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drgrah
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November 01, 2017, 06:03:41 PM
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Hi folks,

quick question or two about seed phrases...because I'm only about a week into this fabulous world of bitcoin and know jack sh*t so far, LOL.

So far I can't figure out if a seed phrase is connected directly to my bitcoin (somehow) or to a particular wallet? 

For example, if I had 3 soft wallets and a hardware wallet, would they all have independent seed phrases?
If I had the copay wallet and emptied and deleted it, it would then be ok to throw away the copay seed phrase for that wallet?

Point being, I'm getting a Trezor today and want to make sure I do it right, which I THINK is to generate a whole new seed phrase that is specific to the Trezor and the bitcoin on the Trezor only, correct?

The plan at the moment is to have a coinbase wallet for depositing fiat, transfer that to GDAX to buy bitcoin to save on fees, transfer from there to Trezor.  Also, keep a Copay app although I imagine I will never use it.  Does that seem like a reasonable plan?

If at all possible, please talk to me like I'm a 6 year old.  Thank you!   Grin
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November 01, 2017, 06:09:54 PM
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So far I can't figure out if a seed phrase is connected directly to my bitcoin (somehow) or to a particular wallet?  
The seed phrase is used to generate your public and private keys, which are linked to the addresses used to receive coins.
For example, if I had 3 soft wallets and a hardware wallet, would they all have independent seed phrases?
They could have.  You could choose to import your seed phrase from one wallet into another and use both wallets with the same seed if you wanted to.
If I had the copay wallet and emptied and deleted it, it would then be ok to throw away the copay seed phrase for that wallet?
Yes.
Point being, I'm getting a Trezor today and want to make sure I do it right, which I THINK is to generate a whole new seed phrase that is specific to the Trezor and the bitcoin on the Trezor only, correct?
In theory, you could use the seed anywhere.  However, by doing so you would be exposing your coins to whatever you give the seed to.  That's why TREZOR recommends that you never type in your seed phrase anywhere on the Internet - because it's possible that an attacker could see it.  If you use your seed in a less secure wallet, your coins will be as safe as the weakest link, so to speak.
The plan at the moment is to have a coinbase wallet for depositing fiat, transfer that to GDAX to buy bitcoin to save on fees, transfer from there to Trezor.  Also, keep a Copay app although I imagine I will never use it.  Does that seem like a reasonable plan?
Yes.

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November 01, 2017, 06:10:08 PM
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I will try to help as much as possible but I am still quite new as well so bare with me.

Yes all wallets have different seed phrases, no one wallet with have the same as this would defeat the purpose.

I dont know how CoPay functions have never used it but yes if you emptied and deleted a wallet then the seed phrase would be essentially useless this much is clear.

Good job on getting the Trezor they are very safe it was my choice too! As per the setup I would advise watching this youtube vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggVKVmcmflk it is the exact one I used when starting.

Try to avoid coinbase if you can I think they charge 1.5% fees normal and 4-5% fees on credit and debit cards. If you are in a country that can avoid then do so because you will save immensely on fees, if you cant then I
suppose you coinbase.

Try using an exchange like Bitstamp they are internationally known and there fees are around 0.25% if I remember correctly. Good luck! Grin

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drgrah
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November 01, 2017, 06:29:12 PM
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even posting is hard!  deleted for 360 seconds til I can post again
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November 01, 2017, 07:02:23 PM
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Example, I get rid of and never use Copay again:  I can forget that seedphrase, and those public and private keys are gone with it?  
The chance of anyone's wallet generating them again is negligible, so as long as you don't use them again or tell anyone else to use them, they're pretty much gone.

TL;DR: yes.
I guess the follow up is:  If I emptied Copay and deleted it, and someone later found that seedphrase, would that grant them access to my empty deleted coinpay wallet
Yes.
or is that somehow connected to bitcoin I have elsewhere?
No.

I was just clarifying with my previous post that you could choose to use the same seed in multiple wallets, and you would then be able to spend the same coins from both wallets.  But unless you make that choice, there is no connection between one wallet's seed and another wallet's seed.

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November 02, 2017, 02:15:50 PM
 #6

So far I can't figure out if a seed phrase is connected directly to my bitcoin (somehow) or to a particular wallet? 
For example, if I had 3 soft wallets and a hardware wallet, would they all have independent seed phrases?

