What is a seed and why should I keep it safe?
Now as simple as possible, we are going to try to explain what a seed is and why it matters to keep it safe.
Let’s say you want to install a wallet, such as Daedalus or Yoroi. What happens next?
You need to download and install Daedalus from the official source.
Wallets need to keep an exact state of the network. As a result, Daedalus will start synchronizing the blockchain. Basically it is downloading a copy of all the accounts and transactions registered to date in the Cardano network.
Once Daedalus is synchronized, you will be able to generate a wallet. What exactly is a wallet?
In simple terms, the wallet is a set of key pairs. Each key pair is comprised of a public key and a private key. A public key can generate an address. A private key can prove you control this address and, therefore, its associated funds. The seed is used to retrieve the key pairs. The public keys and addresses are stored on the blockchain, but not the private keys. Only those with the seed can retrieve the key pairs, as well as the associated private keys.
I do not see a key. I see a lot of random words while creating a wallet in Daedalus.
Exactly. Your seed, which actually is a long chain of letters and numbers, is derived from random words so it is easier to read and store. It is usually called the seed words, but can also be known as a recovery sentence, recovery phrase or mnemonic.
I have created a wallet and wrote down the words in the correct order as presented. Why is it so important and what happened?
The seed is required to create transactions and to have ownership of the funds. Losing the seed words, entering it in a malicious website/app, or storing it digitally and getting hacked can mean you are risking losing your funds forever.
What are the best practises for storing your seed?
- Never store your seed digitally on your devices or in cloud-based services;
- Try to create a paper wallet (functionality in Daedalus) or write it down on a piece of paper and store it somewhere water- and fire-resistant;
- Consider storing your paper wallets in multiple safe places;
- Use a hardware wallet, such as Ledger or Trezor. More information on how to purchase and use them can be found on their websites.
- Never enter your seed in unknown websites or software.
As always, please ask any of the officials if you have questions.