Five steps to ensure the randomness of your seed phrase:
1. Get your SeedSticks
Or create your own seedsticks. See FAQ below for more information.
3. Release your SeedSticks
Release the SeedSticks and put them into the bag.
Please note: To avoid splinters, please release your SeedSticks carefully as shown in the photo.
4. Draw your seed words
Blindly, one by one and write it down.
Please note: Since it is perfectly acceptable to have the same word twice, throw the drawn word back in the bag before drawing the next stick.
Important: Please follow the security guidelines. Check FAQ for more information.
5. Calculate checksum word
The last word of your seed phrase is a checksum word. You can't draw this word yourself, you have to calculate it.
Let your signing device do this for you. If your signing device can't do it, get a better one or check FAQ below.
Please make sure you have a basic understanding of seed phrases and how to store them safe and secure, before using SeedSticks.
The issue with
random number generators
Issue #1 - Bad Randomness
True randomness is hard to achieve in computer science and even harder to verify.
If true randomness is needed and there is a chance to do it yourself in a truly random way, do it.
Issue #2 - Evil Programmer
If you let your signing device generate your seed phrase, then you have no way of knowing if the wallet really used a random number generator to build it or if it chose a seed phrase from a predefined set that an evil programmer placed somewhere hidden in the signing device's firmware.
Issue #3 - Supply Chain Attack
Even if you trust your signing device manufacturer and its engineers, there is still a possibility of a supply chain attack.
An attack where your signing device is manipulated somewhere along the way from the manufacturer to you.
Is there any way I can make Bitcoin Seedsticks myself?
Sure, you can always print out bip39's word list at home, cut out the words and put them in a bag. However, in our experience, paper is unfortunately not as durable and practical. But give it a try.
Can't I just pick my favorite words from the bip39 word list?
No. Never. Don't even think about it. There are plenty of examples where wallets were sweeped because seed words were used that were easy to remember, resulted in a poem, or were otherwise not randomly chosen.
Then, with my eyes closed, can I randomly point to a word in the bip39 word list?
No. Seriously, don't do that. This has nothing to do with true randomness.
But I can think of a random number between 1-2048, look up the word from the bip39 word list to go with it?
No. The human brain is a very poor random number generator, various studies have shown.
But there must be other ways to get a seed phrase in a truly random way?
Yes. You can roll dice or flip coins. It's just more time-consuming and less comfortable. If you want to roll dice, please make sure you use casino dice.
Can I use the Bitcoin Seedsticks for software wallets as well?
If your software wallet supports calculating the checksum word (or you calculate it some other way), then yes. However, be careful with hot wallets as they store the private key on an online device. This is a serious security risk.
What to do if my hardware wallet does not support checksum word calculation?
First, tell them. Write a feature request. And then do the calculation yourself. There are numerous online tools that allow you to calculate the checksum word. Attention, these websites have to be downloaded and then run on a offline computer which will never go online again afterwards. If you can't ensure that, don't do it and stick to the signing device's random number generator.
Can I use SeedSticks for other things than Bitcoin?
SeedSticks are just a physical and handy representation of the wordlist defined in the Bitcoin standard bip39. If anything else follows this standard, you can probably work with SeedSticks there as well.
Can confirm. I bought SeedSticks and couldn’t be happier. I use them to generate physically random seed phrases all the time.— Jon Hodl (@Jon_Hodl) January 25, 2023
Everyone has their bitcoin story. So do I. Mine started in 2017. But I had to spend a whole year down the rabbit hole to understand the immense impact Bitcoin can have on our society. I was flashed. And still am. Bitcoin became a passion. But I didn't want to just passively follow Bitcoin, I wanted to be a part of it, contribute to it. So I started giving Bitcoin talks and working on Bitcoin software projects. And now with SeedSticks I release a physical project on which I have been thinking of for a long time. I love it! It simply feels right. Once you draw your seed phrase out of a handy bag, you never want to go back.
I am happy to be able to contribute to Bitcoin somehow. It's a privilage.
-- Thomas, 08/2022