A seed (12/18/24 word seed) is used to create a HD (Hierarchical deterministic) wallet.
This means that you can create different addresses out of one seed. This "feature" allows you to have a big amount of private keys / addresses behind 1 seed (easier to memorize/backup/secure).

If I had the copay wallet and emptied and deleted it, it would then be ok to throw away the copay seed phrase for that wallet?

Theoretically yes. But Satoshi adviced to "never delete a wallet (or its phrase)".
If you are sure you will never recieve any coins again to one of the addresses created from this wallet then yes, you can delete it.

Point being, I'm getting a Trezor today and want to make sure I do it right, which I THINK is to generate a whole new seed phrase that is specific to the Trezor and the bitcoin on the Trezor only, correct?

Yes.. you definetly should generate a new seed on your trezor. Thats the only way to guarantee "no one" except your trezor device knows your seed (and therefore all your private keys).

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November 02, 2017, 06:26:58 PM
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As mentioned above but now I reiterate because I am a Trezor user:  if you type or place your Trezor SEED on ANY device you have wasted your money buying a hardware wallet.  The absolute magic of TOTAL private key concealment is what makes a hardware wallet bulletproof.  Simply NEVER do anything with a Trezor SEED except WRITE it down and NOT type it using any computer ---- not ever!!

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drgrah
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November 04, 2017, 12:39:39 AM
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As mentioned above but now I reiterate because I am a Trezor user:  if you type or place your Trezor SEED on ANY device you have wasted your money buying a hardware wallet.  The absolute magic of TOTAL private key concealment is what makes a hardware wallet bulletproof.  Simply NEVER do anything with a Trezor SEED except WRITE it down and NOT type it using any computer ---- not ever!!

I did take that advice, although it bummed me out that I had to be online at all when setting it up.  At least I think I had to be?  And when you log onto trezor/mywallet, I know the keypad is scrambled, but you still have to enter your 25th word right?  But that's ok? 

If you had to guess, what percentage of people that wrote their seed down on their computer would get hacked?  The way it sounds, everybody would!  But it has to be an awfully small %, right? 

Just because I'm wondering, what if you wrote a little short story on word.  And the last word of the first 24 sentences was where you put the seeds.  Do they really have technology that could put that together as the seed phrase?  If so, that would be mind blowing!
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November 04, 2017, 01:25:22 AM
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I will try to help as much as possible but I am still quite new as well so bare with me.

Yes all wallets have different seed phrases, no one wallet with have the same as this would defeat the purpose.

I dont know how CoPay functions have never used it but yes if you emptied and deleted a wallet then the seed phrase would be essentially useless this much is clear.

Good job on getting the Trezor they are very safe it was my choice too! As per the setup I would advise watching this youtube vid https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=ggVKVmcmflk it is the exact one I used when starting.

Try to avoid coinbase if you can I think they charge 1.5% fees normal and 4-5% fees on credit and debit cards. If you are in a country that can avoid then do so because you will save immensely on fees, if you cant then I
suppose you coinbase.

Try using an exchange like Bitstamp they are internationally known and there fees are around 0.25% if I remember correctly. Good luck! Grin

Regarding coinbase: After my first mistake and very steep transaction fee, I realized how to do it on the cheap.  ACH to coinbase is free, transfer usd to GDAX for free, buy coins there for free (if you 'make the market') and apparently it looks like I can transfer from there to Trezor for free.  So it's working for me, but I'm open to better ideas!
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November 04, 2017, 10:31:32 PM
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Quote
I did take that advice, although it bummed me out that I had to be online at all when setting it up.  At least I think I had to be?

drgrah, FYI you do NOT have to be online to initialize a Trezor.  It is very easy to set one up totally offline.  Google Chrome and an extension enables it easily.  When I first setup my Trezors I used the website too, but then I figured out how easy it is to do it offline, which I like.  I needed to re-do my Trezors anyway so I did them offline.  Now I always do my Trezor initializations offline.

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drgrah
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November 05, 2017, 04:19:54 PM
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Quote
I did take that advice, although it bummed me out that I had to be online at all when setting it up.  At least I think I had to be?

drgrah, FYI you do NOT have to be online to initialize a Trezor.  It is very easy to set one up totally offline.  Google Chrome and an extension enables it easily.  When I first setup my Trezors I used the website too, but then I figured out how easy it is to do it offline, which I like.  I needed to re-do my Trezors anyway so I did them offline.  Now I always do my Trezor initializations offline.

