I just can't understand how can i use the 12 words instead of writing all the numbers related to the address/private/public keys. When i go to iancoleman.io the output is several addresses, private and public keys...but from all of this how can i get my own?

And all the private keys that come with the output, were they not supposed to be private? Can't someone just use them to transfer cryptos? This is really confusing for me.


The twelve word mnemonic phrase is a recovery phrase, also sometimes called a seed phrase or backup phrase. Knowledge of this phrase gives anyone control over all money in a typical wallet. The purpose of this phrase is to allow you to re-create your wallet if, for example, you lose, damage or destroy the device on which it is installed.

You must keep your recovery phrase secret.

From the recovery phrase a new wallet installation can generate a seed number and a master private key. From that one number, a Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) wallet can generate further private and public key pairsas needed. All of these individual private keys also need to be kept secret.



You don't need to write down all the keys, you just need to write down the mnemonic: all keys are calculated from the mnemonic. The same mnemonic in different wallets will calculate the same keys.

You will end not with one, but with several private keys (and corresponding public keys). For privacy reasons you should not use the same public key twice in transactions (people will find out those two transactions belong to the same person). That's why wallets generate new key pairs (public + private) for each transaction.

But don't worry, your wallet will do this for you. You just need to write down the mnemonic and keep it safe.

For a more technical dive on how this work, check this out.

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