Recovering A Seed Phrase After Death: What You Need to Know

Digital assets like crypto and NFTs are becoming equally as valuable as traditional assets like property and fiat currency and should be treated as such. So preparing your assets to be distributed after your death is a reasonable thought. But, what if your seed phrase were to go missing?

Without a seed phrase, there is no way to access digital assets to properly distribute them after death. That’s why it’s recommended you store your seed phrase in a secure location that can only be accessed by the heir(s). The most secure location is a decentralized, virtual vault, like Serenity Shield.

Although many of us don’t like to think about when our time might come, we all have to at some point. And with digital assets becoming the new norm, we need to take into consideration how we can pass them on to our loved ones after we’re gone.

What If Your Seed Phrase Is Missing Upon Death?

A seed phrase (aka secret phrase, recovery phrase, and private key) is a randomly generated group of words that enables access to a digital wallet. Unlike a bank account, if you lose your seed phrase, there’s no way to recover your wallet or the contents within.

Even if you include all of your digital assets in your will but your seed phrase can’t be found, your heirs are out of luck. There would be no way to gain access to your wallet to properly distribute the assets.

Of course, there are many places you can store your seed phrase. Below, we will take a look at some of the most common ways people are storing their seed phrases.

Paper wallet

Surprisingly, one of the most recommended ways to securely store a seed phrase is by writing it down on a piece of paper.

Although this method is simple, it’s quite primitive and can be very risky. Sure, a hacker won’t be able to gain access to it. But, what if it accidentally gets tossed in the trash, you spill coffee on it, or worse, it gets burned in a fire.

I know what you’re thinking—that’s just silly. But, things like this actually happen. And in the case of your seed phrase, you would have no way to recover it once it’s gone.

Password manager

Another option where someone might store their seed phrase is in a password manager. These convenient managing programs allow users to store, generate, and manage multiple passwords. 

It also assists in generating and retrieving complex passwords and stores them in an encrypted database. The downside to using a password manager to store your seed phrase is that it is likely via centralized software.

That means if the software crashes, you could potentially lose all of the data stored in it. Also, centralized software is easier for hackers to target, especially if they can gain access to your computer.

Though password managers may be a decent way to store passwords for something like your social media accounts, I would not feel comfortable storing my seed phrase in one, especially if you have a considerable amount of assets stored in your wallet.

Centralized exchange accounts

Centralized exchange accounts (CEX) like Coinbase coordinate cryptocurrency trading on a large scale. These exchanges use a similar business model to traditional asset exchanges like Robinhood, for example. 

Centralized exchange Coinbase logo on a phone

In addition, these exchanges can also be used to store your cryptocurrency. The good thing about a centralized exchange is that you can easily recover your account if you lose your password.

The bad thing is that because these exchanges are centralized, they leave users without direct ownership of their funds. Also, they are more likely to be hacked. 

Such is the case when 6,000 Coinbase users had funds taken out of their accounts due to a data breach.

According to Coinbase, they suspect that hackers used a large-scale email phishing campaign to trick customers into providing their email addresses, passwords, and phone numbers associated with their accounts.

Also, they utilized a malicious app that enabled reading and writing to the inbox if the user granted permission.

This is a perfect example of why leaving your digital assets stored in a centralized exchange (especially long-term) can be extremely risky, and should be avoided at all costs.

The Solution to Securely Storing Your Seed Phrase

We are in desperate need of a more secure way to store our seed phrases, especially if we are planning for after we’re gone.

One of the most secure ways to store your wallet’s seed phrase is in a decentralized, virtual vault. This type of vault enables you to remain the sole owner of your assets, and as a result, you are in full control. One of the best virtual vaults available today is Serenity Shield.

At the very least, it’s always smart to have a virtual backup in case your physical copy goes missing. I know many people who buy NFTs specifically to pass them on to their children, wouldn’t it be devastating if your child’s assets couldn’t be accessed just because a silly phrase got lost?

Though options like the “paper wallet” are effective, there is a fair amount of risk involved with this storage method. That’s where Serenity Shield can help provide an added layer of security and another option for securely storing your seed phrase.

What Is Serenity Shield?

Serenity Shield is a dApp that provides a comprehensive solution to crypto inheritance. Users can set, store, and save their unique crypto login credentials. This allows you to establish a transferable heritage plan for designated recipients and ensure seed phrase security on the blockchain.

