If you've been in the crypto-space for any amount of time you've no doubt heard this term before. A seed phrase also referred to as a recovery phrase, or a mnemonic phrase is quite simply put, just a sequence of words that conform to a certain standard.
However, this sequence of words holds significant value, as they are the only way to regain access to cryptocurrency on a wallet that has been lost, stolen or damaged.
- How is your seed phrase generated
- Variations in seed phrase length
- Why your seed phrase is important
- How you should store your seed phrase
How is your seed phrase generated
The seed phrase is randomly generated using the software on your cryptocurrency wallet. However, the software relies on your private key to do so, and in carrying out this process a sequence of words will be generated from a list of 2,048 English words called the BIP39 Wordlist. There are also tools available that allow you to generate your own random seed phrase which you can then import to the device you are using to store your digital assets.
Variations in seed phrase length
Not all cryptocurrency wallets will give you the choice of how long you'd like your seed phrase to be. But it's important to bear in mind that seeds can come in a variety of different lengths including; 12, 15, 18, 21, and 24 words. Where possible, we'd strongly encourage the use of a 24-word seed phrase, as this increase in complexity makes it magnitudes harder for a bad actor to gain access to your wallet.
Why your seed phrase is so important
We are often concerned by the lack of understanding people have of seed phrases and just how important they are in the era of self-sovereignty. So, we often ask people, when was the last time you lost something? a piece of paper or even the TV remote? Now, think about how many gadgets you've broken over the years? We are naturally clumsy, forgetful and downright foolish sometimes. Therefore, it stands to reason that you should take measures to protect your digital assets from yourself.
Cryptocurrency values are showing no sign of slowing down, and with one cryptocurrency wallet capable of storing large quantities of multiple different digital assets it's never been more important to protect your seed phrase - the last line of defence.
How should you store your seed phrase
Okay, now we're getting to the fun part.
Let's start with some reassurance; no one is expecting you to memorise your seed phrase! (although it would be handy). So, let's have a look at the other options available for seed phrase storage.
- Paper - Good old fashioned paper, just simply writing your seed phrase down on a piece of paper, whilst not by any means the most reliable solution, it's far safer than storing your seed phrase on your phone or computer where hackers can easily access it.
- Metal storage - Engraving your seed phrase into a sheet of stainless steel or titanium is, without doubt, the most durable, long-term solution available on the market today. Making your seed phrase practically indestructible by protecting it against water damage, extreme temperatures, corrosive chemicals and more. Furthermore, in order to use this method of storage, many products require you to convert your seed phrase into a numerical format - providing an additional layer of protection for your all-important seed phrase.
We don't take cryptocurrency storage and security lightly, and neither should you. Understanding the importance of a seed phrase is paramount, and putting measures in place to protect it should be a high priority for all cryptocurrency holders. Remember, everyone has access to the same self-custody tools, therefore we encourage you to utilise them as best you can in order to keep your digital assets safe for generations to come.
We stock a wide range of seed phrase storage solutions from brands we trust and use ourselves, if you need any questions answered then please reach out to us and we'll be more than happy to help.