Skip to main content

Account Secrets

Create Account

You are able to view your account secrets (Private Key and Recovery Phrase) at any time by selecting the account and clicking on the Secret Keys button. Never divulge your account secrets - persons that know your secrets can use them to access and control your account.

Private Key

The private key represents an array of bytes that is used to derive your public key and sign messages. Your private key can provide cryptographic proof that the owner of the key authorized a message or transaction without revealing its secret. This concept of private and public keys is what powers modern-day blockchains.

Private keys can be be displayed as characters (for instance, "5Rk7DkD9a0...."), or a list of numbers (for instance [97, 52, 32, 252, 91, ...]). This might seem confusing, but really it is simple - the private key is list of 64 bytes. The bytes are displayed ("encoded") in different formats (more about encoding here). That is similar to saying "Hello" in English and "Hola" in Spanish - they are spelled and spoken differently, but they have the same meaning.

Recovery phrases are transformed into bytes, which then are transformed into private keys.

Recovery Phrase

Recovery phrases are typically 12 to 24 randomly selected words used to generate a private and public key. Avana Wallet uses randomly selected words from the standardized Bitcoin word list which consists of over 2,000 common words. Each word displayed is randomly chosen from this list.

This method to create a crypto account is very secure and generally accepted as safe. To help you understand how many combinations are possible, the math is as follows:

$$ possibilities = words^{2048} $$

A 12-word recovery phrase has 5,444,517,870,735,015,415,413,993,718,908,291,383,296 possibilities. This number is large enough to provide a great degree of confidence that your account is safe.

Importance of Randomness

It's very important to make sure your phrase is randomly generated. Easy-to-guess and common phrases can be cracked. There have been instances where bots have cracked phrases that used song lyrics and other non-random sequences (see this discussion).

Derivation Path

Most crypto wallets use a Derivation Path to map a private key to a public address. It can seem like a complicated topic, but think of it this way: the derivation path is a set of instructions to make a public address from your account secret without revealing the account secret. Given the same account secret, a different set of instructions results in a completely different public address, but the account secret holder is still able to prove ownership of both public addresses.

This path is needed to restore your account on any other wallet provider. Avana Wallet uses derivation path m/44'/501'/0'/0', and increments the account index by 1 for every new account (for instance, an account with index 1 would be m/44'/501'/1'/0'). This method is followed the majority of other Solana wallet providers.

Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are used to store your private key offline in a secure physical device. The private key never leaves the device. Avana Wallet supports hardware wallet such as the Ledger Nano. Visit this page to read more.