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BIP39 seeds: their flaws and using them securely

BIP39 seeds: their flaws and using them securely

Bitcoin Reddit

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I am interested in storing bitcoin (and some other cryptocurrencies) for the long term and want to do so securely in every sense of the word.

When looking into Electrum whilst developing an airgapped cold storage mechanism that worked for me, I noticed that Electrum is actually against the use of BIP39. Developers at Electrum, as well as some at Bitcoin Core, wrote specifically that such seeds are problematic as they lack “versioning” and require a “fixed wordlist” (2048 words). The crux of their argument, I think, is that the seed itself is not enough to be able to recover crypto if they lose access to or forget the specific software that generated addresses from their seed that they sent crypto to.

So to those who may know something about this topic: I would love to know more about this. I don’t really understand what they mean exactly with these criticisms of BIP39... what are the flaws of this seed phrase system? Can one still use BIP39 seeds to back up their addresses and keys with some other information besides the seed itself? What alternatives are there to the BIP39 seed system that don’t have the same flaws?

If I knew what the flaws were and understood them, then I could either find a way to still use BIP39 and do whatever I need to do to use it in a more secure way, and/or use an alternative system which may be superior.

P.S. Please, I don’t want comments saying something like “oh, you’re overthinking it” or “this doesn’t matter, just use a BIP39 seed like everyone else” or something like this. I am actually interested in blockchain technology, security, cryptography, all of this... this is what the true spirit of bitcoin and crypto is. Not just people blindly FOMOing into digital tokens that they have either no understanding of or a very vague understanding of. If that is what you want to do, go ahead, I won’t judge, but please don’t judge me when I actually want to use crypto in a secure way, and learn a lot about how the technology works in the process. Thanks.

submitted by /u/No-Toe-2141
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