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When I create a brand new descriptor wallet in Bitoin Core 24.x, does it save the seed anywhere, and if so, can I export/import it?

I understand that exporting descriptors only is not the same as exporting the seed - because the seed is hashed in order to obtain the private master key. So if I only have the master private key, the seed is basically lost.

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No it does not save the mnemonic seed phrase when you create a new descriptor wallet. Those descriptor wallet use xpub/xprv (extended public/private keys) to generate addresses and manage keys.

However, if you have the master private key (xprv), you can still recover your wallet and funds without the mnemonic seed phrase.

The reason why Bitcoin Core does not save the mnemonic seed phrase when creating a new descriptor wallet is for security reasons, it could be compromised because the seed key is the master key to the wallet and so an attacker could potentially gain access to all its fund. The xprv is effectively derived from the seed phrase, and so it is not necessary to save the seed phrase in order to recover the wallet

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  • I see. Do you happen to know why it does not save the seed? If I understand it correctly, the extended private key is made by hashing the seed. So if the seed is not saved, then it is lost forever? If so, why is it okay and why that decisioon was made? Thank you.
    – Meglio
    Apr 3, 2023 at 14:03
  • Yes, I updated my answer.
    – Saxtheowl
    Apr 3, 2023 at 17:07
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    I don't think that's the reason (there is even a PR to change this: github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin/pull/26728); I think it's just historical that doing the alternative was hard to do with how the code was originally structured. Also note that the seed and the mnemonic phrase are distinct things. The Bitcoin Core wallet has a seed, even though it is not saved. There is however no mnemonic phrase, which is a separate concept, introduced by a separate standard, which is not implemented in Bitcoin Core. Apr 3, 2023 at 22:01
  • To make the information complete - the seed is not saved in so-called "descriptor wallets" in contrast to so-called "legacy wallets" for which the seed is got by the RPC command "dumpwallet" (in a line with "hdseed=1"), right? May 28, 2023 at 17:18

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