HD wallet tutorial - manage your keys with a single phrase

How to use the new HD wallet feature

A hierarchical-deterministic (HD) wallet makes managing your Incognito wallet simpler and more secure. With it, you are able to back up and restore multiple keychains with just one 12-word phrase.

Below, we’ll explore how to navigate the HD wallet feature.

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Dictionary:

Key - In cryptography, a string of characters used to identify/access balances on the blockchain.

Keychain - a collection of related keys (private key, public key, read-only key, etc).

Master Key - Used to create and manage multiple keychains (which each contain multiple keys).

Seed phrase - In this case, a 12-word phrase that allows access to your master key and all keychains under it.

Masterless keychains - Your “old keychains” - keychains created before the release of the HD wallet feature that are not governed under a master key.


Setting up your HD wallet

Learn how to create and save your new master key phrase.

If you had funds in Incognito before this update, your funds will be safe even after you create a new master key. We’ll look at where to access masterless (old) keychains later in this tutorial.

1. Create your master key

If you’re downloading the app, you’ll arrive at this screen prompting you to create your master key.

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If you’re updating your app, you’ll be asked to back up your private keys. Follow the instructions as outlined in the pictures below:

Tap “Back up now”, then “Copy all keys”. Paste your keys somewhere safe.

Confirm that you’ve recorded your keys (ideally somewhere only you have access to them, and where you will not lose access to them). Then, click “Proceed”.

Then, you’ll be brought to a slightly different screen from the new user screen, but to the same effect.

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Either way, if you have not yet created an Incognito master key, tap “Create your master key”.

2. Name your master key

Choose a name for your master key, accept the warning, and prepare to write down your seed phrase. When you’re ready, tap “I’m ready”.

3. Copy your seed phrase

Copy the words that appear on screen in the order they appear. You can also copy the QR code for ease of use. When you’ve finished, tap “I’ve saved my phrase”.

It’s good practice to store this phrase in multiple secure places that only you have access to. If you lose it, you’ll lose your funds. If someone gains access to your seed phrase, they’ll have access to your funds.

4. Enter your seed phrase

Tap the words you just copied in the correct order to confirm creation of your master key. Tap “Create master key”.

How to access your existing funds and keychains

Returning user? Read this.

Go to Assets, then tap on the keychain toggle on the top right of your screen. There you’ll find your old keychains and existing funds – under the heading: Masterless.

Why Masterless? Because they were created prior to the introduction of master keys! This means you won’t be able to back up these keychains using a master key phrase, and will have to do it the old-fashioned way – via private key. If you haven’t done so yet, refer to the section below on 'Backing up masterless keychains.

You’ll see your new master key by default, which will be empty. Don’t worry – accessing your old keys (and funds) is just a toggle away.

Managing your keychains

Learn how to create, import and back up master keys and their keychains.

Your keychains will be in the same section of the app they were before, but it will look a bit different. From the home screen, tap Keychain.

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You will be brought to the new keychain dashboard, which shows all of your keychains under your current master key.

From here, you can:

Create - Create a new keychain under this master key.

Reveal recovery phrase - Reveal the 12-word phrase you can use to back up and recover this master key, along with all keychains under it.

Import - Import an individual keychain.

View keys - Tap the key icon to see your private key, validator key, etc.

Masterless keychains will need to be backed up separately. Each is only recoverable using with its unique private key so please keep them safe.

Finding individual keys (validator key, private key, etc.)

Tap to see how to locate important keys within their keychains.

Finding your keys is simple: Master key > Keychains > Keys.

In the “Keychains” tab, tap the key icon next to the name of the keychain that holds the key you’re looking for.

You’ll be brought to a list of the keys under that keychain, where you can copy an individual key to back up or import, assign a node to, etc.

For keys under a masterless keychain, follow the steps below to back up your masterless keychain, and tap the key icon there instead.

All keychains generated under a master key, along with all their keys, can be recovered with a single phrase.

Backing up your master key

Tap to see how to back up a master key.

To back up your current master key, simply tap “Reveal recovery phrase” and copy it in a secure place.

To back up a different master key, tap the name of your master key in the top right corner:

This brings you to your master key list:

From here, simply tap the master key you want to back up, tap “Reveal recovery phrase”, and copy it in a secure place.

Backing up masterless keychains

Tap to see how to access and back up masterless keychains.

1. Tap “Keychain” from the home screen

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2. Tap the name of your master key

3. Tap the key icon

Under ”Masterless keychains”, tap the key icon.

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4. Tap “Back up” to copy all keys

5. Paste somewhere secure

Paste the private key somewhere safe that only you have access to. This private key is the only way to recover your masterless keychain and its funds.

If you want to avoid keeping track of all your masterless keychains, you may want to transfer all funds from them to keychains under a master key.

Importing keychains

Click to see how to import an individual keychain.

Whether you want to import a masterless keychain or one with a master key, the process is the same.

1. Tap “Keychain” from the home screen

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2. Tap “Import a keychain”

3. Enter the name and private key, then tap import

If the master key that keychain belongs to has already been added to the app, the keychain will import and the process is finished!

