Basically, your seed phrase is a recovery password that you’re going to have to enter if you lose access to your device where the seed phrase is originally stored.
Cryptocurrency and Bitcoin are known for their complicated and perplexing jargon, which can be difficult to comprehend. As a newcomer to a topic or even a newcomer to the sphere, you may find yourself scratching your head over so much of the terminology that is being used.
In the crypto world, there is a term known as a seed phrase. This is a group of random words that are generated one by one by your cryptocurrency wallet when you set the wallet up for the first time, and this is something you should keep a record of.
A person should be aware that private keys and seed phrases are not the same things, even though both would allow an intruder to find and spend your coins in your wallet if they were to possess them.
What is the Seed Phrase?
Basically, a seed phrase is a method of writing down the private key of your wallet in a form that can easily be read by humans. In order to authenticate and encrypt your wallet access, you will need to input a unique, secret passcode.
You can use this phrase in a few different ways, such as signing transactions, claiming ownership of your wallet addresses, recovering your cryptocurrency wallet in the event that it gets lost or damaged (in the case of hardware wallets), or recovering your wallet even if you lose your device you use to access it.
You will only ever see this phrase once while you are setting up your account, and you won’t see it again. As a result, you need to make sure that you write it down somewhere or find some other way to make sure it remains safe.
The recovery phrase is generally a list of 12 to 24 words that are generated randomly by the crypto wallet on your device and are given in a particular order.
An important aspect of a recovery phrase is the order in which the words are placed. There is a strict requirement that it has to be typed exactly as it appears on your screen.
During the account setup process, you will see this phrase for the first time, but you will not see it again. Before you finish wallet onboarding, be sure to write it down right away so that you can refer to it later.
How does the Seed Phrase Work?
In comparison to traditional passwords, recovery phrases offer several advantages. The wallet app generates those passwords for you, not the user, so there is no need to reuse them. Due to the random nature of these codes, even powerful computers might not be able to crack them.
Because of the fact that they are not recorded by the company that makes or hosts the wallets, there is essentially no risk of hackers getting access to them.
There is, however, one major risk associated with this method of maintaining account security, despite its many advantages. It is important to note that recovery phrases are non-recoverable, which means that if you forget them, you will never again be able to access your wallet (or the assets stored within it).
There is a general lack of good password hygiene among most people. The majority of people use very simple passwords (e.g., Mypassword), reuse passwords across multiple apps, or use slight variations of the same password (e.g., Mypassword_1, Mypassword_2, etc.).
The problem with this is the fact that once one of the passwords has been cracked, hackers can easily get access to all the other apps on a device as well.
The crypto wallets like Ledger, Trezor, MetaMask, and others, will generate a unique recovery phrase for users that will be used when signing transactions and claiming ownership of a cryptocurrency wallet address in order to address this issue.
If a wallet gets lost, damaged, or otherwise inaccessible (in the case of hardware wallets), or if you lose, steal, or become otherwise unable to access your wallet (in the case of software wallets), you may be able to recover the wallet. As a result of the randomness of these recovery phrases, they are nearly impossible to crack, as they have a high level of complexity.
It is important to note that recovery phrases cannot be reset like passwords, which can be reset through a standard reset process. The fact is that if you were to lose your recovery phrase, you would be locked out of your wallet forever if you lost it during the creation process.
Your wallet’s maker cannot help you recover it for you if it has been lost or stolen. Because it is stored on a server outside of theirs, it is technically impossible for them to see it as they don’t have access to it.
How to Store the Seed Phrase to be Protected?
Don’t forget to save your recovery phrase somewhere safe, and make sure it’s accessible to you at all times. The two most important things that you should consider when storing your recovery phrase are the following. I would suggest keeping the phrase in a safe place and storing the phrase in a reliable location where you can access it at all times.
The recovery phrase of some people is written on a piece of paper and then kept in a safe deposit box as a backup. Other people use password managers such as 1Password to keep track of their passwords.
There are even those who go so far as to etch the message on a piece of metal and bury it beneath the ground. The two basic principles to keep in mind when choosing a location are: Make sure it’s safe from others and in a place where you’ll always be able to get to it.
