Seed-phrase education

2 min readMay 7, 2024

Seed-phrase, also known as backup, recovery phrase, mnemonic phrase or secret words, is a key element in protecting your cryptocurrency assets. It is a set of 12 or 24 words used to generate private keys that allow you to dispose of your coins.

The concept of a Seed-phrase

A Seed-phrase is not as simple as it seems, it is a mathematical structure capable of revealing vast amounts of information. The importance of its word order cannot be underestimated, as any changes invalidate it. The selection of words for a seed-phrase comes from a specific dictionary (most often in English), such as the bip-39 dictionary.

Seed-phrase generation

When you create a new wallet, for example in DecimalChain or Metamask, a random 128/192/256-bit number for a seed-phrase of 12/18/24 words is generated, respectively. This number is split into pairs of 11 bits, where each pair corresponds to a word in the bip-39 dictionary. The last word is the checksum of the entire seed-phrase.

Protecting your Seed Phrase

It is important to keep your seed phrase secret, as it is the only key to managing your coins. If your seed-phrase is compromised, your crypto-assets also become vulnerable. For this reason, it is recommended that you keep a physical copy of your seed-phrase in a safe place. For example, this could be a notepad that is locked in a safe. Alternatively, you can use more time-resistant devices that allow you to memorize all the words in the right order.

The difficulty of guessing a Seed-phrase

Many people might think that guessing a set of 12 words should not be that difficult. However, given that the words are chosen from a list of 2048 words, the number of possible combinations is enormous. Especially if we are talking about the 24 words used in the Decimal blockchain. Even the most powerful supercomputers will take an unimaginably long time to find your seed phrase.


Seed-phrase is an important tool for protecting your cryptocurrency assets. It should be handled with extreme care, keeping it secret and in a safe place. Understanding how the seed phrase works will help you better protect your assets and give you confidence in their safety.

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