If you are importing a masterless keychain or a keychain belonging to a master key that hasn’t been imported, you’ll have one final step:

4. Select individual keychain or master key

You’ll receive the choice to import only the individual keychain or its entire master key. If you’ve input a masterless keychain, you can only import the individual keychain.

If you chose to import the individual keychain, whether it is masterless or not, the process will conclude. It will be in the masterless keychains list.

If you choose to import the entire master key, you’ll need to follow steps 3 and 4 of importing a master key. All requisite keychains will then be imported along with the master key.

Importing master keys

Click to see how to import a master key.

1. Tap “Keychain” from the home screen

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2. Tap the name of your master key

In the top right corner, tap the name of your master key to be brought to your master key list.

3. Tap “Import master key”

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4. Enter the name and recovery phrase, and tap “Import”

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All keychains under that master key will now be imported to this device.

Address book and keychain search

See what's changed (not much).

The address book will now list master keys. Tap to expand the master key and reveal individual keychains. You can also use the search bar if you’re looking for a specific keychain.

Security, convenience, and progress

The HD wallet update will make managing your keys much simpler and more efficient. It also sets the stage for hardware wallet integration, adding yet another powerful security feature to the Incognito arsenal.

What do you want to see next for the Incognito wallet? Reply to this topic and let us know! And don’t forget to share this topic on social media to let people know they have access to privacy and security for their crypto!

24 Likes

so, 2 options, back up with master key and don’t back up with master key (which backing up the keys separately needs to be done). When we want to recover an account already in backed up by master key, is it also an option to also provide the separate private key for extra security (so master + separate private key)?

1 Like

When the new version will be released, Do we need to do this procedure asap or we can skip and do it later keeping the private key we already have?

Otherwise, is it needed to switch directly to the new system and make a backup of the new seed?

And what about the amount we have on the liquidity pools?

if i understood well we should update the app and directly we are being asked to create the new seed but we can still use and import the privatekey so also if we loose the new seed we can always enter with the old key, true?

Sorry but i m a bit confused on the transition process.

5 Likes

Very cool! Installed it checked all the work! Low bow to the developers for the great work and sweat invested in the development!

4 Likes

Your current keychains will not be interrupted, and they will continue to function as they have, but you’ll also generate new keychains under a single master key. If you want to get rid of the keychains you have now that won’t be governed by the master key, you’ll
have to transfer funds from them to the new keychains first.

2 Likes

The private keys will be imported automatically with the master key phrase, but you can still use them individually if you need to.

4 Likes

This is the most important thing to note. I will probably send my coins to the new wallet address created by the HD wallet just to be safe.

3 Likes

Great!

Is this available on SDK or anywhere for LSB to integrate? @binh @andrey

Hi @taind @Katoshicoins
We had release SDK here to support HD wallet.

6 Likes

Just to clarify, a new user creating a seed phrase will not no longer need “anon, pDex, pDEXWithdraw, and validator” keys? Or it’s just that one seed phrase will contain all of these separate wallet addresses?

Also related, I think it’s @Ducky that says we should be using pDEX directly from the pDEX wallet address. Will the release of this HD wallet eliminate this by combining the wallet addresses into one?

1 Like

For every new master key created, there will be an Anon keychain created inside as default. The pDex, and pDexWithdraw addresses will not appear until the user uses the “Add” function to add liquidity.

Are the pDex & pDexWithdraw in the same derivation path backed up by the same seed?

Yes…

1 Like

Hey @marko,

Just to be clear:

  • For new user (new install): @cusdt.eth said correctly that there will be Anon keychain auto created under every new master key. pDEX and pDEXWithdraw will only appear to new users when they start using the ‘Add’ function from the home screen.

  • For old users (who have been using the app until HD wallet feature introduced): They already have 3 default keychains Anon, pDEX, and pDEXWithdraw. They all three are not gone when users upgrade to HD wallet, instead they’re listed in the ‘Masterless keychains’.

Yep.
For example: if you’re under the Charles master key, and you use the ‘Add’ function :point_right: pDEX and pDEXWithdraw will be created under that Charles master key and can be recovered by importing its seed phrase.

5 Likes

The update for ios is till not lived right?

It’s estimated to be live on this Thursday or Friday. We will keep the community updated under this post.

4 Likes

Amazing! Looking forward to this app update…

2 Likes

So I now have 7 keychains…

masterless:

  1. Account 0
  2. pDEX
  3. pDEXwithdraw
  4. pStake
  5. node 1
  6. node 2

Master:

  1. Anon

This is getting a bit absurd.
I should only need 1 (maybe 3, if the nodes have to be separate)

1 Like

You could consolidate your funds from pStake and Account 0 to Anon, then delete those accounts. And if you aren’t providing 2-sided liquidity via Add, you could also consolidate any pDEX funds to Anon then remove both pDEX accounts (though you would lose some privacy).

Just a clarification: for the time being, you can remove any keychain if you want, except pDEX and pDEXwithdraw keychains. :laughing:

1 Like