New Mnemonics For Memorizing Bitcoin Seed Phrases

Although you may only be able to remember 12 or 24 words of seed phrases, there are many ways that humans can memorize information.

This opinion editorial is by Thorbjorn Knig, principal product designer. He focuses on creating amazing user experiences for Bitcoin products and services.

One of the most interesting features of bitcoin is its ability to hold your bitcoin in your mind if you can memorize 12 to 24 words. This is known as a recovery or seed phrase.

A mnemonic phrase was created to complement the binary and hexadecimal representations of the seed. It is easy to recall and can be written or spoken over the telephone.

The introduction of the mnemonic phrase led to a wealth self-custody products, services and products. This reasoning is that you shouldn't rely on your memory alone to access your wealth.

These products and services provide self-custody and come with a range of security and user experience challenges.

We are working on a particular challenge: secure encoding, storage, retrieval and retrieval of a string words. This provides solutions for people who are mostly mathematically-logical oriented.

Different people are different, however, so it's easier for some people to remember musical tones, shapes and objects than to remember words. New mnemonics such as spatial or musical mnemonics would provide a better user experience.

The development of new mnemonics will require innovative self-custody methods for secure encoding and storage, retrieval and retrieval information. This presents a new opportunity to software and hardware designers and developers.


Understanding our strengths, weaknesses, preferences, and aversions can help us identify the best tools to learn and memorize.

The brain, consciousness, and understanding of oneself is the most contested space in contemporary science and pop culture.

This is how personality types, learning, and memory are thought about. It can help us to build new mnemonics as well as the associated self-custody solutions.

Although the results are not conclusive, they are still worthy of our attention.

Right-Brained Versus Left-Brained

Roger Sperry, a psychobiologist, discovered that the brain has specialized functions in both hemispheres and that they can operate virtually independently. He discovered that language is controlled by the left-side. His split-brain research earned him the Nobel Prize in Physiology or Medicine.

Popular psychology has made this a common misconception over the years, stating that people can be left- or right-brained.

Recent research has shown that, while each hemisphere of the brain processes differently, both sides are equally capable of processing information. However, they don't function in isolation.

Math abilities, for example, are stronger when both brain hemispheres work together.

The left brain hemispheres tend manage language and logic while the right brain tend to manage spatial information, visual comprehension, and spatial information. Most people have a preference for one of the brain hemispheres, even if it is not dominant.

Multiple Intelligences

Howard Gardner, a developmental psychologist, challenged the idea that there is one type of intelligence. He proposed multiple intelligences.

He claimed that each of us have different intelligences at varying levels of proficiency. These include linguistic intelligence, logical-mathematical Intelligence, spatial-visual Intelligence, bodily-kinesthetic Intelligence, and musical intelligence.

Noting that the most valuable intelligences in society and school are the logical-mathematical and linguistic.


Linguistic Intelligence – Sensitivity to spoken and written languages, easy to learn and use language to accomplish goals.

Logical-mathematical: Analyzes problems logically, performs mathematical operations and investigate issues scientifically.

Spatial-visual intelligence: Recognizes patterns in large spaces and patterns in smaller areas.

Bodily-kinesthetics: This uses the entire body or parts to solve problems.

Music intelligence: A skillful performer, composer and apologist of musical patterns.

We can now explore alternative expressions for the classic mnemonic phrase, keeping in mind the personality types as well as the various intelligences.


Mnemonic Phrase/Words

We all know and love the mnemonic 12 or 24 words. BIP39 introduced this mnemonic.

Many times, the user is responsible for managing it. Ideally, stainless steel should be used, but in some cases, it can be written on paper.

If you are having trouble sleeping because you don't want to be your bank, there are many self-custody options available.

All of the above, plus the possibility to memorize the string of words.

Twelve words are a sample of a mnemonic phrase.

Mnemonic Phrase/Braille

In the United States alone, there are approximately 8 million people with visual impairment. There are more than 253 million worldwide.

We need more inclusive self-custody products for bitcoin.

Braille is a tactile system for touch reading and writing that aids the visually impaired. The raised dots signify the letters of the alphabet.

Braille can be read by moving your hand from left to right along each line.

Numbers can be generated by placing the Braille number sign # after the Braille letters A through J (#A = 1 to 0).

This is a mnemonic phrase

alpha — day — december — valid — abstract — stone — panda — industry — robust — culture — kidney — youth

This would be Braille




And so on.

