What is a Seed Phrase? (a.k.a. Recovery Phrase)

 What is a Seed Phrase?

Learn how to use and secure this string of 12 to 24 words, which is basically the key to your crypto.


A seed phrase is a string of words created by your cryptocurrency wallet and used to get access to the crypto linked with it. Consider a wallet to be a crypto version of a password manager, with the seed phrase serving as the master password. You'll have access to all of the crypto linked with the wallet that created the phrase as long as you have your seed phrase — even if you delete or lose the wallet.

If you have created a non-custodial wallet such as Metamask or Trust Wallet, you may have seen a message that warns you to keep your seed phrase secure.

The concept of "self-sovereignty" is one of the fundamental ideas of cryptocurrencies: you should be able to access your bitcoin without having to confirm your identity, and you shouldn't have to rely on a bank or other organization to keep it secure. The blockchain — which both stores and secures your crypto through a peer-to-peer network of computers distributed around the world — is the technology that cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum employ to do this.

How does the blockchain figure out which cryptocurrency belongs to you? It employs algorithmically generated password-like codes that are only accessible to the owner. When you initially set up a crypto wallet, whether it's a software wallet like Metamask Wallet or a hardware wallet like Trezor, it produces a string of basic words called a seed phrase. The seed is also used by the wallet to generate private keys, which are used to transmit and spend your cryptocurrency. Consider the wallet to be a crypto-version of a password manager, with the seed phrase serving as the master password.

Because long strings of numbers are difficult for humans to remember or even transcribe correctly, the seed phrase is a series of 12 to 24 simple words (like "army," "energy," "fabric," "lucky," "opera," "stereo," "trash," or "void") rather than a numeric password. Consider how difficult it is to input a too-long wifi password. Your seed phrase opens your wallet, as well as the private keys for all of the crypto within.

Anyone with your seed phrase can gain access to your crypto. 

How does a seed phrase work?

A seed phrase is automatically created when you establish a crypto wallet. The seed phrase is a lengthy string of random integers that your wallet uses to produce the private keys that allow you to transmit and spend your cryptocurrency.

The standard also makes large wallets intercompatible: if you want to switch wallets, all you have to do is enter your seed phrase into the new wallet, and your crypto will appear there.

You can even reconstruct a wallet using only your seed phrase if you lose or delete it.
It's critical to keep your seed phrase protected against hackers, phishing assaults, or even simple loss.

How can you store a seed phrase safely?

Splitting a seed phrase across safe deposit boxes in various locations (ensuring redundancy in case one of the sites fails) is one of the most effective ways to safeguard it. Obviously, this isn't very practical.
Some individuals carve seed words onto durable materials like stainless steel using specialist services.
For many people, merely writing down their seed word and keeping copies in many secure places is sufficient.

What happens if you lose your seed phrase?

You lose access to your crypto if you toss out the piece of paper on which your seed phrase is written, forget which book you buried it in, or die without passing it on to a successor. Your crytocurrency will be safely kept on the blockchain until someone steals your seed phrase, but you (or your successors) will have no method of accessing it. So be sure to save your seed phrase! You lose access to your crypto if you lose your seed phrase.

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What’s the difference between a seed phrase and a private key?

Private keys are algorithmically produced from the lengthy string of numbers represented by your seed phrase and allow you to transmit or spend some of your Bitcoin, Ethereum, or other crypto.
Your seed phrase grants you access to your wallet as well as all of its private keys. You may think of a crypto wallet as a password manager for your cryptocurrency: as long as you know your master password (the seed phrase), you have access to all of the related cryptocurrency.

While decentralisation of your funds has its advantages, it also comes with its risk.

It is extremely important for you to keep this seed phrase secure, and never share it with anyone!

Be Careful of Scams!

If you've ever engaged in any online crypto groups, you should be aware that some individuals may have pretended to be members of the support staff in order to assist you with your problem.

The vast majority of these groups have a policy of not sending you a direct message (DM) initially. This implies that anyone who sends you a DM is almost certainly a fraudster!

Furthermore, these support staff representatives will never ask for your seed phrase in order to assist you in resolving your issue. If the 'support personnel' asks for your seed phrase, this is a massive red flag.

The 'support staff' will have complete control of your finances once you give them your seed word!

As a result, use extreme caution and never reveal your seed phrase to anybody!

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