April 23, 2023

What is a "secret phrase"?

TL;DR - The secret phrase is responsible for ensuring that you can always recover access to your cryptocurrencies. It is a unique combination of words generated during wallet setup, backed by advanced cryptography and high-entropy word sequences for optimal security.

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In the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency, securing your digital assets is of paramount importance. Enter the Tellaw Crypto Wallet - your reliable companion for managing your cryptocurrencies. One crucial aspect of securing your Tellaw Wallet is understanding the importance of the "secret phrase." In this blog post, we'll delve into what a secret phrase is and why it's essential for safeguarding your crypto assets.

What is a secret recovery phrase?

A secret phrase, often referred to as a mnemonic phrase, seed phrase, or recovery phrase, is a unique combination of words that serves as a backup for your wallet. This phrase is generated when you first set up your wallet and is crucial for restoring access to your funds. The secret phrase is typically a series of 12 or 24 words, depending on the wallet configuration, and is generated from a standardized list of words. Tellaw generates a secret phrase consisting of 12 words.

Adding to the importance of the secret phrase, the popular saying "Not your keys, not your coins" serves as a valuable reminder for all cryptocurrency users. This adage emphasizes that you effectively don't own your cryptocurrencies without direct control of your secret phrases or private keys. In essence, when you store your digital assets on a centralized exchange or third-party platform, you're entrusting your funds to an intermediary, making you vulnerable to potential hacks or company failures.

By using the Tellaw Wallet and securely managing your secret phrase, you maintain complete control over your private keys, ensuring that you are the sole custodian of your digital assets. This level of ownership grants you peace of mind and aligns with the decentralized ethos of the cryptocurrency ecosystem.

How to use a secret recovery phrase to recover your wallet?

First, install the Tellaw Wallet application on a new device or reinstall it on your existing device if you've lost access. During the login process, select the option to restore or import an existing wallet instead of creating a new one. You will then be prompted to enter your secret phrase. Carefully input the words in the exact order they appear in your stored secret phrase. Once you've entered the phrase correctly, your wallet, along with all your associated cryptocurrencies and transaction history, will be restored, granting you full access and control over your digital assets once again.

How is a secret phrase generated? Why is it safe?

The generation of a secret phrase is a fascinating process that combines cryptography, mathematics, and language. When you create a new wallet, the Tellaw generates a random sequence of bits, which is then converted into a more human-readable format - your secret phrase. This conversion process typically utilizes a predetermined list of words called a "wordlist," which often consists of 2048 unique words.

The wallet software uses a mathematical algorithm, such as the BIP-39 (Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 39) standard, to generate the secret phrase from your initial random sequence. This deterministic process ensures that the same secret phrase is generated every time from the same initial sequence of bits.

One of the reasons a secret phrase is considered safe is due to its high level of entropy. Entropy is a measure of randomness or uncertainty, and in the context of a secret phrase, it makes it incredibly difficult for malicious actors to guess or brute-force your phrase. The vast number of possible combinations of words in a 12 or 24-word secret phrase makes it virtually impossible for anyone to crack it, given the current state of technology.

Moreover, Tellaw does not store secret phrases on our servers. In other words, we don't have access to your secret phrases. As long as you store your secret phrase in a safe and secure manner, the likelihood of anyone gaining unauthorized access to your wallet is exceedingly low.

How to back up your secret phrase?

Safeguarding your secret phrase is a vital part of ensuring the security of your Tellaw Wallet and your cryptocurrencies. Implementing proper backup methods will help protect you from potential loss or theft of your digital assets. Here are some best practices for backing up your secret phrase:

  1. Write it down: The most straightforward and secure way to back up your secret phrase is by writing it down on a piece of paper. Make sure to write it clearly and in the correct order, as any error might make it impossible to restore your wallet. Store this paper in a safe and secure location, such as a safe deposit box, a fireproof safe, or a hidden location only you know about.
  2. Avoid digital storage: Storing your secret phrase on a computer, smartphone, or in the cloud is not advisable, as it makes your phrase vulnerable to hacking, data breaches, or malware. Keeping your secret phrase offline is essential for optimal security.
  3. Create multiple backups: To further protect your secret phrase, create multiple physical copies and store them in different secure locations. This precaution helps mitigate the risk of losing your sole backup due to fire, flood, theft, or other unforeseen circumstances.
  4. Share with caution: If you decide to share your secret phrase with a trusted person, such as a family member or a lawyer, ensure they understand the importance and sensitivity of the information. Educate them on proper storage and handling to minimize any risks.

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