Serenity Shield logo and a shield holding a digital wallet

Serenity Shield can be utilized by the user to:

  1. Restore their data in case of loss of access to their seed phrase.
  2. Transfer the ownership of their information to specific users, such as heirs, in the case of an accident or death of the user.

By leveraging the immutable security of smart contracts and blockchain technology, your digital assets are kept safe in the event of a lost wallet seed phrase, personal tragedy, or death.  

The beauty of Serenity Shield is that it aims to solve the risks of centralized platforms and physical storage options by providing a fully encrypted, decentralized solution for passing on assets to an heir in the event of a personal tragedy or death. 

Unlike centralized exchanges, this solution enables users to claim full ownership and autonomy over their digital assets, while also offering peace of mind that your secret phrase is safe.

Ultimately, Serenity Shield offers several advantages over traditional seed phrase storing methods including: 

  • No physical key.
  • Seed phrases can be accessed quickly.
  • Its NFTs can contain any code that the user desires to keep secure.

How Does Serenity Shield Work?

Let’s talk about how this dApp can be used to keep your secret phrase safe. 

To use Serenity Shield, you simply create an account via the dApp. From there, you create what’s called a StrongBox.

Serenity Shield infographic

Essentially, the StrongBox is a virtual safe solely owned by the end-user and protected by Decentralized Identity (DID) tech for user login, and NFT Keys to activate the StrongBox function.

From the very moment you activate your account, all sensitive information undergoes a robust encryption process that splits your sensitive information into three unique NFT Keys. Each Key is then distributed as outlined below:

Serenity Shield NFT Keys
  • 1st NFT remains in possession of the account user.
  • 2nd NFT is sent to the designated heir(s).
  • 3rd NFT is kept secure in a smart contract vault belonging to Serenity Shield.

The user and their selected heir(s) are the only entities that have the ability to execute a recovery event.

As the owner of the StrongBox, you are responsible for configuring the settings which define the activation policy. This policy defines when Serenity Shield transfers the second NFT Key from the Vault to the heir.

Once stored, no single entity, including Serenity Shield, will have access to your StrongBox or the data it contains. Only once the StrongBox authentication process has been fulfilled will the smart contract send the third NFT (stored in the Serenity Shield vault) to the heir(s).

Once the heir acquires 2 out of the 3 NFTs, they can successfully decrypt the StrongBox and access all the data within.

The authentication process is handled by Serenity Wallet, a custom Secret Network wallet built on top of the Web3Auth platform, offering decentralized multi-factor security mechanisms.

The reason Serenity Wallet is built on the Secret Network blockchain is to create a zero custody solution to secure all of your most valuable digital assets.

Moreover, privacy and security features are guaranteed since the smart contracts transactions are sent in an encrypted form from the user to the validating node, and run in a protected hardware environment.

Now, if you have created a StrongBox but decide that you want to modify, cancel, or recover the information within, then you can simply claim the third NFT saved in the Serenity Shield vault. Therefore, allowing you to finish or restart the encryption process.

What Is $SERSH?

To enable the retrieval of the revenue generated from the use of the dApp, the $SERSH utility token has been created.

$SERSH is a deflationary SPL token that works on the Solana blockchain to allow for low gas fees and fast network speeds. A portion of the money earned by the DApp will be used to assist the Buy-Back and Burn of $SERSH tokens. 

Because of this intentional token burn, the quantity of $SERSH will gradually decrease over time, raising token scarcity.

A one-time fee of $50 USDC will be incurred to users in order to protect their information, create the StrongBox, and mint the NFTs that will be distributed to each account holder, heir, and the Serenity Shield smart contract.

If you ask me, that is a small price to pay for ensuring your seed phrase and other valued information remain securely stored.

$SERSH token distribution

There is a total supply of 100,000,000 $SERSH, 20,000,000 of those will be offered in the public sale, for an initial circulating supply of 25,000,000 tokens.

As digital assets become the new norm, many of them will become more valuable and remain that way for years to come. If you plan on passing your digital assets on to loved ones or you just want to be prepared for the unknown, then it may be wise to consider your options for securely storing your seed phrase.

Serenity Shield is a dApp that can ensure your seed phrase (and any other important info) is stored in a secure virtual vault that can only be accessed by you and your heir(s). And as the owner of the vault, you remain in full control of your assets.

About Alex Gomez

Alex is a professional writer based in the U.S. focused on the blockchain industry. With years of experience, he contributes to some of the most recognized publications such as Yahoo, ONE37pm, and others. He previously worked for Gary Vaynerchuk as his NFT editor before going all-in on Cyber Scrilla.