Difference between Bitcoin Private Key and the Seed Phrase


When learning about Bitcoin and cryptocurrency in general, you will often come across many jargon and technical terms.

This article will explain the meaning and relationship between the Bitcoin private key and the seed phrase.

What is the difference between Bitcoin Private Keys and the Seed Phrase?

Both are different, but they are also associated with each other. For example, the seed phrase generates the bitcoin private keys.

Let’s take a closer look and understand.

Bitcoin Private Key

When you set up a new Bitcoin wallet for the first time, the private key is generated randomly. As the wallet owner, you will see your own private keys. Do not share this with others.

Private keys are mathematically linked to the Bitcoin public address, tied to the wallet’s owner and used to make transactions irreversible. Their roles are essential to ensure each transaction is unique and cannot be altered upon transacting.

The Bitcoin Private Key is a 256-bit password typically between 51 and 52 alphanumerics, case-sensitive characters long and begins with either 5, 6, K or L. It is used to spend or send your Bitcoins to another bitcoin address.

Examples of some private keys;


Seed Phrase

Also known as a mnemonic phrase, bitcoin seed, seed recovery and backup seed, it is generated and shown to the owner of the crypto wallet when the wallet is created for the first time.

The purpose of the seed phrase is to restore the wallet if the wallet is corrupted, inaccessible or encounters any other technical issues. In addition, it is a way to back up and store your cryptocurrency in the wallet.

Depending on the cryptocurrency wallet you are using, the seed phrase can be between 12, 16, 18, 20 or 24 words long. These words come in a specific numbering order and do not form a sentence. The words are typically English dictionary words and are generated randomly for the user.

It is advisable to use back the same wallet type, e.g. Exodus to Exodus, for wallet restoration. This is because other wallets may not be compatible with the seed phrase generated by the previous wallet. For example, from Exodus to Ledger hardware wallet.

An example of a 12-word seed phrase

1. pond
2. watch
3. can
4. droplet
5. mask
6. glass
7. note
8. black
10. circle
11. screen

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