It is also possible to split seed phrases in a useful way. When a seed phrase is split into two or more sections and subsequently stored securely, then it is called seed splitting. Both virtual and physical ways of doing this are available to you.
While physical storage is generally considered a safer method of storing crypto funds due to the fact that it does not allow for cybercrime or system malfunctions (both of which can result in a loss of your crypto funds like Bitcoin in the end), there are several ways in which you can do this, and we will discuss them in more detail below.
In order to store split seed phrases, it is recommended that you use steel plates or capsules to store them on or in.
Taking a photo of your seed phrase, using an online seed recovery site, and saving your seed phrase using a password manager app are the worst ways to save a seed phrase.
What Happens if the Seed Phrase is Lost?
Your funds will not be accessible to you if you lost your phrase. Having full access control over your funds means that you are also in charge of making sure your 12-word phrase remains safe, which is your responsibility.
You may be disappointed to find that almost no wallet will be able to offer you your 12-word phrase back to you. Your funds are lost the moment it is lost, so once it is lost, you cannot access them. Your private information is not stored on our servers as a part of your wallets. There is no encryption on your device for the 12-word backup phrase, only on your computer.
Differences Between Private Key and Seed Phrase
Essentially, your private key and your recovery phrase are two halves of the same puzzle. The private key is simply your recovery phrase in a different format, while the recovery phrase is just your private key.
Consequently, it may be difficult for a person to understand what these two concepts are and how they behave, which can make it difficult for them to maintain a safe relationship between them.
Private keys are, by far and away, the most important component of crypto ownership when it comes right down to them. An address on a blockchain is basically a digital storage network, which means that you have full access control of everything that is stored there once you have the private key for that particular address.
Private keys, in their simplest form, are strings of 256 alphanumeric characters that make up the key. It would be very challenging for anyone to write those digits precisely every time they transact.
It is difficult to understand how humans can be trusted to sign transactions using such a complex number, and the process is prone to errors. The problem with private keys is their sheer length, which makes them a potentially risky piece of data due to the fact that mistakes on the blockchain cannot be undone.
When a new wallet is created, a recovery phrase is generated once every time. It can have a length of 12, 18, or 24 words and can be used as a mnemonic phrase or seed phrase. This recovery phrase is different from your private key, which relates to only one blockchain address, but it represents the entire wallet that contains all your private keys, even those stored in backups.
Vulnerabilities Associated with Seed Phrases
The recovery phrase you use when you are trying to recover your cryptocurrency wallet is basically a shorthand for all of your private keys, giving you total access control over your assets, even if you don’t have your wallet – but it also carries a number of vulnerabilities, which should be taken into consideration when managing your wallet.
A recovery phrase, on the other hand, can give instant access to all of the currencies in your wallet, unlike a private key, which represents only one crypto account. This means that if the wrong people obtain your Bitcoin or other cryptos, there is a much greater risk that your crypto will be compromised.
Secondly, and perhaps most importantly, the recovery phrase needs to be physically written down by you and maintained by you, unlike a private key, which always remains concealed inside of your wallet.
This is where you get to decide how secure you want to make it because whichever way you do it, anyone can use it on any wallet – so if someone else gets hold of that phrase, you can consider all of your assets lost.
As a result, let us take a look at the best methods of storing your recovery phrase so that you can make sure that every time you use your wallet, the recovery phrase will always be there to keep your private keys safe.
As long as you have a seed phrase, you are protected from losing and/or stealing your crypto assets, as well as your wallet. In most crypto wallets and some Web3 DApps, they are used as a form of a password and are much safer than traditional passwords.
It should also be noted that their chief benefit – the fact that they are resistant to cracking and theft – can also be a major inconvenience for users who lose this phrase.
I strongly recommend that you do not make a digital copy of your seed phrase and do not keep it anywhere. You should not send the email or text to a friend or send it to yourself in an email or email yourself.
In order to keep track of their seed phrase, some people use password managers, but it’s important to remember that the use of a password manager won’t serve as a foolproof solution since hackers have broken enough weak passwords to gain access to the vault of a person, including seed phrases.