What's More Important to Keep Safe: Your Hardware Wallet or Recovery Phrase?

A hardware wallet gives you the power to own and control your cryptocurrency assets. But with great power comes great responsibility: when you’re the only one in control of your assets, it’s solely up to you to ensure they are kept safe. There is no bank or institution to turn to if your hardware wallet or recovery phrase is stolen or misplaced. But what is more important to keep safe: your hardware wallet or recovery phrase?


If your hardware wallet breaks, is stolen or misplaced, your recovery phrase can be used to restore your assets. But if your recovery phrase is stolen or misplaced, there is no bank or institution to back you up or give you a replacement. And because of the secure nature and random mathematical sequences used to generate the private key, there’s no way you or anyone else can recover it, so you will lose access to your cryptocurrency. In other words, it’s more important to keep your recovery phrase safe than it is your hardware wallet!


When you set up your hardware wallet, you are asked to take note of the recovery phrase. Of course, you could simply write down your recovery phrase on the piece of paper provided, but this isn’t the most durable option. 

There are also a few other things we recommend you NEVER do:

  • Store your recovery phrase online, where it can be easily hackable
  • Take a screenshot or mobile photo of your recovery phrase because someone can simply hack into your computer/mobile and copy it
  • Store it on email or cloud services
  • Rely on your memory alone to remember your recovery phrase

By now you may be asking, well what CAN I do with my recovery phrase? 

There are companies such as Billfodl, which have created recovery phrase devices. This option is much more permanent, solid, and dependable. The Billfodl is constructed of 316 stainless steel, with a melting point of almost 1400 degrees celsius. It can withstand more than double the temperature of an average house fire and it’s impervious to any type of electrical hazard. Using a randomised set of character tiles, you simply recreate your recovery phrase in the steel unit, creating an almost indestructible backup.


Once you’ve recorded down your recovery phrase, you want to make sure you’ve done it correctly! 

Check your Trezor Recovery Phrase here 

Check your Ledger Recovery Phrase here 


If you’ve lost both your device and recovery phrase, unfortunately, there is no way to gain access to your funds again. This is why it’s very important to keep your recovery phrase safe over anything else. We explain this in further detail in our blog post “Why Your Recovery Phrase Is The Most Important Thing To Keep Safe”. 


If you’re struggling to gain access to your funds after losing your hardware wallet and would like further one-on-one support, Coinstop offers in-depth remote consultations. While we can’t guarantee that we can restore your funds (without knowing your exact situation), we can walk you through all the necessary steps in order to try. You can book a consultation with us here.

We pray to the crypto gods that you are never in the position where you lose your hardware wallet! But if you do happen to, the above guide is a good place to start when trying to recover your funds. And if you need any further assistance, please reach out to us!