1. What is the seed phrase/mnemonics?
The seed phrase/mnemonics is another manifestation of the plaintext private key, first proposed by the BIP39 proposal, to help users remember complex private keys (64-bit hashes). Seed phrase/mnemonics are generally composed of 12, 15, 18, and 21 words. These words are taken from a fixed vocabulary and the order of generation is also based on a certain algorithm, so you do not need to worry that random 12 words can access a blockchain address. Although both seed phrase/mnemonics and Keystore can be used as another form of a private key, unlike Keystore, the seed phrase/mnemonics are an unencrypted private key. Anyone who gets your seed phrase/mnemonics can access your account and take away your assets without any effort.
2. What are the benefits of seed phrase/mnemonics?
ByteTrade will gradually support more ways to back up your account. The first support for seed phrase/mnemonics backups is mainly due to these reasons:
- Although Keystore is an encrypted private key, it is not convenient to copy. Under normal circumstances, it needs to be stored through network transmission, and key store often brings security illusion to users. There have been many cases that users send key store through SMS or Email which causes the money stolen issues.
- The security level of the plaintext private key is the same as the seed phrase/mnemonics. It is an unencrypted private key, but the plaintext private key is very inconvenient for the user to copy and memorize. If the private key has a copying error, user will lose their assets, so we do not recommend backing up or transferring the plaintext private key.
- Seed phrase/mnemonics is convenient for users to copy and backup. We recommend that users use physical media backup, that is, writing seed phrase/mnemonics down on paper. This backup method can be said to have the highest security, because it is completely isolated from the network, and can effectively prevent professional attacks by hackers.
3. How to properly back up the seed phrase/mnemonics?
Seed phrase/mnemonics is a private key that is not protected by any encryption. Once someone gets your seed phrase/mnemonics, it is equivalent to controlling your account and asset. The following points should be noted when using the seed phrase/mnemonics:
- After creating an account in ByteTrade, be sure to back up the seed phrase/mnemonics in time and double-check to make sure it is correct.
- When backing up seed phrase/mnemonics, try to use physical media, such as handwriting on a piece of paper, and then saving the paper properly. Do not use screenshots whenever possible.
- Be sure to take good care of the seed phrase/mnemonics you backed up. First, do a good job of network isolation. Second, you must take action to prevent loss.
4. How to login ByteTrade using your existing seed phrase/mnemonics?
You import your account by selecting Import in User Info. The only requirement for importing an account is a seed phrase/mnemonics, and you can reset the password to make it completely different from the last one.
5. What is the relationship between passwords and seed phrase/mnemonics?
The most important use of a password is to encrypt the private key of the user locally. The binding between password and account means that the same account for a user, but the passwords on device A and device B can be completely different. When you forget the password, you only need to clear the device cache and then import the seed phrase/mnemonics to reset the password.
After the user completes the backup, ByteTrade will no longer store the user's password, seed phrase/mnemonics, or private key in any form. The private key is encrypted by the account password and is stored locally on the user’s device. So when the user is doing some operations which require a signature, the user needs to enter the password.
6. What should I do if I suspect a seed phrase/mnemonics leak?
A seed phrase/mnemonics is an unencrypted private key that anyone can easily take control of your assets if he/she gets your seed phrase/mnemonics. Therefore, you must transfer your assets the first time you find a seed phrase/mnemonics leak to ensure the security of your digital assets. The specific steps are as follows:
1. Create a new account;
2. Backup the seed phrase/mnemonics of a new account on physical media (such as paper);
3. Make sure seed phrase/mnemonics are properly kept;
4. Finally, transfer your assets to the new account.