Mike Burr - log

The Protocols of the Seed Phrase Validation

I think I need to switch to a "better medium" when it comes to storing my seed phrases. Check out my protocol:

I have, confession, important seed phrases written on paper. There are lots of ways to upgrade, but if you're going to the trouble, it's probably an improvement at least in terms of longevity, fire-resistance... size? Whatever, you chose your storage medium carefully. You're making a step-up from paper. Good for you.

For me, the important part is the way in which you migrate. It's easy enough to "look at the paper, copy the words, burn the paper". But I like to have a bit more order and confidence. So for this kind of thing, I often will think in terms of a "protocol" and/or "checklist"; order, in other words.

I have the paper in hand. On it is the wallet seed phrase and address, in caps-sum format (my term). Here is my protocol:

  1. On an old, good-enough laptop, install MEW (a single html file with lots of javascript). Take care of the battery situation because you will be needing at least a few hours' battery life to be on the safe side.
  2. Take laptop, paper, and new-medium somewhere safe and far far away from spying eyes (electronic or otherwise).
  3. Under a nice shade tree, transcribe (copy) your seed phrase from the paper to new-medium. Go nice and slow, make sure it's accurate. Don't destroy that paper yet. It's still your golden egg!
  4. Tuck paper away safely in the car or whatever.
  5. with new-medium and laptop in hand, go back to shade tree.
  6. Open up MEW and restore using new-medium. You should immediately get a list of generated addresses.
  7. Confirm that the first address is the same caps-summed Ethereum address as on the piece of paper (ok, maybe address on separate paper).
  8. ONCE YOU ARE SATISFIED, burn that fucking piece of paper (oh, bring lighter and gasoline)
  9. Don't forget your new-medium as you prepare to drive back home.
  10. Don't forget your new-medium after you park your vehicle and walk in your house.


  • Are there better ways to confirm you've restored the same passphrase than to check "the first address"?

- 1 toast