A new open-source Bitcoin tool allows users to encode mnemonic seed phrases from their wallets into a series of colors, providing a unique approach to secure crypto assets.
Keeping private keys safe both from online and physical theft might be annoying. After all, a sizable part of our industry is dedicated to lightening that load with custodial solutions.
Seed phrases have been the best way crypto has found so far to make wallet backup more accessible for normies: by turning those 64-character keys into a concise sequence of 12 words and storing those instead.
Smart storage for seed phrases usually comes down to either:
- Writing down your seed phrase on paper and securing it in any possible way.
- Storing it on an [always] offline device, although even cold wallets have their inherent risks, too.
- Just memorizing your seed phrase — a method that cannot be hacked (unless with torture as a form of the “brute force” hack) but can be forgotten.
Bitcoin developer @EnteroPositivo introduced (thread) “BIP39 Colors” last month, an open-source tool designed to convert BIP39 mnemonic phrases into a series of colors. It enables you to transform your 12-word phrase into 8 colors (or 24-word phrase into 16 colors). Then, you can always revert the colors back to your original seed if needed, even manually, as the author described on GitHub.
A seed phrase is encoded in colors (Source)
BIP39 is a standard for generating one’s seed phrase, consisting of an ordered set of 12 to 24 words containing the information necessary to create a private key to establish and access a Bitcoin wallet. That was meant to make it easier for users to recover funds in crypto if they lose their wallet device.
The colors generated by the tool are represented as hex color codes, which are six-digit values that depict virtually any color as some combination of red, blue, and green. Colors generated can be stored in various files, such as HTML, CSS, or even as part of a PNG image’s color palette. Or you can paint the room walls with those colors (the security of this option seems doubtful, though).
Unlike the word-based system, there is no need to remember the specific order of the colors to recover the seed. The only requirement is that all the colors are present.
The developer also provided instructions on decoding colors generated back into the mnemonic phrase with only a calculator, with no need for any external tool.
And I hope you don’t want to be the first person in crypto whose savings get stolen because they got excited enough to share on Twitter how beautiful their seed phrase looks now.