Cryptocurrency Explained: What is a Mnemonic phrase? [Understanding Bitcoin Ethereum Crypto Keys]

Published 1 year ago

What is a cryptocurrency mnemonic phrase? How does it relate to a bitcoin or ethereum private key? Are they the same thing? Are seeds and mnemonics the same thing? Can someone guess my bitcoin private key or mnemonic? Watch this video to understand how mnemonic phrases work, why they're used in bitcoin, why they're considered secure. Hint: turn on closed captions to help you remember what's being taught.

0:00 If a bitcoin private key is such a big number and you can never guess it, how does relate to mnemonic phrases?
1:03 Let's discuss what a mnemonic phrase actually is.
1:23 Cryptographic keys are just numbers. A bitcoin private key is just a number.
1:42 What is a mnemonic phrase?
2:10 Bitcoin Improvement Proposal or BIP39 is the standard for seed phrases
3:03 There are 2048 words in the BIP39 dictionary
4:00 How do you make a number out of words?
6:09 Example of how to take a number like a bitcoin private key and encode it in 24 words
8:06 Derivation function that allows you to take the mnemonic and generate the same sequence of keys
8:27 Summary of why a mnemonic phrase is as secure as a bitcoin private key written in decimal or binary

This video help explains how mnemonic phrases or mnemonic seeds as they're often called, relate to cryptocurrency private keys. It discusses the bitcoin improvement proposal BIP39 and its implementation. If you want to understand how your cryptocurrency wallet works, this video is for you. This video was made as a followup to the 'Can Someone Guess My Bitcoin Private Key' video here: You may want to watch that video first to really understand what's being explained.

Learn more about bitcoin, ethereum, and other cryptocurrency private keys in these videos:
Passwords and authentication:
Bitcoin and crypto security:

Learn why bitcoin, ethereum, and other open blockchain technologies are different in my talk The Fairness Protocol:

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