How to Protect Your Crypto Wallet Seed Phrase

One of the awesome aspects of decentralized cryptocurrencies is that they have no borders or frontiers: providing you keep your seed phrase safe, you can access your funds anywhere and transact value with whomever you please. No intermediaries required.

The above, of course, assumes that the user has self-custodied his or her funds, i.e. in a hardware/cold storage wallet. A great many users continue to keep their assets in ‘hot’ wallets on cryptocurrency exchanges (‘third-party custody’), eliminating the hassle of worrying about private keys altogether.

Let’s assume, since you’re reading this article, that you fall into the former camp…

Safeguarding Your Seed

Although a seed phrase is often compared to a password, it’s quite a bit longer, typically being represented by a 12, 18, or 24-word code that lies at the core of private key generation for every crypto-asset you hold. It is actually more comparable to the master key owned by hotel managers: even if keys to all rooms are mislaid, the master key is able to open any locked doors.

Remembering or otherwise safeguarding one’s mnemonic phrase is, in a sense, the price one pays for the heightened privacy and security that hardware wallets provide.

You see, the randomness of a seed phrase makes it incredibly difficult to recall — particularly if your phrase is 24 words long. However, this complexity provides peace of mind since it cannot be guessed or brute-forced. Unlike passwords lying on a centralized server, seed phrases don’t live in one location that is vulnerable to hackers.

Even if one’s memory is especially strong, it is considered highly risky to memorize your seed phrase. After all, what if your memory suddenly fails you? Or, god forbid, you suffer a head injury that causes memory loss? It’s a major gamble to take if your crypto funds represent a significant sum!

With your seed phrase being the only backup in the event that you lose or break your physical wallet (or forget the PIN code that enables you to access it), it’s essential to think long and hard about the best way to store it. It isn’t like forgetting your internet banking password, where you can call up the bank and explain your situation. If your seed phrase goes missing, you have only yourself (or those wicked angels of fate) to blame.

When first setting up your hardware wallet, you will be asked to copy the seed phrase word for word as it appears on the display screen. Though it might be tempting to note the words down in a document on your laptop or smartphone, this action would, to put it mildly, be inadvisable. In fact, you should never store your seed phrase on any application or device that is internet-enabled. Doing so would be like concealing a holdall stuffed with banknotes in the hall cupboard — then leaving your front door unlocked.

Since you’ve already gone to the trouble of purchasing a hardware wallet, let’s assume you’re not that cavalier. Instead of jotting down your seed phrase on a digital device, your best bet — at least initially — is to store it offline.

For many, this means jotting their seed phrase in a notebook and then stashing that notebook somewhere safe: under a floorboard, in a home safe, in a deposit box at the bank: it’s really up to the person. This alternative has its own dangers, though. What if a tornado sweeps your house away? Unlikely but not impossible if you live in certain parts of the world. What if a fire or flood guts your property? What if the bank is robbed?

While paper and offline documents on thumb drives serve a purpose, more advanced solutions like the Cryptosteel Capsule provide a better option. The pocket-sized device for autonomous offline storage is designed to survive extreme conditions, its fire- and waterproof shell impervious to both natural disasters and hackers. Of course, there is the question of where to store the Cryptosteel Capsule itself. The point is, wherever you store it, it will be immune to the elements.

Your Keys, Your Crypto

As mentioned, seed phrases can be 12, 18 or 24 words long. In the case of the Revuto wallet, it’s 24 words. Like any other non-custodial solution, we are always at pains to impress upon our users the importance of safely retaining their private keys. After all, much as we’d love to help a Revutonian who gets locked out of their wallet, our hands are tied!

The Revuto wallet, like the Cryptosteel Capsule, has been developed with security and convenience in mind. The robust non-custodial wallet allows users to uphold the “your keys, your crypto” ethos: simply by entering one’s mnemonic, it is possible to restore Revuto wallets within the mobile app.

It bears repeating that the wallet is fully compatible with all Cardano-native assets — though we’re starting with Cardano’s native ADA token and, of course, our own REVU token.

Speaking of ADA, Revuto will use Chainlink’s industry-leading price feeds for the ADA/USD and ADA/EUR trading pairs. The data will be displayed in our app/wallet, and there are plans to incorporate it into our staking mechanism further down the line.

Since unveiling the wallet, we have been overwhelmed by the uptake among the Cardano community. To date, there have been 21,054 wallets created with 2,124 claims finished. We could not be happier about the response we’ve received from the community, and trust us, we’re intending to repay it in spades.

Stay tuned.

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