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They cannot store funds involved in off-chain transactions such as Lightning Network or Blinded bearer certificates. Although these technologies are in their infancy as of so its possible in future seed phrases could be used to backup them. BIP39 is the most common standard used for seed phrases.

The BIP39 (Mnemonic Recovery Seed Phrase) Wallet List

One notable example is Electrum wallet , which is using its own standard, and for good reasons. BIP39 has some flaws, known in the technical community but not known much wider. They are described here on this electrum doc page. Most seriously, BIP39 flaws mean it is not true to say that backing up a BIP39 seed phrase and name of wallet software is the only thing a user needs to do to keep their money safe.

Your Recovery Phrase - The Failsafe – Blockchain Support Center

BIP39 works this way because its designers wanted their hardware wallet to also support altcoins. A simplified explanation of how seed phrases work is that the wallet software has a list of words taken from a dictionary, with each word assigned to a number. The seed phrase can be converted to a number which is used as the seed integer to a deterministic wallet that generates all the key pairs used in the wallet.


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However, some of the data in a BIP39 phrase is not random, [2] so the actual security of a word BIP39 seed phrase is only bits. This is approximately the same strength as all Bitcoin private keys, so most experts consider it to be sufficiently secure. It is not safe to invent your own seed phrase because humans are bad at generating randomness. The best way is to allow the wallet software to generate a phrase which you write down. As seed phrases use natural language words, they have excellent error correction.


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Words written in bad handwriting can often still be read. If one or two letters are missing or unreadable the word can often still be deduced. The word list that the seed phrase words are drawn from is carefully chosen so that the first four letters of each word are enough to uniquely identify it. This compares well with writing down a raw private key where a single letter being unreadable or incorrect can make the private key useless depending on the serialization format.

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Seed phrases, like all backups, can store any amount of bitcoins. It's a concerning idea to possibly have enough money to purchase the entire building just sitting on a sheet of paper without any protection. For this reason many wallets make it possible to encrypt a seed phrase with a password. The password can be used to create a two-factor seed phrase where both "something you have" plus "something you know" is required to unlock the bitcoins. This works by the wallet creating a seed phrase and asking the user for a password.

Then both the seed phrase and extra word are required to recover the wallet. The BIP39 standard defines a way of passphrase-protecting a seed phrase.

Understanding BIP39 and Your Mnemonic Phrase

A similar scheme is also used in the Electrum standard. Upon start up, wallets that utilize the BIP39 standard will provide you a word phrase randomly chosen from the standard BIP39 wordlist.


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The wallet's instructions will typically advise you to write your wallet recovery seed phrase down and keep it safe because this phrase can be entered into any other wallet using the same BIP and coin support to access your coins by you or anyone else. Be advised, it is possible for your coins to be on more than one wallet at once. It is crucial that this word phrase is stored on something that will last the rest of your life and beyond.

Blockplate uses an innovative, single-tool method to store your BIP39 seed phrase on strong, durable steel.

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Tested by Jameson Lopp. Widely recommended and praised as " the most robust and simple ", " fastest and simplest ", " best bang for your buck ". Below is a list of some of the most popular hardware and software wallets that use the BIP39 standard. When it comes to creating and backing up your wallet, Blockchain uses the current industry standard.

Private Key and Mnemonic Phrase Quick Tutorial

Our wallet implements BIP44 to generate accounts and addresses, and BIP39 to generate the recovery mnemonic phrase or seed, as it is also called. Because of the way these BIPs work you only need to backup your wallet once. Once the wallet is backed up it is backed up forever, regardless of how many funds you send or receive over time.