I have a 12 word seed and I want to generate an address without exposing it to any computers. How can I accomplish this?

2 Answers 2


While theoretically possible, the algorithms involved mean that it is practically impossible. You would need to compute the seed from your mnemonic word according to BIP 39, and then derive the keys and address from that according to BIP 32.

Generating the seed from the mnemonic alone requires executing the PBKDF2 function, which is specifically designed to take a long time for a computer to compute. The time required and the complexity of the problem mean that you've got no chance.


Most hardware wallet, such as the ones from Ledger, have a recovery mode that allows you to enter in a mnemonic seed.

Provided that whatever originally generated the seed for you is compliant with BIP-0039 you will be able to recover/reuse the private keys.

  • I would consider ledger to be a computer Nov 16, 2017 at 1:07
  • 1
    Fair enough. I thought you might have been asking about avoiding common computer platforms such as a PC etc. Hardware wallets are specialised devices with High Security Modules in that provide superior protection for sensitive data. In that case the only way to do it will be by hand with pen and paper (a calculator is a computer as well) using the algorithm detailed in BIP-0039.
    – sipsorcery
    Nov 16, 2017 at 1:14

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