The Use Of Mnemonics In Bitcoin

As Cryptocurrencies are becoming more popular, so is the number of newbies creating mnemonic recovery phrases to secure their digital assets. It is good to know how your private keys are stored to remain safe when your device that holds your funds or your wallet client develops any problem. Various mnemonic phrases are different as some have more challenging derivation paths than others. Let’s discuss mnemonic seed and how they work.

Introduction To Cryptocurrency Seed Phrase

 Cryptocurrency Seed PhraseA mnemonic seed is used for numerous wallets and lets the users use 12, 18 or 24-word phrase linked to their private keys. The ancient Greeks introduced the use of mnemonic, or ‘memoria technica’ when Aristotle and Plato theorized some types of logic.

Mnemonic is a way of reproducing something difficult to remember by linking it to something that is easy to remember. For instance, the knuckle mnemonic reproduces a series of data that is hard to recall by using the number of days in each month. When private keys are linked to Cryptocurrencies, the list of words written as a background contains enough information that can help you to recover the money to another wallet in case of any misfortune. A reliable wallet’s software securely and randomly links a private key to a mnemonic recovery expression.

The various BIP 39 Mnemonic Phrase Supporting Wallets Restore Differently

The Cryptocurrency wallets that rely on mnemonic seeds run on an implementation known as BIP 39. This implementation allows private keys to be tied to a group of simple words. The set of words becomes your private key when you write a seed to a new wallet. You should not share your mnemonic recovery phase with anyone as it gives them access to your funds. To further enhance the security of your funds, use longer mnemonics. To keep your account safe:

  • Never share your seed with anyone.
  • Never type the seed on any website.
  • Write it down on a piece of paper and never store it electronically.
  • The various BIP 39 implementations are different because they use

varying derivation paths. For instance, seeds from wallets such as Blockchain, Copay, and Ledger are incompatible with Multibit and BRD (Bread) seeds. Some of the most common derivation paths used by most wallets are BIP 32, 44, 49, 84, and 141. The compatibility of your wallet seed with the other wallets depends on the wallet’s seed implementation. Establishing wallets that can restore your funds is crucial especially after breaking your Ledger Nano or loss of your mobile phones.

Understanding Your Seed Keeps You Safe From Unfortunate Issues

You should keep your mnemonic recovery phase as safe as those who access it can steal your funds. Although writing it down on a piece of paper is the most common way of storing it, there are risks such as burning or deterioration of the paper after some time. You can laminate the paper or etch the seeds in steel. Some people also use products such as Cryptosteel. When people have a good understanding of private keys and mnemonic, it becomes easy to keep their accounts safe and restore funds.