I'll take a look at it.  I downloaded the extension, but it didn't really look like it did anything in terms of setup.  Although it sounds like just the sort of thing I'd try to do and somehow lose my coins.  Can you change your seed phrase and keep everything else intact (bitcoin location and private keys).  I'm afraid I still don't know enough about it all.
Thanks
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November 06, 2017, 02:02:01 PM
 #12

Can you change your seed phrase and keep everything else intact (bitcoin location and private keys).  I'm afraid I still don't know enough about it all.

Bitcoins are "stored on" addresses. To be able to spend bitcoins you need the private key of the correspondending Public Key (basically your address).
Seeds are used to generate multiple private-/public keypairs without you having to backup every private key itself.
If you want to "change your seed" you basically have to create a new seed and send your funds to an address generated with the new seed.
You can *basically* look at a seed like this:
Code:
address1 = (mathematical operation on seed)
address2 = (mathematical operation on seed) + 1
address3 = (mathematical operation on seed) + 2
...

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November 06, 2017, 02:55:00 PM
 #13

Can you change your seed phrase and keep everything else intact (bitcoin location and private keys).  I'm afraid I still don't know enough about it all.

Bitcoins are "stored on" addresses. To be able to spend bitcoins you need the private key of the correspondending Public Key (basically your address).
Seeds are used to generate multiple private-/public keypairs without you having to backup every private key itself.
If you want to "change your seed" you basically have to create a new seed and send your funds to an address generated with the new seed.
You can *basically* look at a seed like this:
Code:
address1 = (mathematical operation on seed)
address2 = (mathematical operation on seed) + 1
address3 = (mathematical operation on seed) + 2
...

I love you for trying to help me out, but that just doesn't compute in my head.  I think I'm too old to ever grasp it. 
OK, so:

I have a trezor.  The private key is on the trezor and along with the public key points to the location on the blockchain of my bitcoin?  Yes/no

on coinbase, my private key is stored by coinbase, has separate private and public keys and if I kept bitcoin there,                        yes/no
it would be in an entirely different location on the blockchain?
 
The seed is just a complicated as hell password that allows me to access the trezor, and the public and private keys?                        Yes/no

I can make a different seed (I don't actually want to) without affecting the public or private keys, or the location of my bitcoin on the blockchain?                    Yes/no

Thanks so much

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November 07, 2017, 07:55:57 AM
 #14

I have a trezor.  The private key is on the trezor and along with the public key points to the location on the blockchain of my bitcoin?  Yes/no
No. The "seed" is on the Trezor. The seed is used to generate all the private/public key pairs that give you control over certain bitcoins.


on coinbase, my private key is stored by coinbase, has separate private and public keys and if I kept bitcoin there,                        yes/no
it would be in an entirely different location on the blockchain?
Yes. If your coins are in different addresses, with different private/public keys... they are separate from the coins controlled by the Trezor private/public keys.


The seed is just a complicated as hell password that allows me to access the trezor, and the public and private keys?                        Yes/no
No. The "seed" is actually just a (VERY) large random number. The "seed mnemonic" (aka 24 words for Trezor) is a method to turn the "seed" number into a series of words that are a lot easier for humans to write down and store without making mistakes (it also includes a very basic checksum to help prevent errors). What the seed/seed mnemonic allow you to do, is easily recreate the entire wallet along with any address it has generated. Effectively, it is a complete "backup" of your wallet, in just 24 words that you can write down on a piece of paper and store securely offline.


I can make a different seed (I don't actually want to) without affecting the public or private keys, or the location of my bitcoin on the blockchain?                    Yes/no
Depends what you mean by "affecting the public or private keys". If you create a different seed, it will generate a completely different wallet... with different private/public keys and addresses.

Your bitcoins will continue to stay with your previous private/public keys and addresses, as your bitcoins will NOT move from their current private/public keys and addresses unless a transaction is created that moves them.

So, if you created a different seed, without "backing up" your previous seed, you would lose access to the coins controlled by the previous seed... as your Trezor would now be using new private/public keys and addresses and have no access to your old ones.

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