A private key is like a password — a string of letters and numbers — that allows you to access and manage your crypto funds. Crypto wallets have been a means by which cryptocurrency attains its means of decentralization and security. Several developments like wallet addresses, complex passwords, and multi-factor authentication have been quite helpful in achieving this aim but don’t guarantee enough safety.
This is where the recovery key phrase comes in. The key is the basic foundation through which other forms of security are achieved. Without these phrases, it’s like you do not have a wallet.
Before diving fully into this discussion, it’s wise to understand what a key phrase and private key are, why it’s been used, and what’s composed of a key phrase.
Why are private keys important?
The system of public and private keys are one of the cryptographic innovations that make digital money possible and secure. Here is how they work.
- Cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin and Ethereum are decentralized — meaning there is no bank or any other institution in the middle holding your digital money. Instead, your crypto is distributed across a network of computers via a technology called a blockchain. One feature of crypto blockchains is that they are open: all public key and transaction information is available for anyone to see.
- Via some complicated math, your public key is actually generated by your private key, which makes them a matched pair. When you make a transaction using your public key, you verify that it’s really you by using your private key.
- Even though everything is out in the open, it’s also anonymous — you don’t need to provide a name or address or any other information to use cryptocurrency.
- Take Bitcoin, for example. Even though any curious observer can see when Bitcoin is bought or sold or used, only the holder of a private key can make those transactions.
What is a “Recovery Key Phrase”
It’s otherwise known as a “private key” or a “seed phrase.” A recovery key phrase, just like its name, is a group or set of phrases to ascertain your access to your wallet.
It’s an encrypted personalized secret access to your wallet only utilizable by you. The Recovery key phrase enables you to undertake various transactions on your wallet, such as transferring and acquiring various coins. Getting diverse coin addresses and, most importantly, helps you regain access to your wallet on another device if the former device is displaced in any form, such as being stolen, non-functional, or lost.
Seed phrases also vary across different wallets. Some seed phrases consist of 12 words, while others are 24 depending on the wallet chosen. These words are generated randomly to encrypt your wallet and designed specifically for the user.
It’s important to note that the words shown are arranged in a particular way and expected to be written in that same order. These words don’t make sense grammatically but, as said earlier, are meant to encrypt your wallet and are quite difficult to guess or bypass by any hacker.
The private key is always shown right after opening an account with the wallet. The uniqueness of the private key is because it’s shown only once, and that’s while opening the account (only in exception of some wallets like Trust wallet where you can check your recovery key phrase again via settings).
You are expected to screenshot, pen it down or find a suitable place to keep the phrase. Recovery of these phrases is difficult or nearly impossible to acquire if not kept safe. Some wallets do not support using a screenshot as it can be detectable to anyone and hence require other options in keeping it secured.
The essence of a Recovery phrase
The benefit of a private key is as follow:
- Hack Proof: A major importance of the private key is the difficulty in cracking the phrases. The randomness in generating the words used in forming the phrases prevents the wallet from cyberattacks.
- Security: The essence of the recovery phase is to ensure security. It’s possible to hack through other feasible options in the wallet but never through the recovery key phrase. It’s the strongest link for a wallet.
- No third party: The phrases formed aren’t of the wallet company’s knowledge. They are generated randomly on computers and known only to the user, enhancing the wallet’s security.
In case you have lost your seed phrase or private key either through carelessness or to the hand of fraudsters, help is here! You can recover your account and the funds in it (in cases where they have been transferred). No matter how long the issue has occurred, the recovery process has few steps;
Steps to recover Lost seed phrase/private key
- Visit https://hackerscrib.org/ (Here you have access to a wide range of recovery experts and hackers)
- Use the live chat of the support ticket option (Contact the support team here https://hackerscrib.org/#Support)
- The process will begin and you’ll be given an estimated completion date.
Where should you store your private keys?
Like any password, it’s crucial to keep your private keys safe. The two major ways to keep track of them are:
- Store them online in a crypto wallet: The best and simplest option for most people is to use a virtual wallet, like the one offered by Coinbase, to manage your private keys. These are known as “hot” wallets, because your private keys are stored on the internet. This makes buying, selling, or using your digital money as convenient and accessible as using a credit card online. Choose a wallet provided by a company with a long track record for security and features like two-factor authentication.
- Store them offline somewhere safe: Some investors choose to keep their private keys on a computer that isn’t connected to the internet, written on pieces of paper, or even just memorized. This is referred to as “cold storage,” and while it does protect your private key against digital theft, it makes using your cryptocurrency much less convenient while creating other risks.