Solution to restoring accounts in the case of lost password

This article was first published on Centrality - Medium
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We have received several reports that users who have lost their account passwords are struggling to restore their accounts. While correct password management is a core part of being a responsible blockchain community member, we have also identified a cause of user difficulties regarding account restoration.

The following is a review of what has happened and our solution to help users who are currently struggling to restore their accounts.

What’s the issue?

Multiple users are reporting they’re unable to restore their CENNZnet transition wallet using mnemonic seed.

Why is this happening?

Background: CENNZnet supports Hierarchical Deterministic (HD) Wallets. This is a type of wallet that allows users to derive multiple (potentially unlimited) public wallet addresses using a single, human-readable master seed key. This eliminates the need for the user to constantly generate and remember separate secure keys for each public address.

Each HD wallet has a root address generated from the master mnemonic seed. Additional accounts are “derived” by providing an extra piece of information along with the master mnemonic seed e.g. ‘master mnemonic seed + extra info = derived address’

In this system the same mnemonic seed should restore both the root account and the derivation pathway, thus restoring all derivative accounts as well.

Current situation: During the transition many users moved their ERC20 CENNZ wallets onto CENNZnet. The CENNZnet transition UI automatically generated the wallet as an HD wallet and returned the master mnemonic seed. However, it made a derivation pathway using the password entered by the user: <mnemonic>/<password>. The derived wallet addresses were then recorded on Ethereum as part of the transition process and subsequently given funds during the transition.

When users try restoring their CENNZnet wallets, the mnemonic seed is successfully restoring the root wallet. However, because the derivation pathway contains the mnemonic seed plus the password, without the password ...

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Centrality - Medium

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