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What is the safest and most secure way to store xrp for the long term?


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All you need is your secret key you can either write it down print it out or store it somewhere else.

If lets say after 5 years you want to access your xrp again , all you have to do is create a wallet with your software of choice (local desktop wallet) or online (eg  gateway/exchange) And  then import your key. Thats it.

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Use TrueCrypt / Veracrypt file with long password, mount the container as a virtual harddisk, create a .txt file in the virtual harddisk and save your secret.

.RAR encryption is also pretty good if you use a very long password I believe but make sure you delete the original .txt file on your harddisk that you encrypted:
After encryption by winrar is done, overwrite the .txt file with other data before deleting it or delete it (also from recyclebin) and clear cache & wipe free drive space with free version of CCleaner to be sure it's not left somewhere on the disk.

If the password is long enough I think you can even email the encrypted file to your inbox to keep a copy.
Make sure you remember the password even after 5 years :P

Never give clues it's about Ripple (so don't write: "My Ripple secret key to access all my money is: xxxx").

Perhaps you can use a CNC machine to carve the secret key on a piece of titanium, dig a hole in the backyard and put it somewhere.

Like with any password, make sure you always know it and perhaps recover it when forgotten, but not somebody else. Be creative.

And yes, hardware like usb flash drives , harddisks (both normal disks and ssd's) etc often fail. Even backup tapes, floppydisk, cd's, dvd's etc have degradation over the years and WILL fail at some point. Paper also degradates over time. The ink may become invisible over time. A fire can burn all your hardware /  storage mediums / papers. A brain injury can make you lose your password.

So be creative, maximize the chance you can access your key when needed, minimize the chance bad people get it.

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Just write down your secret.  Be clever about it, for example leave off the "s" at the beginning (all have that), split it into two pieces and call them different things.  Call them something that it isn't, like "Bosch drill serial #".  You could even Dymo it and stick it onto a Bosch drill and use that as a backup. Keep the backup somewhere no one will ever look (a faraway relatives cabin in the woods, for instance).

Another technique is to split it up into x different wallets (5, 10, 20 - whatever you want), that way if you somehow lose one its not such a big deal.  It also makes it easier if you want to sell a little bit, you just empty one of the wallets.

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