BIP39, Seed Phrases- What is it for, and do they have enough security?

What is A Seed Phrase?

Seed phrase or recovery phrase, wallet back up, etc. are a string of words 12 to 24 in length that is the key to access your digital currency wallet. Wallets generate these words. And after entering it, you can access your wallet.

Example of a seed phrase:

(forget stereo follow flip trash achieve correct lucky dinner witness hybrid stereo)

So in fact seed phrase is the private key of your digital wallet. Seed phrase retrieves or create wallets on other operating systems. When you lose your wallet, you can recover it by using a seed phrase because your cryptocurrency will remain safely stored on the blockchain. You can also run a wallet by entering a seed phrase in another operating system. If you have lost your wallet, then do not worry, you can recover your digital currencies by having a seed phrase and entering it in your BIP32 wallet.

What is BIP32?

BIP39 or Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 39 is one of the standards of digital currency wallets. It was approved after Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 39. Also introduced is the standard of Hierarchical Deterministic (HD). The Bitcoin community endorsed it and extended keys to the digital currency. This possibility has improved the interoperability of wallets. You can retrieve your BIP39 wallets by having a list of seed phrase words. 2048 words known as the BIP39 word list that make up these retrieval words are a specific list of words. When you set up your BIP39 wallet, it takes 12-24 words to retrieve these phrases.

If you create a new wallet, seed phrase randomly chosen from the standard BIP39 word list will be created for you by the wallet. The wallet will prompt you to store the recovery key in a safe place. These wallets also generate private keys (algorithmically derived from the long string of numbers). You can send or spend your crypto by having it. The easy-to-access documentation on supported BIP standards allows the user to access their wallet without the need for proof of identity.

Can BIP39 Word List Be Hacked?

As we said there are 2048 words in the BIP39 word list. For each combination wallet, 12 words are created, ie 128 bits of security. In fact, someone who intends to attack must perform 2128 operations to guess a 12-word seed. The longer the seed phrase, the harder it is to guess. So this is practically impossible because even with good resources and systems it is impossible.

Why Use Simple Words?

This is because if a numeric password is selected, it is difficult to remember. But you can easily memorize this set of words and the risk of forgetting it is much less. So by having a seed phrase, you can have your own wallet with the private keys that are related to your digital currencies. As a result, the seed phrase can hold a large number of your private keys.

How To Protect Seed Phrases Offline

There are many programs on the market that you can use to set this password for your seed phrase stored somewhere offline. You can also rename their file to make it less recognizable. For example, when you save a seed phrase in a New Text Document, you can change the (.txt) format to an unspecified format such as XYZ. Also, use online services and cloud spaces such as encrypted Google Drive or iCloud and keep your seed phrase secure.

BIP39 Wallet List

Hardware Wallets:

Software Wallets: