What are some pitfalls if you use non-standard ascii characters in your brainwallet? Say if you were to use asian language characters? Or even extended ascii characters (http://www.theasciicode.com.ar/ascii-control-characters/delete-ascii-code-127.html) ?

What are some pitfalls by doing this? would it make your brain wallet incompatible in the futre? Pros/cons?


It would not be wise to do this.

"Brainwallet" software is completely non-standardized, there's no guarantee that any two implementations handle the encoding of characters in the same way. Addition of UTF8/UTF16 these characters is also likely to be incredibly confusing, did you mean Tooxy or Тооху? Those strings look the same but one is a completely different set of Unicode characters (and make two entirely different keys).

Even with the addition of non-standard characters it's unlikely any particular human generated string will have enough entropy to avoid attack. Staying far away from the brainwallet concept entirely would be most sensible, it's extremely broken and will likely lead to a loss of money either through theft or faulty software.

  • 3
    So, in short, "no because using a brainwallet is not a wise thing to do". I just wanted to point out for the reader that there's two types of wallets that sometimes get called brainwallets. Wallets where you pick a phrase, and wallets where the wallet generates a 12-24 word phrase for you. The second method is fairly secure, and won't ever have non-standard characters in the output, because the goal is to be easy to retype. – morsecoder Oct 20 '15 at 3:15
  • 1
    Mostly, "no because this doesn't fix the problem with brainwallets and probably makes them considerably worse". Your mileage may vary but I don't think most people can be reasonably expected to remember a BIP39 seed, humans are pretty lossy with that sort of information if they don't recall it very regularly. – Anonymous Oct 20 '15 at 3:20
  • 1
    If we're talking about choosing which characters to appear in a brainwallet, we're almost certainly talking about the first, and the answer is indeed "no because you shouldn't be using a brainwallet like that at all". – Pieter Wuille Oct 20 '15 at 18:12
  • so it would be wise for those that understand unicode encoding differences to use these characters. as the majority of the population wouldn't be using it, so in effect you have something you cant even brute force due to the fact that hackers dont have these characters in their brute forcing systems. – Patoshi パトシ Oct 20 '15 at 21:28

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service, privacy policy and cookie policy

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.