The importance of your seed phrase
As you know, a seed phrase (not your private key) gives you the possibility to restore your cryptocurrency wallet. In that way, your seed phrase is a backup of your wallet. An advanced password to your blockchain wallet. A powerful recovery key.
Your private key is what links you uniquely to your blockchain address, while your seed phrase is a fingerprint of all your blockchain assets that you can use as a back-up if you lose your crypto wallet.
This means that once someone gets their hands on your seed phrase, they can restore your wallet and access your funds from their own computer.
It’s something you have to keep safe in order to protect your funds.
No matter where you are or what device you want to work on, you can always restore a wallet out of thin air with the seed phrase.
Your seed phrase is the best guarantee to recover a lost wallet. If your laptop or cell phone crashes, you can use it to restore your wallet on a new device. It makes your wallet “portable” or “recoverable”.
It’s obvious you need to protect your seed phrase at all costs, right?
Since it is important that only you know your seed phrase, or where it’s stored, you may think it’s a good idea to write it down on a piece of paper.
At first glance, this seems like a safe and secure way. You can keep the piece of paper in a safe place or keep it in a secret location. Yet, there are also quite a few big risks associated with keeping a seed phrase on paper.
Keep reading, because you might want to change your strategy from now on.
Risks of writing your seed phrase on a piece of paper
A piece of paper is perishable
Paper is a perishable material. Think for example of the influence that moisture, sun, or simply time have on paper. It discolors and letters may no longer be legible over time.
If your dog gets a sheet of paper between his teeth, your pet can shred or eat it in no time. Just think of the many stories of people missing out on a fortune because their pet eats a winning lottery ticket or it accidentally disappeared while washing clothes.
The risks of keeping a seed phrase on paper are basically the same.
You may think it’s a safe way to store a seed phrase. But if a fire breaks out or an earthquake occurs, chances are you won’t find the piece of paper again.
And what about keeping the paper in a safe? This can be a good and fireproof solution, but for the price of a secure safe, there are much more secure solutions to keep your seed phrase safe.
You’ll always have to remember the secret code of the safe too. So basically you’ll keep having the same issue, you’re just adding extra layers to it.
Writing your seed phrase on a piece of paper is not safe from theft
Just as you shouldn’t leave cash lying around in your house or in a hotel room, it’s also a good idea to secure your digital capital properly.
Leaving a piece of paper with your seed phrase carelessly somewhere may seem harmless to you, but it is not.
If you are somewhat knowledgeable about cryptocurrencies, you know how it works. It doesn’t take much to use a seed phrase to restore a wallet and spend funds before you have a chance to notice it.
Once you get your seed phrase stolen, it will be very hard to know where your funds are and who has them.
And remember the safe you might can use? In theory, a safe can still be stolen with a piece of paper inside it as well.
Paper is “static”
There is only one copy of a piece of paper containing your seed phrase, unless you print or make copies of it multiple times.
If you only have one copy, then you are extra vulnerable because it is always possible to lose a piece of paper or to get it stolen. So it’s a static way to keep your seed phrase.
But, if you make multiple copies, then you increase the chance of a rogue person getting hold of one of these copies. The more copies you have, the more copies that can get stolen.
Moreover, it is then no longer possible to find out who exactly got hold of a copy. This makes the whole process unverifiable.
If you write your seed phrase on a piece of paper, you’re giving away control
Have you ever thought about what happens to your Bitcoin when you die? You can prepare for this by writing a seed phrase on a piece of paper and keeping this in a safe.
But even then, as we’ve discussed above, there is always a chance that someone will get hold of your seed phrase and unlawfully take your funds.
Because, how do you know for sure that your funds come into the right hands? You won’t be here anymore to manage your inheritance.
These problems clearly show that writing a seed phrase on a piece of paper is not a great idea if you want to keep a peace of mind.
How to always keep control of your seed phrase?
That’s where Safe Haven’s flagship product Inheriti® comes in.
It’s the only safe and 100% decentralized solution to securely backup your seed phrase. And we have multiple patents in different jurisdictions around the world.Back to wiki