What is a Seed Phrase? – A Complete Guide For Beginners

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Dealing in the crypto world could make a beginner scratch his head. It takes time for a person to learn and understand all the confusing concepts and jargons involved in it. Almost all of the cryptocurrencies in the world are operated on the blockchain technology as it keeps the assets safe and secures the funds of the users.

However, when user tries to access the assets and funds that are stored in the blockchain network, the blockchain also needs a hint to recognize whether he is the correct person or not. For this purpose, it generates a seed phrase for identification. Here is a comprehensive guide for the readers to elaborate the use and importance of seed phrase in blockchain technology.

What is a Seed Phrase?

A seed phrase also known as recovery phrase sometimes, is actually a password that is generated by the crypto wallet. It consists of a group of random words that permits the owner of the wallet to get the access to the funds stored inside it.

To better understand this concept, consider the seed phrase as the master password for a wallet. In case, if the assets stored in the wallet are lost or deleted by the owner, he can use the recovery phrase to get them back. This means as long as one knows the seed phrase of a wallet, all his funds that were linked with the phrase when the phrase was created are safe with him and he can get them back whenever he wants.

In case the user forgets the password to access his wallet, he can use the seed phrase to access it. Therefore, one can also refer the seed phrase as the master key of the crypto wallet. As mentioned before, it can be used to recover all the crypto assets lost if some one loses the wallet or gets it deleted by mistake.

Why Is a Seed Phrase Required?

While dealing with the cryptocurrency, the users are provided with the two keys to access their wallets, the private key and the public key. The public key can be shared with others that helps the owner of the wallet to receive funds through transactions. However, the private key is to be kept secret with the owner that enables the owner to access the wallet by entering it.

Private keys are usually 25 bits sequence that are impossible for a normal person to learn. Therefore, the seed phrase exists that provides it users a convenient way of integrating with the private keys by using random daily life words.

What Does a Seed Phrase Look Like?

The user of the wallet cannot customize or create the seed phrase by himself as it is auto generated by the cryptocurrency wallet. There exists a long list of random words that are almost 2048 in total. The seed phrase is innately generated by choosing some random words from that list. It is actually a group of random words that make up a long string constituting the seed phrase.

Though generated randomly, the words in the list are simplified while creating the seed phrase and are not kept complex or lengthy for the ease of the user so that he can remember it easily in the future. These are words that are generally used in daily life such as road, tree, close etc. However, in order to avoid any sort of confusion, a key word does not consist of same kind of words in pairs, such as man and men cannot be a part of a same key phrase.

The concept of these phrases was introduced in 2013, by the 39th Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP). It established this concept of recovery seeds as to determine the real owner of the wallet. All the private keys for a wallet are integrated with the seed phrase.

In case if anyone has lost his funds accidently or he wants to switch the wallet, the recover phrase can help him to get a new compatible wallet where he can recover his funds easily. This is because majority of the wallets can be made cross compatible by using the recovery phrase.

Is the Seed Phrase Needed Every Time to Access the Wallet?

No, the seed phrase is not needed every time one has to access his wallet. In case one loses his funds or assets, the recovery phrase can help him to recover them back. Some of the main uses of the recovery phrases are given below.

To Generate a Wallet

In case, one wants to generate a wallet on the mobile phone or desktop. The wallet will generate the seed phrase of 12 to 24 words randomly. This is to be used as the backup in case the assets are lost.

To Restore a Wallet

In case, one wants to transfer his wallet from one hardware device to another, it can be done using a seed phrase. For example, of one wants to access the wallet on the desktop that he initially created on the mobile phone, one can simply do it by entering the seed phrase.

To Get Back the Deleted Wallet Application

The wallet application provides the opportunity to the users to access their assets on the blockchain. In any circumstances, if the wallet application gets deleted, one can restore it by using the seed phrase. The wallet is temporarily deleted from the device, but it still exists on the blockchain. Therefore, one can recover it by entering the seed phrase.

To Recover a Lost Wallet

In case in any mishappening or a scam, if one loses the hardware device where he was using the wallet, he should immediately access it through another device by using a seed phrase.

What is the Difference Between a Recovery Phrase and Private Key?

Though the recovery phrase is connected to the private keys of the wallet, but they both are different from each other in reality. A privacy key is used for the purpose of keeping the transactions secured and safe by pointing out the blockchain address. One has to prove the ownership of the wallet in order to access it by using the private key.

On the other hand, the recovery phrase is used to recover the crypto wallet. In case, anyone forgets the password of his wallet, the recovery phrase can be used to get it back. Therefore, it is termed as the master key of crypto wallet. By using the recover phrase, the owner can get his hands over the private keys too that are stored in wallets owned by him.

The main aim of using these keys and phrases is that the assets could be controlled by the owner himself. In any situation, if the hardware device of the user gets damaged or broken, he can still access to the crypto assets stored in the blockchain network using the seed phrase.

As a particular phone holds a specific charger, similarly each wallet has a specific recovery phrase. The recovery phrase facilitates the users that by using their crypto wallets, they can easily access their crypto accounts.

How can be the Seed Phrase Memorized?

Though one can keep the seed phrase in black and white but remembering it is considered a trustworthy option for the user. Here are some ways to memorize the seed phrase.

Paper

One can write the seed phrase on a paper and then store it at a safer place. Though writing on the paper involves the risk of been torn, lost or burnt, but still it is considered the safest and convenient option by the users. The professionals also claim that it is a feasible and less complicated method of storing the seed phrase safely.

