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Mnemonic Phrases BIP39


Mnemonic phrases BIP39 are a standard methodology for creating and recovering cryptocurrency wallets. They consist of a specific set of words chosen from a 2048-word dictionary and serve as a convenient way to backup and restore wallets. They allow you to easily memorize and recover your funds in case of wallet access loss or device damage. The seed phrase is not tied to your wallet (software or hardware). It can be restored on any other wallet such as Exodus, Trezor, Ledger, etc. Private keys for cryptocurrencies are generated using this phrase.

Is it Safe to Use 12 Words Compared to 24 Words?

In short, the answer is yes. The number of possible combinations for 12 words is 2048^12 ≈ 2.04 x 10^39. Assuming the speed of testing combinations is 1 million per second, the cracking time can be calculated as follows: (2.04 x 10^33 seconds) / (31,536,000 seconds) ≈ 6.48 x 10^25 years. It is evident that a 12-word phrase provides excellent protection.

Why would you need a 24-word phrase then? It is generated by default in Trezor One and is difficult to memorize. To use 12 words in Trezor One, you can generate them using SeedTool.org and select the wallet recovery mode.

recovery mode

In practice, 24 words provide greater protection only in the case of a theft of the word set in an unknown order, such as during the process of entering the phrase into a wallet. For this purpose, Trezor wallet has protection: during the phrase entry, it asks for additional randomly selected words to increase their number. If you enter the phrase directly into the wallet without involving a keyboard or if you are confident in the cleanliness of your computer, then a 12-word phrase is definitely sufficient and easier to memorize (a phrase that can be memorized is less likely to be lost). Otherwise, use more words.

Usually, the phrase is automatically generated by the wallet. This SeedTool.org can help you create your own phrase with a length ranging from 12 to 24 words to make it easier for you to memorize. The website will find the last word based on the checksum. However, do not use simple logical phrases and established expressions!!! Your phrase should be complex! This is very important! Simply use words that are easier for you personally to remember.

Which Wallets Use the BIP39 Mnemonic Phrase?

BIP39 mnemonic phrases are widely supported in many popular cryptocurrency wallets. Some of the most well-known wallets that support BIP39 include Ledger Nano S, Trezor, Exodus, Electrum, and MyEtherWallet. When choosing a wallet, make sure it supports the BIP39 (bitcoin improvement proposal) standard. By memorizing a single phrase, you will have access to all your cryptocurrencies.

How to Securely Store the Mnemonic Phrase?

Proper storage of the BIP39 mnemonic phrase is crucial for ensuring the security of your funds. Here are some storage tips:

  1. Physical Storage: It is recommended to write down the mnemonic phrase on paper or metal and store it in a secure location where it is not at risk of loss, fire, or theft.
  2. Offline Storage: Use "cold storage" to keep the mnemonic phrase on an offline device not connected to the internet, such as a hardware wallet.
  3. Phrase Splitting: Split the mnemonic phrase into multiple parts and store them in different secure locations. This can reduce the risk of loss if one of the storage locations becomes inaccessible. This is particularly relevant for longer phrases.
  4. Use a Strong Password: If you store the mnemonic phrase digitally, encrypt it with a strong password and store it on a secure electronic device or in an encrypted data storage.

Make sure to take all necessary precautions to secure your BIP39 mnemonic phrase. If the phrase is lost or compromised, it may be impossible to regain access to your funds.

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