Wallet recovery suggestion

Hi all,

I have a bit of a headache, issue is as follows:

I find myself being unable to recover my wallet so I’m trying to narrow down the list of things that could go wrong.
I’m using a Ledger, my wallet is a 24 word seed and I have a passphrase set on it.

There are 2 possible points of failure as far as I can see:

  1. The 24 words are in my possession, but I have the bad habit of switching a few words around so that should I lose them, the finder won’t get access to any account (though reading a bit on this, it might be useless to do this).
  2. I am fairly confident I have the correct passphrase, but even if it’s wrong I am fairly confident of what it is.

So, I have a few questions in the hopes I can tackle this:

  1. I am currently recovering my wallet offline using Ledger, which is very slow. I have managed to get into a valid wallet using the words I have, but applying the passphrase against it yields no results.

How likely is it that 24 words, in a different arrangement, yields more than one wallet ?
Is there a tool I can feed into the words I have, and have it spit back the possible wallets ?

  1. Is it possible to recover my wallet using something other than Ledger ? Specifically, something that will let me try to use a passphrase ? I think Yoroi only accepts 24 words yes ?

There is a checksum of 8 bits for a 24 word seed phrase. So, roughly 1/256 of seed phrases should fulfil the checksum and lead to a valid seed phrase.

There are 24! = 6.2×10^23 permutations of 24 words (assuming they are all different, a little less if words appear twice). So, it’s not feasible to check all orderings of your 24 words, even if we divide by 256 due to the checksum.

I know that there is https://btcrecover.readthedocs.io/en/latest/ and I have written https://github.com/HeptaSean/PySeedRecover myself. My tool does not have the functionality you need right now – Ledger support, Ledger with passphrase, and exchanging words is missing. But BTCRecover seems to have everything you need.

Yoroi won’t help you, since Ledger uses a different method for deriving the master key from the seed phrase. So, even if you give the correct seed phrase, it will open another wallet. As far as I know, no wallet app allows to open a Ledger wallet in software. But it is surely doable. The process that Ledger uses is known.

Disclaimer: Of course, you lose the security of a hardware wallet, when putting your seed phrase directly into a wallet app or recover it with a tool. But I suppose getting your wallet back is more important at the moment. You’d want to move the funds to a hardware wallet, where the seed phrase was never given to a computer, afterwards, though.

Take a look at BTCRecover if you get it. Feel free to ask more if you don’t.


Could you expand a bit on this ? I feel like it would be astronomically unlikely for me to get a valid seed phrase by un-scrambling the 12 words I have scrambled while keeping 12 words in the correct order.

If that is indeed the case, I could just focus on the passphrase bit.

The way I scrambled my seed phrase was by moving 2 6-word blocks around, with 12 of the words being left in their correct order.

Also, is there a way to find out when a wallet or address has been created ?

Not astronomically unlikely. Every 256th seed phrase has a correct checksum, but unlikely, you are right.

Could be wotthwhile to concentrate on the password (which is also at least a bit easier to do on the Ledger).

It is possible to look at cardanoscan.io (searching for one of the payment addresses or the stake address), when they have first been used (if they have been used), when they first got an incoming transaction. That should be very close to the date they were first imported in a wallet app (to get the receive address).

Wallets and addresses are not really created or registered somewhere. In a way, they all already exist, just waiting for someone to use the seed phrase to unlock them. Most of them will wait forever, though.

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