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Author Topic: 12 word BIP39 backup: backup of private Keys still needed?  (Read 1468 times)
joe1234
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May 11, 2017, 03:39:05 PM
 #1

Hello forum

i heard that a 12 word BIP39 backup (like implemented in Mycelium and Trezor) is ok as backup.

But are there cases where a backup of the private keys are still recommended?


Thank you very much in advance!

Joe
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cpfreeplz
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May 11, 2017, 03:40:58 PM
 #2

Either works as a backup so to be extra safe you could keep both as a backup and keep them in different physical locations. There is no need to keep both but it would be recommended. This way, if the word is spelled incorrectly or anything like that you still have your private key so it wouldn't matter. Redundancy is always a good idea.
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May 11, 2017, 04:56:34 PM
 #3

i heard that a 12 word BIP39 backup (like implemented in Mycelium and Trezor) is ok as backup.

But are there cases where a backup of the private keys are still recommended?

There is no need to back up the keys themselves because they are generated directly from the 12-word seed. If you have the seed, you have all the private keys that the wallet will ever generate. I'm pretty sure that it true for all HD wallets, but you should check with the wallet developer.

OTOH, some wallets might also let you import keys that are not related to the seed. You would have to back up those keys if they hold bitcoins.

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May 15, 2017, 01:28:01 PM
 #4


But are there cases where a backup of the private keys are still recommended?

It should be default backup method because when you have private key, you have actually key to your coins.
When you have 12 words, you have 12 words not private key. Probably it will resolve to private key, but if some software vendor or some person would modify this 12 word algorith to his need's. Then he woould dissapear and you would be using his services. Your coins would be lost, you won't be able to recover private key then by 12 words coz he only knew method to decode them to private key.
Rare case, but possible.

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May 15, 2017, 01:49:42 PM
 #5


But are there cases where a backup of the private keys are still recommended?

It should be default backup method because when you have private key, you have actually key to your coins.
When you have 12 words, you have 12 words not private key. Probably it will resolve to private key, but if some software vendor or some person would modify this 12 word algorith to his need's. Then he woould dissapear and you would be using his services. Your coins would be lost, you won't be able to recover private key then by 12 words coz he only knew method to decode them to private key.
Rare case, but possible.

Are you saying for example that if the creator of Electrum, ThomasV stop working on Electrum and completely abandon the project I will not be able to restore my wallets through the seeds ? Sorry but that is not possible, the creator of Electrum have instructed in the programming of Electrum to restore our wallets with only the 12 word seeds. What you are saying is not possible. Because you are saying this wallet software is centralized which is not.
In the rare case a hardware wallet with closed source like Ledger goes away, we can still import their seeds to other wallets supporting their seed format BIP 39,32,38 or 44 depending on the wallet.
aeternus
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May 16, 2017, 11:37:59 PM
 #6

Hello forum

i heard that a 12 word BIP39 backup (like implemented in Mycelium and Trezor) is ok as backup.

But are there cases where a backup of the private keys are still recommended?


Thank you very much in advance!

Joe
Since we are talking about money here, why would you take the risk of losing your coins? The greater the amount of ways you have to recover your wallet in the case something happens the better is for you and the security of your money·
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May 17, 2017, 05:20:23 AM
 #7

Some people reported difficulties to recover blockchain.info wallets because the recover phrase now has more words than before. You never know if something like this could happen.

Better be safe and backup everything you can

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May 17, 2017, 07:06:36 AM
 #8

You can restore all bitcoin address you have only with 12 word mnemonic, so it's not necessary to backup all the private keys. You better make sure to backup/remember those 12 words instead.
But, backup the private keys if you still feel anxious Roll Eyes

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siaeae
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October 24, 2017, 07:36:59 PM
 #9

You can restore all bitcoin address you have only with 12 word mnemonic, so it's not necessary to backup all the private keys. You better make sure to backup/remember those 12 words instead.
But, backup the private keys if you still feel anxious Roll Eyes

Hello, can you give an example of a situation when BTC owner MUST have private keys? In other words, a situation when 12-word recovery phrase won't be sufficient?
RocketSingh
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October 24, 2017, 07:43:16 PM
 #10

Why dont u guys just write down the WIF in a piece of paper and store it securely?

Miner2525
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December 10, 2017, 08:43:11 PM
 #11

You can restore all bitcoin address you have only with 12 word mnemonic, so it's not necessary to backup all the private keys. You better make sure to backup/remember those 12 words instead.
But, backup the private keys if you still feel anxious Roll Eyes

Hello, can you give an example of a situation when BTC owner MUST have private keys? In other words, a situation when 12-word recovery phrase won't be sufficient?

For forks.  Not all seed-protected wallets support exporting private keys, e.g. Ledger Nano S.

odolvlobo
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December 10, 2017, 10:04:34 PM
 #12

You can restore all bitcoin address you have only with 12 word mnemonic, so it's not necessary to backup all the private keys. You better make sure to backup/remember those 12 words instead.
But, backup the private keys if you still feel anxious Roll Eyes
Hello, can you give an example of a situation when BTC owner MUST have private keys? In other words, a situation when 12-word recovery phrase won't be sufficient?
For forks.  Not all seed-protected wallets support exporting private keys, e.g. Ledger Nano S.

With the seed, you can still generate all the private keys that the Ledger Nano S will ever use.

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June 24, 2018, 08:25:12 PM
 #13

With the seed, you can still generate all the private keys that the Ledger Nano S will ever use.

True, that.  In case anyone wonders how, it can be done using this software: https://github.com/iancoleman/bip39

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