Some Braille Resources:

  • Braille-Tools — This library provides some CSS and Javascript to display Braille on web pages (for the sighted).
  • The Bitcoin white paper, transcribed in Braille and including tactile diagrams.

Dot Inc., a South Korean company, has been innovating tactile communication for years. Here are some real-world examples:

Dot Cell/An Elektromagnetic Tactile Activator — The world's smallest Braille cell and the most economical. The Dot Cell's modular and compact design means that there are many uses for it.

Dot Watch/6x Braille cell — The Dot Watch allows you to experience time in a completely different way. It does not require sound and can be used by only you. A new way to experience time.

Dot Pad/300x Braille cell — Get visual content from any source. You can now feel your handwriting, signature, and sketches for the first time.

Dot Pad Developer Center/SDK guide/Sample code/Dev Tools — Create a new category of accessible apps for the first tactile graphics display.

Mnemonic Phrase/ELIA Frames ™

Only 60,000 people can read braille among the 8.4 million Americans with a visual impairment. This means that 99.1% people with a visual impairment cannot read Braille. The reason is primarily because they have lost their sight as adults. Many people find the learning curve too steep.

ELIA Frames(tm), a tactile reading system, is an intuitive and simple alternative to braille. It's especially useful for those who have lost their sight or are unable to read regular text.

Hello World — set in ELIA Frames(tm):

It is easy to read even for those with 20/20 vision. Although it is a little more difficult to write.

Here's a mnemonic phrase to help you remember:

alpha — day — december — valid — abstract — stone — panda — industry — robust — culture — kidney — youth

Now, set the ELIA Frames ™:




And so on.

Logograms/Mnemonic Design

Director Denis Villeneuve started work on Arrival science fiction movie, and he and his team turned towards real-life computer scientists Stephen Wolfram and Christopher Wolfram for authentic science.

Christopher was specifically assigned to analyze and write code for a fictional visual language.

Aaron Morrison

The Wolframs began to cut the logograms into sections, starting at 12.

Wolfram's software is able to identify and track complex shapes. It can also create a bank with known words or thoughts.

Although only a few logograms are translated, it is possible to create a wider vocabulary. All the tools and designs are there. Only thing missing is willpower and patience.

Mnemonic Design/Shapes

Grammar is a rule-based system that generates sentences and phrases. Shape grammars are rule-based systems to describe and generate designs.

Shape grammars create designs by computing with shapes in two- or three dimensions directly, instead of using symbols, words numbers, or other abstract structures that represent visual forms indirectly.

The development of shape grammar begins with a vocabulary that describes shapes. Next, we need to define spatial relations between shapes. This will limit the ways vocabulary elements can be combined.

Andrew I-kang Li (KIT) is an associate professor of design and architecture. He has created a software tool called shape grammar for designers.

Mnemonic Design/Origami

Origami (Zhe RiZhi ) refers to the art of folding paper, and is often associated with Japanese culture.

Origami is a fascinating concept in that it incorporates the visual and tactile. It often includes an emotional aspect, which can be a strong feature when it comes to memorization.

It can also hold endless combinations of shapes, up to 2048.

"Folding Techniques For Designers / Paul Jackson"

Paul Jackson is the author of over 40 books about paper arts and crafts. He has taught folding techniques in more than 150 universities across the U.K. and Canada.

He is also a "folding consultant", which he has done for companies like Nike and Siemens. He is also the director and founder of the Israeli Origami Center.

"Folding Techniques For Designers" / Paul Jackson

Origami has many object characteristics that could be captured, identified, and managed by an object-capture API.

Mnemonic Design/Bricks

LEGO is an acronym of two Danish words, "Leg godt" and "Play well."

LEGO can be a fun, spatial, and problem-solving experience.

Walking barefoot on a LEGO brick can also be an experience. This is, however, also what we are seeking — more information about adrenaline spikes as well as long-term memories in the section on neurochemicals.

There are 46 combinations possible with two LEGO bricks, two of which are unique. The other combinations can have doubles by rotating the lower brick 180°.

The entropy and use of LEGO(r), Bergfinnur Durhuus, and Soren Eiler

46 combinations is not enough. We will need to add just one more two-by-4 brick (462) to get there. 2,116 total — more than 2,048 — provided we don't rotate them — which will give 1024-bit encryption.

We can also reduce the number of bricks by reducing them from 24 to 12, with no rotation, and get 1024-bit encryption.

