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Crypto Wallet Security and BIP-39
2 November 2023 #crpyto

Crypto Wallet Security and BIP-39

In the world of cryptocurrencies, wallets can be thought of as a kind of digital safe for storing your digital assets. These wallets often come in the form of a hardware device (for example, a USB flash drive) and store your cryptocurrencies offline. Unlike online services or cloud-based wallets, hardware wallets do not allow owners to access their cryptocurrencies over the internet. This makes it harder for a hacker trying to access a user's wallet to steal their cryptocurrencies.

This is just one example, but in the world of cryptocurrencies, more security is generally considered better.
A key aspect of this security comes from the use of recovery phrases, as specified by BIP-39. This protocol defines a list of 2048 words, from which a set of 12 to 24 words can be chosen at random to form a recovery phrase. This phrase can then be used to recover access to a wallet if the user loses their hardware device.

The number of possible combinations of recovery phrases is astronomical, making the probability of guessing a recovery phrase almost zero. In fact, there are 2.81 x 10^39 different 12-word recovery phrases, or 281,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 in full.

If we assume that it takes one second to generate a wallet, and you can continue this process continuously, we can calculate how long it would take to generate all possible wallets. There are approximately 31,536,000 seconds in a year. So, it would take 281,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 seconds to generate 2.81 x 10^39 different wallets. Converting this time to years, it comes out to about 8.91 x 10^31 years. This is much larger than the estimated age of the universe (about 14 billion years).

In conclusion, BIP-39 is a critical tool for ensuring the security of crypto wallets. This protocol elevates the number of possible combinations of a wallet's recovery phrase to astronomical levels, reducing the likelihood of a random guess or 'brute force' attempt to nearly zero. This plays an extremely important role in ensuring the security of crypto wallets and protecting users' valuable crypto assets.

Although cryptocurrencies and blockchain technology can be complex, the security protocols behind these technologies are well-thought-out and effective. Protocols like BIP-39 allow users to securely store their crypto assets and recover access when needed. This is an important point for any cryptocurrency user to understand.

Crypto wallets and recovery phrases operate with a high level of security, but this comes with a need for an understanding of how they work. A wallet's recovery phrase provides a way for users to regain access to their crypto assets in the event of losing access to their wallet. These phrases are extremely secure due to the astronomical number of possible combinations.

Gaining more knowledge about the security of cryptocurrencies and wallets enables users to employ these technologies more effectively and securely. Therefore, learning about protocols like BIP-39 can be a valuable investment for any cryptocurrency user.

This article provides a general overview of how crypto wallets and BIP-39 recovery phrases work. However, these topics can be complex and it's always a good idea to conduct further research for more information.

Please note that the focus of this article is to provide a general understanding of how crypto wallets and recovery phrases work, along with the security protocols that support these technologies. However, the world of cryptocurrencies is vast and continually evolving, so it's always beneficial to stay updated with the latest advancements and trends in this field.