Crypto Wallet Keys Recovery – Things You Should Know About Mnemonic Recovery Phrases
Private keys and passwords are meant to keep your cryptocurrencies safe and secure as well as aid their retrieval when necessary. With them in place and some extra security measures, you can keep your cryptos safe indefinitely.
Unfortunately, these get lost or storage devices holding the wallet get damaged. Now, to access the wallet in the event of a loss, you need something called the mnemonic recovery phrase or seed.
This is a group of words that you’re given –and asked to store safely- when you’re creating your wallet, that’s designed to add an extra layer of security. With these phrases, you can easily restore lost wallets if you don’t have the passkey.
How Does The Mnemonic Seed Phrase Work?
The mnemonic seed phrase can be a 12, 18 or 24 word phrase that’s directly connected to your private keys. Think of them as an alternate password or decryption keys in the event of a loss of your private keys.
These are typically provided by your cryptocurrency wallet when you’re setting it up the first time. Longer phrases are typically better than shorter ones as it makes it very hard for hackers and strangers to decrypt.
We do recommend that you write it down and keep it somewhere safe, as it might be the only thing that’ll help you recover your cryptos in the event of storage failure or private key loss.
The mnemonic itself is a memory recall trick used to remember often difficult items, subjects, information or numbers. Think of it as a code of sorts that when used, unlocks the real information.
When most people use this method to recall items, they often do so in an organized fashion. With crypto wallets however, the phrases often contain random, non-organized numbers/words –which is why you need to write it down or take the risk of forgetting it.
These random words are designed in such a way that no one else but you or anyone else who has them, will be able to trace and use them.
BIP 39 Plays An Important Role In Wallet Recovery
The BIP 39 plays an integral role in the use of the mnemonic recovery phrase. It is essentially the link between your wallet’s private keys and the seed phrase.
Without this technology, decrypting or accessing your wallet without those private keys would be virtually impossible. This is what makes it so that your wallet gives you access to your cryptos in the event that you cannot remember your passkeys.
With its 2048 wordlist, it will be virtually impossible for even the most sophisticated of cracking tools to identify and determine which words are linked to which account.
More importantly, the implementation for this can be different depending on the wallet type and the implementation. This is why you may want to lookout for other BIP 39 implementation protocols that are similar to that of your wallet.
This way, even if your wallet develops certain issues, you can easily use the protocol for other wallets to unlock yours.
While identifying only those BIP 39 implementations that are compatible with your wallet is great, you might also want to take note of those wallets with different implementations like that of Keepkey, Jaxx, Copay, Ledger, and Mycelium to mention a few.
Mnemonic Code Converter Can Save the Day
Certain cryptocurrencies can only use certain wallets. For instance, ethereum and other ERC 20 tokens can only use MyEtherWallet and a few other types. Now, if you intend to invest in a wide range of cryptos with their different wallets, memorizing and storing all the various recovery seed phrases can be tasking.
So, some people elect to use the same key for all their wallets. Now, importing this key is a bit tricky, which is why you’ll need a mnemonic code converter. The most popular and convenient code converter is Ian Coleman’s Mnemonic Code Converter.
This converter is great for converting your BIP implementations from one wallet to another, thanks to its possession of all BIP 39 derivation paths. And it doesn’t need the internet to do its conversion.
Using it is as simple as entering your mnemonic and it will go seek out wallets associated with that particular recovery phrase, as well as their private keys and other features/information.
The only downside is that you need to make sure to download the original as hackers have created similar tools with the sole purpose of spying on and stealing your data. You’ll find Ian Coleman’s original app at https://iancoleman.io/bip39/?.
Double Checking Your Seed phrase is Possible
The good news about more recent versions of most crypto wallets is that they allow you view your mnemonic recovery phrase whenever you want, as against the older versions that only show it to you upon installation and setup.
Of course, not all of them do this, but quite a few have incorporated this into their wallets. Some of these wallets have it within them so that you can easily view them whenever you need to. Others like Trezor have a dry run option where you can only view the seed without necessarily unlocking the wallet.
The one thing you should always keep at the back of your mind is that adequate seed phrase security ensures wallet safety. No matter how smart you are –some folks have either an eidetic or photographic memory- you should always write down those numbers or words or keep them safe where you can always retrieve them offline. This is the only way to guarantee that you never lose it.
While writing the phrase down on a paper is good, you need to explore other options like laminating that paper, creating multiple copies and storing them away in safe places, uploading an encrypted copy to secure file servers, engrave them somewhere, or even opt for options like cryptosteel.
Whatever your choice of storage and security, make sure it is very safe and untouchable by anyone else except you or those you’ve designated to access it.