What are the seeds of a wallet and how to manage it?

The wallets provide us with “phrases” to generate backup copies. Below we explain what the seed wallet is and how to manage it.

When you set up a personal wallet for your cryptocurrencies, you will usually get a phrase that you need to write down to keep your funds safe.

This phrase, also known as a seed, is generated to represent the content of your wallet. With it, you can regain access to your funds; when you forget your password, lose your mobile, or something else happens to you, the situation where you need to restore the app.

Private keys and seeds in your wallet

When you create a wallet for your cryptocurrencies, the application you use automatically generates a series of secret codes called private keys, which will be used to manage your crypto assets.

The utility of these codes in the blockchain is the only way to prove the possession of cryptocurrencies and tokens. Therefore, your wallet needs them to send and receive cryptos.

Since private keys are relatively long alphanumeric codes, their transcription is difficult. The wallet backup process is usually simplified by using seeds; sets of 12 to 24 secret words provided by the application in which you created your wallet can regenerate your private keys in case you had to delete them.

Seeds, also known as “recovery words”, are phrases written in a specific order that is much simpler to read and write than private keys.

They have the added value that they pose a lower risk of transcription errors, so writing them down is easier for users than typing their private keys.

The seed wallet and compatibility between applications

Although the most common procedure to recover a wallet through seed is using the same application used to create it, also possible to do it using other wallets. However, to be possible to do it, the seed needs to be recognized by the application into which it is imported.

It is important to mention, the way a wallet is restored from seed is by using the same algorithm that created it (and not all wallets share this feature).

Thus, not all wallets have seeds that are compatible with each other. Fortunately, it is not uncommon to find wallets that use seeds in the same format, with the BIP39 standard being among the most popular.

When should I use my seed wallet?

Once you download and configure your wallet, the application will recommend you write down the “seed” as a form of prevention in the event of an unforeseen event. This step is very important since this phrase could be necessary in cases such as:

  • When you need to format or reset your device to its factory state, delete the data contained in it, including your crypto wallet.
  • If the application you used as a wallet was accidentally or deliberately deleted.
  • Given the need to import the contents of your wallet into another application you trust or another device without sending the cryptocurrencies or tokens.
  • In case your device is damaged by a virus or hardware failure.

Tips for managing your seed wallet

To ensure the security of your tokens and your investments, here are some useful recommendations to support and use the seed of your wallet without compromising the security of the funds contained in it:

  • Transcribe it on paper and keep it in a safe place.
  • Hide it from the view of third parties; this implies that you should not expose it in forums, groups on social networks, or private chats.
  • Do not store it like photos, screenshots, text files, or Emails; unless you have the capabilities to securely encrypt its content.
  • Do not photocopy in Internet cafes or printers that may be compromised.
  • Don’t import it into apps you don’t trust.

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