With self-sovereignty comes great responsibility. Being your own bank can be scary. After all, there’s a reason banks became a feature of modern society: they control the custody of assets, assume the risk of these assets and insure them for their customers.
This is why most Bitcoiners hold security as the highest virtue. If you want to be your own bank, you need to make sure you’re taking every step necessary and available to secure your Bitcoin from theft, seizure and damage. In this regard, no measure is too extreme. There is no such thing as being too secure.
This is why Ragnar Lifthrasir of Guns n’ Bitcoin created the Scorpion Case. Hardware wallets (with the added security buff of multisignatures) offer best-practice custody for your average user, but this may not be enough. In the event of a fire or natural disaster, if these wallets are destroyed (and the seed phrase backups destroyed with them), you can kiss goodbye to your hard-earned satoshis.
The Scorpion Case is meant to mitigate against physical damage and even assault — in addition to its padded interior that houses your hardware wallet, it also comes with molds to hold a handgun, two magazines and a knife (if this sounds paranoid, well you just haven’t considered every attack vector).
To see if the Scorpion Case is up to snuff, I ran it through a number of stress tests. These included: blunt force testing, waterproof testing, fire testing and bulletproof testing.
Now, Lifthrasir’s company, Guns n’ Bitcoin, only advertises the Scorpion Case’s resilience against physical and water damage. It says nothing about fire, let alone firearm, resistance, but I wanted to test it all the same. I wanted to see just how sturdy this case was and if you can trust your hardware with it.
I would find that the Scorpion Case can take one hell of a beating.
Before we go over the stress tests, let’s start with the basics.
The case weighs in at 2.2 pounds with a 12.6-inch long, 9-inch wide and 4.4-inch high exterior. Its case shell is made of NK-7 polypropylene, a common industrial resin that is made to be both lightweight and sturdy. Guns n’ Bitcoin’s website advertises a water immersion resistance of up to 3.28 feet and heat resistance of 140 degrees Fahrenheit.
Internally, the case is lined with closed-cell PEF foam on the bottom and a convoluted lid foam on the top to insulate hardware. Its molds can house a pistol, multiple hardware wallets, USB hookups and pistol ammo magazines.
The release latches come with pinholes added to a padlock, and the hinges are underpinned by stainless steel.
Retailing for $88, the Scorpion Case is a bit pricier than other NK-7 polypropylene cases of its size, though Guns n’ Bitcoin is running a 30 percent off sale for the holidays that brings the price in line with other options.
With these specs in mind, let’s beat this sucker up.
Scorpion Case Stress Test One: Blunt Force and Sharp Force
For my first test, I bludgeoned the Scorpion Case with the blunt side of a splitting maul, and then I flipped the case to its other side to test its resistance to the axe end of the maul.
Guns n’ Bitcoin says that the case is built to withstand a category one impact under Air Transport Association (ATA) specification 300 — that is, it conforms to standards set by the ATA for hard case designs and impact resistance.
This basically means that the case is meant to withstand moderate trauma. It doesn’t, however, say anything about being resistant to heavy blows from something like a sledgehammer. With this in mind, the case exceeded my expectations from test one.
The first swing with the sledge end of the maul left a dent, and I was pleased to see that the hardware wallet I inserted into the case before testing was unscathed. Now, I have no way of measuring the PSI of the swing, but I came down with all my strength on the case and it withstood the test.
Next, I swung with the axe. To be expected, the resin cracked under this pressure (I anticipated this because, again, the case makes no guarantees against this kind of trauma), but it did not shatter. And once again, the hardware wallet was still intact.
So, all of that to say, in the rare event that someone takes a sledgehammer to your Scorpion Case, it’s going to hold up for at least the first few swings. Additionally, if your house were to come toppling down, I’d imagine your hardware would remain safe under the rubble.
When it comes to impact resistance, the Scorpion Case performed very well under pressure.
Scorpion Case Stress Test Two: Water
For this next test, I ran the case under running water, back and front, for about ten…