What’s the Difference Between Bitcoin Pins, Seeds & Passphrases?

Bitcoin seeds, passphrases, pins, recovery phrases… when you’re new to the world of cryptocurrency it can be overwhelming getting your head around all the crypto jargon! But if you believe in Bitcoin like we do, you’ll know that it’s heading towards being the financial currency of the future, so it’s important to understand!

Bitcoin operates on a decentralized blockchain network, which makes it secure and private. To use Bitcoin, you’ll need a wallet that stores your digital currency (or more specifically, the private keys), and you’ll then need to secure your wallets with a passphrase, a PIN, or a seed. But they all sound like the exact same thing, so what’s the difference?

In this article, we discuss the differences between Bitcoin seeds, passphrases, and PINs, and how each of them is used to protect your digital currency.


A PIN is a four to eight-digit number that is used to access your Bitcoin wallet. It is the most basic form of security that is available for your wallet, and it is usually the first level of security that you encounter when setting up your wallet.

When you create a PIN, you should ensure that it is unique and not easy to guess (please don’t use 1, 2, 3, 4). A PIN is similar to the one you use for your ATM card or mobile phone, and it is essential to keep it safe from unauthorized access. If someone gains access to your PIN, they can access your wallet and steal your Bitcoin.


A Bitcoin seed is a randomly generated list of words that is used to restore your wallet if you lose access to it. This seed is a string of 12 to 24 words that you are prompted to write down when you first create your wallet. It is essential to keep this seed safe, as it is the only way to restore your wallet if you lose your device or forget your password.

The seed is also referred to as a recovery phrase, and it is generated by your wallet software. It is a unique set of words that are chosen at random from a dictionary of 2048 words. The order of the words is also critical, and you need to write them down in the exact order they are given. If you lose your seed, you will not be able to access your wallet or your Bitcoin. One more time: your seed phrase is the MOST IMPORTANT piece of the puzzle. DO NOT LOSE OR SHARE THIS!


Often referred to as the “25th word”, the passphrase is an additional layer of security that can be added to your Bitcoin wallet. It is a string of words or characters that you can use to encrypt your wallet. A passphrase is different from a seed. Instead, it is used to add an extra layer of protection to your wallet, making it harder for someone to access your Bitcoin.

When you create a passphrase, it is encrypted and stored on your device. To access your wallet, you need to enter the passphrase in addition to your PIN or seed. A passphrase is also known as a password, and it should be unique and strong to prevent hackers from accessing your Bitcoin.

To keep your Bitcoin safe, it is crucial to use all three levels of security and keep them safe from unauthorized access. Want to learn more about keeping your cryptocurrency secure? Read our Ultimate Guide To Keeping Your Crypto Secure here.