Newbie question about private key recovery ▫

I am new to wallets, but have a good understanding of how private keys work. I just got my Trezor Model T set up with a Bitcoin account and transferred a small bit from the exchange to my wallet just to make sure I understood how to do that. I am going to transfer most of my coins to the wallet, but before doing so, I am not clear about something. I understand that as long as I have the seed phrase, I can recover my wallet to the Trezor device. But say one day my Trezor stops working and I decide to switch to a different hardware or software wallet. Do I just use that same recovery seed phrase to restore my private key on the other wallet? I understand that I can get another Trezor Model T and recover to that, as detailed in the setup. I am just not clear on if I can restore the private key to any wallet. I know with PKI, you can move a private key file to any platform, as long as you have the password. Is that basically the same thing with crypto wallets, except you use the seed phrase to create an identical private key?

Hi @brandonm

If your Trezor device is lost, not working etc. (or SatoshiLabs shuts down a business), you can recover your wallet easily by using any compatible app, or any other hw wallet following BIP-39. See some compatible third-party apps Apps - Trezor Wiki. This process can be reproduced with the same result at any time, even offline. You can simply recover your wallet by using your recovery seed (and passphrase) with any other compatible hardware wallet / app when it’s needed.

Your mnemonic recovery seed represents your private key.

Excellent! Thanks for the information.

Hi I am a new to crypto, and was wondering if I have both bitcoin and ethereum on my trezor wallet and want to rebuild the wallet but on another platform. How do I do that from one seed? Do I have to put the seed in a bitcoin wallet recover that, and then put the same seed in an ethereum wallet?

Hi @JSG,

When you do a Recovery all your accounts will be restored in one operation. There aren’t separate operations for Bitcoin (BTC) and Ethereum (ETH). See User manual:Recovery - Trezor Wiki (for Trezor Model One) or User manual:Recovery - Trezor Wiki (for Trezor Model T).

Thanks for the reply. However I am still a bit confused. I only want to know about rrcovery without the trezor and any trezor related softtware. So it is my understanding that some wallets only support bitcoin? If so what happens if I use the recovery seed on one of those wallets will I then hVe to put my seed in another wallet that supports ethereum? Or is it that the all the BIP-39 wallets will recover my wallet with both bitcoin and ethereum because they support both

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Hi @JSG,
You summarized that well. Some wallets support just chosen coins, therefore, in order to access all your coins using one interface, you would have to find a wallet that supports all the coins you want to access. Otherwise you would have to use some Bitcoin wallet for accessing your bitcoins, Ethereum wallet for accessing your ethers and so on.

Thanks for the reply. So when you say I would need to use a bitcoin wallet to access the bitcoin and an ethereum wallet to acces the ethereum, I take it I would have to recover them separately? Even though, as I understand it there is only one seed on the trezor for all your wallets and coins?
So I would have to put that seed into multiple wallets to recover all the coins, If I wasnt using a trezor or any trezor software. Thanks again

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Well, there are compatible wallets supporting multiple coins (BTC, LTC, ETH, etc.) to which you can import the seed, such as Ledger or Keepkey to name a few.
In general, Trezor is compatible with BIP32, BIP39 and BIP44 wallets.

Thanks very much. So its likely that I will be able to recover all my coins with one seed using a wallet that is compatible with multiple coins

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@JSG That is correct!