Is it true that you only need the 4 initial letters of the seed?

I’m thinking about buying an steel plaque and there are ones that have letters, like Keystone. But they have just four letters of each word. They claim that this is enough. I attached a picture to show.

Is it true?

15 thoughts on “Is it true that you only need the 4 initial letters of the seed?”

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  2. Yes Each BIP39 Word is unique to the first 4 letters. The letter after that, the letters don’t even matter.

  3. Yes it’s true, the letters afterwards are just to make it easier to read in English/any other language. Do be aware that this specific one only contains 12 words though, the Ledger default is 24

  4. Buy a pack of cheap metal tag blanks and a cheap engraver. Slide them onto a keyring. Total cost maybe $30 on Amazon.

  5. Yes. You can download the bip39 word list, which gives the corresponding number for each of the 2038 words.

  6. Yes.

    Confirm this yourself by looking at the BIP wordlist and seeing if any words are identical beyond 4 letters.


  7. What am I looking at?. I know what a seed paper is but I don’t know how that one above shall be used.

  8. Sure is true.

    Just popped on to say though, I wouldn’t use one of these. I’ve got one and don’t use it any more

    See why here:

  9. I guess somewhat, because there’s only like 2048 words in the bip39 list so first 4 would narrow down significantly

  10. DIY hack here: Grab a seriously thick door hinge, preferably UL listed against fire, and sharpie pen your seed phrase into the inside. Then Dremel the words permanently into the metal. After that, repeatedly butane torch the shit out of it, and squelch it in cold water, Samurai sword style. When you’re done, toss it any household safe and you can pretty much guarantee that bad boy will survive the fire of Hades even if the rest of your house burns to the ground.

  11. This is true. Did you also know you only need to know the first two letters of “Pennsylvania 6-5000” to get the phone number as well? That would be because the words are easier to remember than the long string of UTF values that are the representations of the first four letters of each word in the phrase, just like PEnnsylvania 6-5000 is easier to remember than 736-5000 (the hotel in question went bankrupt during covid, so alas is no more)

  12. that is correct. each word in the bip39 word-list has unique first 4 letters, so you only need to record the first 4 letter of each word (or less if the word is shorter, as there are some 3-letter words in the list).

    Here is the word list:

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