# Have you ever wondered if it is possible to crack a wallet seed?

in #blockchain5 years ago (edited)

We use 12 words recovery seeds for our bitcoin wallets. Popular Ethereum wallets like MetaMask also give us a 12 word seed when we create a wallet. I was wondering if it is crackable. Did a little search and here's what I found on a reddit thread:

Well, 12 words from a 2048 word list is 5,444,517,900,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 possible combinations.

If there are 300,000 wallets with a balance, your chance of hitting on one would be 1 in 18,148,393,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (i.e. the previous number divided by 300,000)

Let's say you had a computer that was able to check a billion of these per second (forgetting for now that the actual rate would be much much slower because you'd need to query the blockchain for each wallet to see if it had a balance or not).

This would mean that every second, you would have a 1 in 18,148,393,000,000,000,000,000,000 chance of finding a hit (i.e. the previous number divided by a billion.

If we take as an estimate for the "entirety of human existence" as 200,000 years (contestable obviously, but it's just the first figure that came up when i googled it), which is 6,311,520,000,000 seconds.

If you were to check a billion wallets per second, for the entirety of human existence, you would have a 1 in 2,875,439,400,000 chance of finding a single wallet with a balance (i.e. the previous number divided by the number of seconds in 200,000 years).

So, seed words have fairly strong security. But it is important to generate truly random seed phrases. If you make your own seed by picking your favourite words, it will be less secure than seeds generated by MetaMask.

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