Did you create a wallet account recently? Are you wondering what's the 12-word provided? What is this? Why is it so important to save it with care?

Keep reading, in this article you'll find answers to the most common questions around wallet and seed phrases.

What is a seed phrase?

When do I need to use my seed phrase?

Why is it important to save/keep/protect your seed phrase?

Why would someone want to steal my seed phrase?

What if my seed phrase is compromised?

Can I edit/change my seed phrase?

What’s the difference between a seed phrase and a private key?


What is a seed phrase?

Whenever you create a new wallet, a seed phrase is generated for that specific wallet.

A seed phrase, seed recovery phrase or backup seed phrase is a list of words, usually 12 or 24 words, which store all the information needed to recover your tokens on-chain. Wallet software including Keplr will typically generate a 12-word seed phrase.

The 12-word seed phrase is automatically generated from a list of 2048 simple words. These 12 words are actually a representation of a long string of numbers that are given to you in a word form because humans are better at remembering words rather than numbers.


When do I need to use my seed phrase?

You’ll be using your seed phrase in very specific situations

  • When you want to open or re-import your wallet into a device or a browser

  • If your computer breaks or your hard drive becomes corrupted, you can download the same wallet software again and use the seed phrase to restore the original wallet and the funds contained in it

  • If you forget your wallet password, you can recover your wallet via the seed phrase

Seed phrase should never be used when

  • Trying to resolve an issue with a third party

  • When a third party shares an URL with you

  • When a third party suggest to log into a link you have never used

  • When a third party asks for it, to verify something on their end


Why is it important to save, keep, and protect your seed phrase?

If your computer breaks or your hard drive becomes corrupted, you can download the same wallet software again and use the seed phrase to restore the original wallet and the funds contained in it. It is highly recommended to write these words down on paper and never store them online.

Anybody else who discovers the phrase will have complete control of the wallet, so it must be kept safe and never shared with anyone.

It is recommended to

  • Store them offline

  • Split the words in half and keep them in separate geographical locations

  • Write down on a fireproof, waterproof paper (if you can find it) and place it in a fireproof safe that only you have access to

It is not recommended to

  • Take a photograph and store it on your mobile or computer

  • Save it in your email

  • Upload it to a cloud storage

  • Share it with anyone

Anybody else who discovers the phrase will have complete control of the wallet, so it must be kept safe and never shared with anyone. For example, no one should ask you for it on social networks or messenger and it must never be typed into any website.

Disclaimer: No official support site will ever ask you for the recovery phrase.

If you delete or lose your wallet without carefully saving your seed phrase, you lose access to your crypto.


Why would someone want to steal my seed phrase?

A hacker or scammer may attempt to trick users into providing personal information or credentials. With the 12-word seed phrase, an attacker will have complete control of your funds.

Common tactics:

  • Impersonating a support agent and providing you a fake URL link to connect your wallet

  • Asking for it via social media. This is typical of fake investment scams.

  • Phishing links via forums and google ads

Best Practices:

  • Never share your recovery phrase. A third party can access your funds even without your password.

  • Avoid phishing sites and social media scams by bookmarking important links including app.emeris.com

  • Never give a third-party wallet access or allow a third party to create a wallet for you.

  • Never click on URL links from untrusted sources in chat groups and forums.


What if my recovery phrase is compromised?

  • If funds have been sent out of your wallet, there is not much that can be done. This is not a matter of policy but how the blockchain works. The blockchain is designed to make transactions irreversible. The compromised wallet should not be used to hold funds.

  • If you still have remaining funds in a compromised wallet, you can send them to a receiving address on a newly created wallet as soon as possible.


Can I edit or change my seed phrase?

Unlike passwords that can be changed and reset, the seed phrase generated for your wallet cannot be changed or edited nor can it be reset from any third party including the wallet platform.

This makes your seed phrase the most important item to keep safe.


What’s the difference between a seed phrase and a private key?

There is often confusion about the difference between the seed phrase and private key. We can think of your wallet as a password manager app for crypto that contains many passwords but needs a single password to unlock the app. The seed phrase acts as the master password to unlock the password manager app.

Each crypto address in your wallet contains a private key, so when you have a wallet with multiple addresses, for example, an ATOM address plus an Osmosis address and Juno address etc, each of those addresses contains a private key and the seed phrase enables the wallet to derive all the private keys for all the addresses in the wallet.


Related articles

How to connect a wallet to Emeris

How to contact Emeris support

Basic safety and security tips

Does Emeris store my seed phrase?

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