which I also add a little bit of commentary on these particular situations. If this catches on, I might start an entire series based on social media answers. “21 answers” might be a good name, though I’m still considering it.

Anyway, I hope that you will enjoy this video and you’ll learn something new about self-custodying Bitcoin. If anything, this can help you avoid some mistakes that others have made.

Also, if you want to support me in my quest to get a Supra (the pleb’s Lambo), there are some affiliate links that you can use for products that you can use to improve your self-custody setup: so if you’re buying a Cryptosteel to put your seed phrase in cold storage, you can use promo code BTCTKVR to get a 10% discount. Also, if you want to buy a BitBox02 hardware wallet, promo code BTCTKVR will get you a 5% discount. I also have an affiliate link for Trezor, though there are no special discounts that you can get for your purchase. It’s more like an indirect donation. Likewise, check out Satodime if you want to turn your BTC into a bearer asset – it’s like the Opendime, but cooler.

And if you want to get a printed copy of this year’s BTCTKVR magazine, you can find one at ShopInBit (use promo code BTCTKVR for €5 discount and pay with bitcoin to get another 3% off) and LNBits.

Time stamps:

01:42 – Swallowing your backup (Evan Prim on Nostr) 

02:53 – Toyota Supra 

03:56 – Saving your file in a Google Drive (Aron on Nostr) 

05:55 – Memorizing your private key (Carlos Drive on Nostr) 

08:10 – 999 of 999 multisig (Kruw) 

09:45 – Allowing banks or politicians to hold your keys (Lord Snooty of Bitcoin) 

10:33 – Brain wallet (Phil Geiger) 

11:13 – Saving your seed phrase in a tweet (Corntango) 

11:57 – Card wallets? (Joko) 

13:33 – Libbitcoin (Gthmg)

14:48 – Tattooing your seed phrase to your forehead (John W. Ratcliff) 

15:17 – Being in a rush to self-custody (Joe Nakamoto) 

17:20 – Seed phrase words on different continents (NeedCreations is Stacking) 

19:33 – Leaving your seed phrase in the car’s glove box (R5ZM2) 

20:24 – Coinbase wallet (Alex343) 

21:04 – Any hot wallet? (AJ Nobody) 

22:28 – The issue with hardware wallets 

24:57 – Seed phrase written on fiat cash (Mission Accomplished) 

25:21 – Brain wallet for a short amount of time? (J3) 

27:21 – Overcomplicate your opsec (Madosatoshist) 

27:43 – Printing the blockchain (Catalin Bot) 

29:15 – Ledger stealing your coins? (Tsartoshi) 

30:37 – Overcomplicate security (Yoshi HODL) 

30:46 – Picture of seed phrase on your phone (Bitcoinator 13%) 

33:07 – Coinbase again (Seth Meister) 

33:14 – Girlfriend’s Coinbase account (Reptiloshi) 

33:18 – Opendime behind your ear (Icosanaut) 

34:14 – Security by obscurity (The Italian Stallion) 

36:35 – Handing your keys to your girlfriend (RaulTweet) 

37:53 – Losing your bitcoin like Peter Schiff (Ray Rizzling) 

39:25 – Wrap up, BTCTKVR magazine 

41:30 – Why you should listen to Bitcoin Takeover podcast to learn more about hardware wallets

Vlad Costea

I'm here for the freedom, censorship-resistance, and unconfiscatability. What about you?

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