Brainwallet

In the past, when the technology had not advanced much, it was a common practice to remember the passwords by memorizing them by heart. Same was the case with the seed phrase. An excellent memory is always a successful backup plan. Though it involves a lot of risk as repeating it daily is mandatory to ensure memorizing it correctly.

USB Drive

One can also keep the seed phrase safe in a USB. Though it is not considered a reliable option by the experts. As the USB could be broken easily or can be stolen too. Moreover, it can undergo data corruption procedure. Then to access the seed phrase stored in the USB a laptop or desktop would be needed too that may not be available everywhere. Moreover, storing the seed phrase in a device that could be connected to the internet is never encouraged by the experts.

Metal

Not much convenient though, still the seed phrase could also be secured by engraving it on a metal piece and storing the piece at a safe place.

Is It Possible to Hack the Recovery Phrase?

Owning the cryptocurrency involves a lot of risk. One can lose all the assets and funds within seconds if any cybercriminal gets his hands over his wallet. Similarly, if a hacker or scammer gets his hands over the recovery phrase of any user’s wallet, the funds and assets cannot be recovered at any cost. As cryptocurrency is getting hyped all around the world, similarly the scammers are also getting advanced in their technology and techniques.

The cybercriminals are all time ready to get their hands over the wallets of the crypto owners. Thy are always looking forward to cracking the passwords and recovery phrases of the wallets. This tradition is increasing in practice day by day. Losing a recover phrase means that one can never get back his assets by any means. Therefore, sharing the recovery phrase with anyone should be avoided as much as possible.

In case the recovery phrase consists of many words in a random order, it becomes difficult for the cybercriminals to hack it. The scammers usually use the phishing method to access any seed phrase of a crypto wallet. They usually scam the users by sending them emails through an unknown address and pretend to be the officials of the customer support service. Then they ask the users for the private keys or the recovery phrase for some official purpose, trying to trap them.

Many a times the user falls for such scams easily. In case the user shares it with them, they can empty the wallet within seconds leaving no way out for the user to recover it back. Therefore, it is always advised to never trust anyone and share the private keys or phrase with others.

What Could Losing a Seed Phrase Do?

It is considered to be a nightmare if one loses his seed or recovery phrase accidently or in a scam. The seed phrase cannot be recovered at any cost if one loses it and similar is the case with the funds stored in the wallet.

If one hands over the recovery phrase to anyone or gets scammed by any phishing attack and enters the seed phrase on a malicious website, he will suddenly lose all his crypto assets in no time. Moreover, one should write the private keys or recovery phrase in a place where only he can access it. one should avoid writing it in any diary or place at home or workplace where any other person can see it or get his hands over it.

In addition to writing the seed phrase at a safer place, it is also important to copy it at places where no one can destroy it and he can recover it in case it gets lost or is stolen by any external entity.

Can the Seed Phrase Be Guessed Easily?

Even the owner of the wallet cannot set the words in the seed phrase by his own as the cryptocurrency wallet generates the seed phrase randomly. This practice makes it very difficult for any external entity to crack or guess it. Moreover, the lengthy and complex nature of the seed phrase makes it more impossible for the scammers to guess the complete seed phrase right as it usually consists of almost 12 to 24 words.

What are the Ways of Keeping the Seed Phrase Safer?

Losing a seed phrase can cause a permanent damage to the wallet of a crypto owner that is inevitable. There one should try to protect the seed phrase in the best way possible. Here are some ways that could help the users in securing their seed phrases.

Keep the Seed Phrase Private

One should refrain from sharing the recovery password with anyone. Never reveal the phrase in front of any other person. In case anyone gets hold of the recovery phrase of a person’s wallet, he can easily control the wallet transactions and can also empty all the funds stored in the wallet within no time.

Note It Down and Secure It a Safe Place

Though an old school method, still it is considered reliable and safer option to keep the recovery phrase safe. One can just write the recovery phrase at a safe place and store it to protect it from any external entity. To ensure extra security, one should try storing it at a waterproof and a fireproof place to protect it in case of any calamity too.

Use a Password Manager to Store the Seed Phrase

A digital vault that is encrypted and helps to store all the sensitive information of a person such as passwords, usernames, or any other information such as phrases is called as Password manager. The user needs to memorize the password of the password manager and then store all the passwords in that vault. Onepassword and Lastpass are some of the well-known password managers known.

Normalizing this practice of storing the passwords in the password manager holds a lot of benefits for the users. It provides additional security to the crypto wallet by securing the seed phrase. Similarly, it also forms a stronger backup option for the users if they create a secondary password too. The secondary password is known as passphrase.

Use Coinbase Wallet

One can also use the mobile version of the Coinbase wallet to secure the seed phrase. This is also encrypted and can easily secure the recovery phrase of the user. This wallet is different from the wallet that one uses to trade crypto.

Create Multiple Copies

One should create multiple copies of the recovery phrase and keep them at different yet secured places. This will help him recover the phrase if he loses it accidently. Moreover, a copy of the recovery phrase should also be kept safe offline where the user can access it easily at the time of need. Though, it is not a very reliable method as multiple places will need more security measures.

Conclusion

Seed phrase is very important while trading in crypto. It ensures the safety and security of the user’s wallet and help him recover his assets in case of any mishappening. One should try his best to keep the seed phrase safe with him and never share it with anyone, as it can result in loss of all the crypto assets and funds that can never be recovered back.

 

The post What is a Seed Phrase? – A Complete Guide For Beginners appeared first on Herald Sheets.

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