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Secret Recovery Phrase (Seed Phrase)
Secret Recovery Phrase (Seed Phrase)

Explanation of a secret recovery phrase also known as seed phrase

Stef Codjia avatar
Written by Stef Codjia
Updated over a week ago

A secret recovery phrase also know as seed phrase is a series of 24 words generated by your cryptographic wallet that give you access to the funds associated with that wallet. Think of a wallet as being similar to a password manager, and the secret recovery phrase as being like the master password. As long as you have keep your secret safe, you’ll have access to all of the funds associated with the wallet that generated the phrase — even if you delete the or lose your device.


  • Since only you know the secret recovery phrase, keeping track of it is of the utmost importance.

  • Anyone with your secret recovery phrase can gain access to your crypto.

  • If you delete or lose your wallet without carefully saving your secret recovery phrase, you lose access to your funds. (Just talk to Stefan Thomas, who lost access to hundreds of millions of dollars worth of bitcoin a few years ago)

How does the blockchain know which funds are yours? It uses algorithmically generated password-like codes that only the holder has access to. When you first set up a cryptographic wallet — whether it’s a software wallet like or hardware wallet like Ledger — it generates a series of simple words, which is your secret recovery phrase. The wallet also uses the phrase to create private keys — which allow you to stake or send your funds.

The reason that the secret recovery phrase is a series of 24 simple words (like “army,” “energy,” “fabric,” “lucky,” “opera,” “stereo,” “trash,” or “void”) rather than a numeric password is because long strings of numbers are difficult for humans to remember or even transcribe correctly — think of how hard it can be to input a too-long wifi password. Your secret recovery phrase unlocks your wallet, along with the private keys associated with all the funds in the wallet.

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