What Is BIP85?


Bitcoin Improvement Protocol 85, commonly referred to as BIP85 or BIP-85, is a groundbreaking protocol that allows the generation of up to 10,000 child seeds from a single master seed (?). The versatility of BIP85 makes it possible to use these child seeds across various wallet types, formats and even protocols.

Crucially, the relationship between the master seed and its child seeds is unidirectional. Deriving a child seed from the master is straightforward, but it’s impossible to reverse-engineer the master seed from a child. This one-way encryption ensures the security of your master seed, even if a child seed becomes vulnerable.

Maintaining the security of your master seed is extremely important. Should the master seed become compromised, all associated child seeds are at risk. Utilising a hardware wallet that supports BIP85 is highly recommended for the secure creation, use and storage of your master seed. BIP85 not only enhances the flexibility in managing your digital assets across multiple wallets but also provides an additional layer of security. Making it a powerful tool in the realm of Bitcoin and cryptocurrency management.

How Does BIP85 Work?

what is bip84

BIP85, an innovative tool enhancing BIP32 and BIP39 revolutionises the way users generate multiple child seeds from a single master seed. Leveraging the power of derivation paths (?) for indexing, BIP85 ensures consistent child-seed creation from the same master seed and derivation path. The unique process guarantees the ability to recreate any child seed from the master seed in an uncompromisingly secure manner.

Even if a child seed’s security is breached, the master seed remains untouched and impenetrable. This advanced function of BIP85 not only safeguards your digital assets but also allows for an efficient and effective seed management process. Embracing BIP85 means taking a step forward into the future of secure and reliable digital currency management.

Why Use Child Keys?

keep your master seed secure

Leveraging the power of BIP85, users can conveniently generate a myriad of wallets or additional keys from one central master key. This remarkable feature revolutionises key management by eliminating the need for multiple backups. All you need is the safe storage of one master key. Not only does this streamline key management, but it also bolsters security measures.

It’s worth emphasising however, that BIP85, while offering an efficient method of managing numerous keys, also carries the implication that if your master key is breached, all ensuing keys become susceptible too. Therefore, ensuring optimal security of your master key is of paramount importance. Diving deeper into the workings of BIP85, it becomes apparent that its true power lies in the probabilistic security it offers. Making it an essential tool in the world of cryptography.

Child keys can be used for different purposes:

  • Create child keys for your mobile wallet from your master seed on your hardware wallet.
  • Create separate child keys for your mixing wallet, multisig wallet and spending wallet.
  • Create a child key for your spending hardware wallet for your cold storage (?) hardware wallet
  • Create child keys for the wallet of your non-expert family members and friends
  • Create Nostr keys or Bitcoin keys in another format

BIP85 And Multisignature

bip85 and multisig

BIP85, while incredibly useful in many scenarios, isn’t typically recommended when you’re looking to create multiple seeds for multisignature setups. The reason? The master seed essentially becomes a single point of failure, counteracting the security advantages of your multisig setup. However, innovative applications of BIP85 in non-conventional architectures can still be explored.

Additionally, BIP85 can be an effective tool for segregating your multisig seed from seeds designated for other operations such as transactions or coin mixing. Al while maintaining the security of a single secret. With this approach, you’re able to securely store the master seed in pre-established, safe locations and utilise one of the child keys for your multisig configuration. In essence, it isn’t suited to optimise your multisig setup, but it a great tool for key management.

Signing Devices That Support BIP85

hardware wallets that support bip85

To leverage the functionality to make child keys with your hardware wallet, it is crucial to ensure compatibility. This article presents a comprehensive list of all hardware wallets supporting BIP85. For those eager to explore additional features, we also provide a detailed multisignature signers comparison table.

BIP85 delivers benefits such as creating child private keys that can be backed up once and used forever, effectively eliminating the necessity for successive backups. This unique feature contributes to enhancing your wallet’s security while simplifying its use. Prioritise BIP85 compatibility when choosing your next hardware wallet for a seamless and secure Bitcoin experience.

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