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Author Topic: Recreating a wallet using a mnemonic in different software?  (Read 2970 times)
Cypherpunk38
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January 28, 2015, 11:02:23 PM
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I'm curious about something but I can't test it because I am worried about the potential for losing my Bitcoin if something goes horribly wrong. Let's say I create a wallet in Electrum and I save the mnemonic. Next, I go to Armory and I say I want to recreate wallet using a mnemonic and put in the one I got from Electrum. Will they be the same wallets and will they 'sync' correctly as in will any Bitcoins in the Electrum wallet show in the Armory wallet and the reverse? Could doing this create any problems where my Bitcoins become unusable?

Thanks,
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January 29, 2015, 02:03:31 AM
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If you create a wallet in Electrum, that wallet will only work in Electrum, for the most part. Armory wallets work very differently to Electrum.

cryptocoder
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January 29, 2015, 02:28:20 AM
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it is my understanding that Armory and Electrum use different mnemonics. so you can't create the same wallets with the same mnemonic
Cypherpunk38
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January 29, 2015, 09:11:06 PM
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it is my understanding that Armory and Electrum use different mnemonics. so you can't create the same wallets with the same mnemonic

Thank you for the simple explanation. That is what I kind of suspected but I thought that there might be some kind of standard where the different mnemonics came out to the same thing. Glad I didn't try it! Thanks again.

btchris
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January 29, 2015, 10:10:58 PM
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it is my understanding that Armory and Electrum use different mnemonics. so you can't create the same wallets with the same mnemonic

Thank you for the simple explanation. That is what I kind of suspected but I thought that there might be some kind of standard where the different mnemonics came out to the same thing. Glad I didn't try it! Thanks again.

For starters, Armory doesn't currently support any form of mnemonic....

That aside, there is a standard (called BIP39), although Electrum 1.x was created before BIP39 was envisioned. Electrum 2.x (and many other wallets I hope) will be interoperable and support BIP39 in the not-very-distant future.
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January 30, 2015, 05:19:22 PM
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Electrum 2.x (and many other wallets I hope) will be interoperable and support BIP39 in the not-very-distant future.

This is not true. Electrum 2.0 uses BIP39 wordlists, but seed generation is non-standard, so it is not technically BIP39 compliant.

You will not be able to import BIP39 mnemonics into Electrum.

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btchris
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January 30, 2015, 10:28:34 PM
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Electrum 2.x (and many other wallets I hope) will be interoperable and support BIP39 in the not-very-distant future.

This is not true. Electrum 2.0 uses BIP39 wordlists, but seed generation is non-standard, so it is not technically BIP39 compliant.

You will not be able to import BIP39 mnemonics into Electrum.

That's a shame, but thank you for the correction.
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February 02, 2015, 11:48:22 PM
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You can, however, restore your Mycelium mnemonic in a Trezor and vice versa!
ThomasV
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February 05, 2015, 02:31:32 PM
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You will not be able to import BIP39 mnemonics into Electrum.

That's a shame, but thank you for the correction.

Electrum's legacy seed derivation method used a fixed wordlist.

That was a mistake, because now the old wordlist must be shipped with every new version of Electrum, just to ensure backward compatibility for existing seeds.
BIP39 is reproducing that same mistake. That's why I do not want to use it in Electrum. It is possible to do better.

BIP39 uses a hash of the utf8 encoded seed phrase, which is a good idea, because it would have allowed us to create a standard that is independent from a fixed wordlist.
However, when designing their checksum, the BIP39 guys decided to make it dependent on the wordlist... That's a pity, and that is not consistent.

Electrum's new seed derivation method and checksum are both completely independent from the wordlist.
It will allow us to update wordlists without breaking existing seeds, and to create localized wordlists without worrying about reusing the same words in different languages.

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jsuder
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February 05, 2015, 02:39:54 PM
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The whole matter kind of reminds me of this http://xkcd.com/927/... Smiley

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ThomasV
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February 05, 2015, 02:46:59 PM
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The whole matter kind of reminds me of this http://xkcd.com/927/... Smiley

you're right, but at least Electrum's new standard does not impose a dictionary Smiley

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nahtnam
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February 06, 2015, 05:06:22 AM
 #12

The whole matter kind of reminds me of this http://xkcd.com/927/... Smiley

you're right, but at least Electrum's new standard does not impose a dictionary Smiley


Is electrum 2 using bip32 or 39?

Im confused.

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February 06, 2015, 02:36:04 PM
 #13

Is electrum 2 using bip32
Yes.

39?
No.

Even if they chose to use both bip32 & bip39, that would not be sufficient to guarantee mnemonic interoperability. I said something fairly bone-headed above:

(and many other wallets I hope) will be interoperable and support BIP39 in the not-very-distant future.
I don't know what I was thinking.... Even if wallets supported bip39+bip32+bip44, it would be close but it still wouldn't be quite enough to guarantee a mnemonic could be moved easily from one wallet software to another.
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