Through their tactility, mnemonic designs add an extra layer of encryption to your data. The physicality of the objects must be present, in this instance three LEGO bricks.

Oh, and braille bricks.

Mnemonic Palette/Colors

Pantone(r), which covers the entire spectrum, has more than 3,000 colors. Each swatch is assigned a unique number as well as a name.

If you have trouble remembering the name of the color, such as Ashes of Roses or Desert Flower or Mother of Pearl, it might help you to recall its number.

Another option is to add a Pantone(r), color and name to your existing BIP39 wordlist — to aid your memory.

Mnemonic Choreography/Moves

Ryan Heffington, director and performance artist, is renowned for his ability to connect viewer and performer. Sia has received over 2 billion views of Chandelier from Ryan Heffington — making it one the most watched music videos ever.

Maddie Ziegler, then 11, was the dancer who choreographed Heffington's choreography.

Heffington has created a short monologue that breaks down the routine in words or choreographic phrases.

Morse code, morse cod

You're getting higher

Hunger pains

Eyes with mouths

Dog in a wheelchair

A familiar tear, a repetitive tear

Ice skater

This is not something you should attempt at home.

Lonely and gluttonous

Wax on, wax away

Blow powder

Take a fork and stab it against the wall. Then, toss it out.

Pass out

Take a look

Charlie Chaplin, Charlie Chaplin

Get cockroaches up the walls

Get rid of your mustache


You have had too many!

Cats cradle

Gangster, gangster

Someone put the baby in the mother's fucking corner

Pump, pump


Robot bird

Bounce, bounce


Your imaginary friend






Sip up

Relax your breathing

Farewell song

Intimate relationships

You should be reprimanded

Same problem, different angle

The veil has been lifted

We are letting you in on our joke

"My favorite line of his is — A wounded animal in one of these wheelchairs. That was the moment that I realized how specific and visceral those moves were and why his choreography resonates so strongly with audiences. It's absurd but it's true life. — Andrea Sisson, director

Ryan Heffington choreographed dance movements for The OA, a Netflix series that is deeply bizarre. Here the movements were used as a phrase to open a portal into another dimension.

This is achieved by taking the movement of a person with a mobile phone in real-time. It can be used to identify and manage these movements as input to an object capture API.

Tones/Mnemonic Composition

Sound can be defined as a vibration that propagates through a transmission medium such as a gas, liquid, or solid.

The five fundamental characteristics of sound waves are wavelength, amplitude frequency, frequency, duration, velocity and frequency.

Tone and note are terms that refer to the frequency of sound waves. The absolute pitch of a sound is called the note. It corresponds to a specific frequency. Tones are defined as sounds that can be identified by their regularity of vibrations.

A major or minor scale is derived from universal audio principles and has seven notes. It also includes seven basic syllables, do, re. mi, fa. sol. la, and ti.

John Williams originally wanted seven notes for "Close Encounters Of The Third Kind", but Spielberg thought it was too long to be a simple greeting. So it became five tones; re mi, do so, so — the second do is an octave lower than the first.

The conversation transforms into a musical phrase, changing the register, octave, and tone color. This allows for exploration of a basic tonal vocabulary.

Williams tried a few hundred combinations of five notes from the 12-tone chromatic range and chose five.

Rarely are all 12 tones used. Most music uses the diatonic or 7-tone scale to divide octaves. Folk music often uses five tones.

We could make a mnemonic composition with 24 variations and five tones, which would be well over 2,048. Also, 1024-bit encryption works.

Mnemonic Composition/Frequencies

Nikola Tesla: "If you want the secrets of the universe to be discovered, think in terms energy, frequency, and vibration."

One cycle per second is known as a Hertz (Hz). The frequency range of sound frequencies that humans hear is between 20 and 20,000Hz. From low bass to high treble.

The 12-tone chromatic spectrum contains frequencies from 16.35 Hz up to 31608 Hz. However, frequencies higher than 8,000 Hz are not considered fundamental.

Cymatics refers to the study of audio frequencies. By vibrating a membrane, plate, or diaphragm, and holding a thin layer of particles, paste, or liquid, you can see different patterns on the medium depending on the frequency. The more complex the pattern, the higher the frequency. It's a fascinating mix of form and sound.

Mnemonic Composition/Vectors

Vector graphics are created with sound when an audio signal is directly fed into the oscilloscope.

It's a exact representation of the waves reaching your ears as sound waves. This is the closest correlation between sound and image.

