Definition of seed phrase
Seed phrase can be defined as the process of the cryptocurrency wallet to generate a number of unrelated words to let users access stored crypto.
Recovery phrase is equivalent to a master password in the eventuality of a loss or misplacement .As long as the recovery phrase is accessible, it allows entrance to all crypto linked to the wallet that created the phrase. The seed phrase can help retrieve a crypto wallet if a user forgets a password.
The look of seed phrase
A seed phrase is constituted from a long thread of unrelated words. Unlike typical passwords made of an array of numbers and special characters, seed phrases are made in a simplified manner in order for the individual to remember them.
Bitcoin improvement proposal -(BIP)-39 in 2013 established specific phrases, consisting between 12 and 24 words, and a standard form for deterministic wallets.
The private keys linked to a deterministic wallet are controlled by a seed phrase. It is also possible to load the recovery phrase to another compatible wallet, in order for users to access their funds when they are lost.
How does a recovery phrase compare to a private key
Both recovery phrase and private key can be used for ensuring the safety of a cryptocurrency wallet. However, they differ on the fact that the recovery phrase is used to recover the wallet in the eventuality the password was forgotten, whereas the private key is used to validate cryptocurrency transactions by proving identity and ownership.
The recovery phrase therefore allows users to access their blockchain assets and all crypto accounts used by the user, even if they are lost or damaged.
As the seed phrase is a master key to access cryptocurrency wallets, if hacked by attackers damage is inevitable and the crypto funds will not be able to be recovered. Therefore, it is advised not to share information with anyone.
However, the very nature of the seed phrase, made from a large array of random words, makes hacking very difficult. One of the ways in which attackers can gain access to seed phrases is by sending emails as a customer support system and asking for the phrase or private key.
Loss of a seed phrase
In the case a cryptocurrency owner loses or forgets their seed phrase, it is not recoverable. Therefore, in order to ensure the safety of all crypto assets, it is advisable to keep a copy of the seed phrase and store it in a safe place and not share it with others.
It is very difficult to be able to guess a seed phrase, as it is a random generation of words and consists of 12 to 24 word combinations.
Seed phrase safety
The following tips will help protect crypto seed phrase and ensure its safety:
Recovery phrases access all crypto funds held the wallet, therefore it is advisable not to share it with others
An old fashioned manner of storage such as making a note on paper and storing it in a secure location, may actually be the best way to keep the phrase safe. Additionally storing it in a fireproof and waterproof safe would be an ideal location.
Another safe way to store a seed is to deposit it in a password manager, that is a digital vault which is encrypted to be able to keep safe sensitive information. In this way the user only has to remember one password instead of various different ones.
Lastly, Onepassword and Lastpass are characterized by stronger additional security by including a secondary password.