A seed phrase is a group of random words generated by a crypto wallet when you first set it up, and it’s very important to keep a record of these words. It’s important to note, that private keys and seed phrases are not the same, although both prevent hackers from gaining access to your coins within that wallet.
A seed phrase allows you to regain access to your crypto wallet and everything inside of it. If you had a mobile wallet and lost your phone, had a hardware wallet that broke or you used a web browser and your computer died, your seed phrase would allow you to set up a new wallet on a phone, browser, or hardware device and regain complete access to your crypto.
A seed phrase needs to be kept a secret at all costs, as anyone who knows your seed phrase can import a copy of your wallet onto their own device and empty it. They can do so because knowing your seed phrase gives them access to your private keys. A private key is used in transactions to verify ownership of a blockchain address. Since you will be the sole person with that seed phrase, you must keep track of it.
Each seed phrase is pulled from a list of 2,048 words. Rather than a numeric password with long strings of numbers, a seed phrase is a series of between 12-24 simple randomized words, such as “rice,” “color,” “two,” “bronze” or “ocean.”
The idea of using a series of words instead of a jumble of random numbers and letters is to make it easier to note down correctly and leaves less room for human error. The vast number of seed word combinations also makes it infeasible to try and crack it.
If you lose access to your wallet or delete it without ensuring that your seed phrase is saved somewhere secure, you will lose access to your crypto assets. It is impossible to change your seed phrase, and there’s no one to reach out to help you recover your seed phrase if the worst happens.