Hansi Raber developed OsciStudio software, which converts 3D objects created with blender (open-source 3D software) to sound that can be displayed on an oscilloscope. It can be used as a MIDI instrument on Windows and Mac.

Jerobeam Fenderson, an artist, has been creating an oscilloscope vocabulary with OsciStudio. It sounds and looks incredible. Smarter Everyday interviewed both of them.

The output is displayed in 2D on an oscilloscope, but it could be displayed or printed in 3D. It is a fascinating mix of sound, form and color.

The cymatics are the most difficult mnemonic compositions to develop a self-custody product. However, they are interesting building blocks.


Mnemonic Technique/Chunking

People can chunke information to make it more meaningful and memorable. It is a way of hacking their working memory limits. A phone number sequence that is 4-1-5-5-4-3-8-9-7-7-7 could be broken down into 415-543-8977.

Because they are subjective and based on individuals' perceptions of the information, chunks can be highly subjective. The range of chunks is generally between 2-6 items.

Most people have trouble keeping more than five to nine items in their short-term memory.

It is nearly impossible to remember 24 words, shapes, or musical tone variations. However, it is possible to memorize half of them.

Is it possible to use chunking to make them more readable?

Let's say we have a 1:1 relationship between two types of mnemonics. For example, a mnemonic design or a phrase. The first LEGO brick combination corresponds to the word alpha, the second LEGO brick combination corresponds to the word day, and so on.

Mix them together:

The above can be experienced as the below — 6x LEGOs with names

The order:

design — word — design — word — design — word — design — word — design — word — design — word.

Choose a combination that best suits your learning style.

word — words — tones – word — tone — word tones — tones word — word tones word –tones word — words — tones word — word tones word –tones — word tones word — term — tones word — word tones

You can mix it even more by adding an additional mnemonic.

design — word – tones — design – word — tones – design — word — tones — design — word — tones — design — word — tones — tones — design — word — tones — tones — design — word — tones — tones — design – word — tones

This resulted in four objects each with a name and a set tone.


Humans have the ability to retrieve and store information that we have learned or experienced. We refer to this as our memories.

There are three types of memory that can be broadly divided: short-term, medium-term and long-term.

We need to look at ways to improve our long-term memories if we want to be in a position to retrieve our private keys from memory. This could potentially take years.

This video features Dr. Andrew D. Huberman (an American neuroscientist who is also an associate professor at Stanford University School of Medicine's Department of Neurobiology).


Continue and Review

It is a great way to retain information, whether it's the mental exercise of recalling a string or the physical act of juggling a soccerball.

This is where the idea of the learning curve originated. Learning something can be slow at first, and seem impossible. But, as you learn more, it becomes easier and easier. Practice makes perfect.

To retain your memory, it is important to review the information you have learned when learning something new. As time passes, the gaps between your reviews may grow longer. This is sometimes called the forgetting curve.

Adrenalin Spike

Emotional resonance improves memory. It can be positive or negative emotions like fear, love, joy, or pain. Anything that increases adrenaline levels in the body and mind, decreases repetition.

Not only is exercise good for your mind and body, but it can also improve your memory. A hard run can increase your pulse.

This is why any type of cold exposure such as a cold bath or ice shower will help to improve your memorization.

This category also includes caffeine intake, which can cause a noticeable spike in adrenaline.

The learning experience should be emotionally connected, increasing focus and intensity. For optimal results, exercise, cold exposure, and caffeine should all be done within a few minutes of the learning experience. It is best to wait for at least 10-15 minutes. later.

It would be counterproductive to give an adrenaline boost before and after learning experiences.


You can do anything from a 20 minute. Learning can be enhanced by a short 20-minute nap after learning.

While a quick nap can be something most people could see themselves doing, meditation and NSDR require a lot more learning. It can take up 8 weeks for the effects of regular meditation and NSDR to manifest.


Anybody who designs for humans must consider all aspects, from the limitations in short-term memory to interactions between technology and humans.

When it comes to how we interact with technology, our brains are different. This is something we need to embrace as self-custody product builders. We want to make sure that every user has a positive and meaningful experience.

Design for all people, keeping in mind all of our individualities.

This guest post is by Thorbjorn Knig. These opinions are not necessarily those of BTC Inc.

By: Thorbjørn König
Title: New Mnemonics For Memorizing Bitcoin Seed Phrases
Sourced From:
Published Date: Fri, 16 Sep 2022 23:00:00 GMT

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