A seed phrase, also known as a mnemonic seed or mnemonic phrase, is a set of words that serves as a key to access your cryptocurrency wallet.
While the terms “mnemonic seed” or “mnemonic phrase” are commonly used to convey this concept, some argue they are misleading, suggesting the need for memorization.
Introduced in Bitcoin via BIP39, seed phrases offer a simpler backup solution for wallets. If you lose wallet access, you can input these phrases into any BIP32-compatible wallet to restore your funds. The BIP39 wordlist consists of 2048 words, ensuring that a 12-word string provides 128 bits of security. This translates to an attacker requiring an astronomically high number of operations (2^128) to crack a 12-word seed, making it extremely improbable.
Compared to private keys, seed phrases reduce the chance of errors during backups due to their easier recording and transmission. Moreover, they possess the capability to generate a vast number of keys from a single master one. Consequently, users can create numerous receiving addresses, preventing address reuse and enhancing security.
Seed phrases transcend cryptocurrency boundaries; a single seed can recover an entire array of coins and tokens. Leading wallets commonly support seed phrase recovery, assuming the phrase is accurately recorded.
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