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                                                         "The best bitcoin is the one you store yourself"

METHOD 6: Coded data (such as passwords/co-ordinates), via security questions, written onto a pdf file, secured with TrueCrypt, and stored in your bank safety deposit box

Security Level = MEDIUM TO HIGH 

Amount of work to setup = Alot
Advantages = If you die suddenly, your coins will be able to be accessed by a member of your immediate family. You don’t even need to let them know it exists since family members will be able to access it once they show your death certificate to the bank. If they are on your will, then they will get exclusive access. You can also more easily store these in multiple places and with multiple banks as well as under the names of different members of your family. This is similar to storing your money in an actual bank account with a bank. 
Another big advantage of this method is that it serves as an extra backup to all your bitcoin information (seeds, public and private addresses) and is still accessable in the situation where you forget your master 26-32 character password. The 26 -32 character password you choose should really be one that you will never forget however human memory is imperfect, and in the scenario where you do forget it, you can rest assured that you can still access all your bitcoins provided you have backed them up with Method 6.

Disadvantages = One thing about this method is that the security level of your coins depends to a certain extent on how well you choose the security questions. They should be numerous and complex enough to eliminate lucky guesses by another person or brute force attacks by a computer. And they need to be questions you are sure your family will know the answers to (tell them the answers!). See our ‘Choosing security questions’ guide in our Security section for information on how to select great security questions.
A second thing about this method is that you need to rely on a financial institution to keep your coded instructions safe. Plus, the government (or banking institution), should they desire, will be able to access the bank safety deposit boxes and access your coded instructions stored in this way. If they are able to get your family to co-operate and/or work out the answers to your security questions, they could get your coins. They probably don’t even need to let your family know that you have coins and can simply try unsuspectingly to question them on the answers. 
If you prepare your family members of this situation beforehand though, this problem of your family accidently disclosing the security question answers, may be avoided. Another way this can be avoided is if you use Method 6 (Variation 2). This method merges all the best features of all the methods offered on this website (security, recoverability in case of death, secrecy) while minimizing or eliminating the biggest vulnerabilities of the first Method 6 variation (vulnerable to government seizure, dependence on strong security questions, reliance on bank security). You should definitely look at it. We call it “Variation 2- Three Factor Authentication”.


You might be asking, if we can we can simply open a safety deposit box with a bank, change our password to something random, and throw our usb into it which contains our TrueCrypt pdf file. The password to this file will in turn be written on our ‘Legal Will’ which will be stored in a safe in a solicitor’s office. Can we simply do this instead of following the instructions on this website? Surely it should be sufficient and adequate for future retrieval by us or our future inheritors. The short answer to this question is once again: it is entirely up to you but we strongly recommend you follow our instructions to store it.

The reason is this: bitcoins are currently a rare and unique form of wealth. It is amazing in this respect. It has many of the benefits of gold, yet isn’t quite like gold. It has many of the benefits of money, yet isn’t quite like money. It has many of the benefits of an investment item, yet isn’t quite like an investment item. To say the very least, bitcoins are unlike any other form of wealth that has existed in human societies. So to simply take a bitcoin encrypted usb drive and throw it into a bank safe deposit box and treat it like these things does not draw on all of its strengths and benefits. These strengths include being able to be impervious to government seizure; or being able to be backed up in multiple copies and locations; or being able to benefit from the additional security of email passwords. Our Method 6 instructions will allow you to take full advantage of these things.