Nowadays, the trend towards dematerialization is leading to the deterioration of the concept of ownership. In the current banking system, you’re not in complete control of your funds. When you pay by credit card or bank transfer, you are only exchanging credits granted by banks. Moreover, those banks have the right to tell you how to use your funds and can freeze your account if they’re unhappy with how you manage your funds.

With Bitcoin and, more generally, cryptocurrencies, it’s possible to regain full ownership of one’s money. Financial empowerment is made possible by using private keys that allow the user to secure his account and have complete control over his funds.

How to secure your account in Dopamine App

Being a fully non-custodial application, Dopamine allows you to be in complete control of your funds as long as you secure your account properly. To do so and begin your journey into the crypto world safely, read your guide and follow our best practices.

The first time you access the Dopamine App on a device, you can create a new account by pressing “Join” or use an existing one by selecting “Restore Account”.

Dopamine App’s launch screen, the first step to secure your account
Dopamine App’s launch screen

Setting up a strong password in Dopamine to secure your account

Once you’re in the “Home” section of Dopamine, the first thing you need to do is secure your account. To do that, either press the setting button in the top left corner of the screen or swipe right. Then press “Secure your account” to begin the process.

Dopamine App’s side panel, with the button to secure your account
Dopamine App’s side panel

Here you can set up a strong password to secure your Dopamine account. The password must be at least 9 characters long. When you set up a password, you should include a capital letter, a number, and a special character. The stronger the password, the safer the coins.

Dopamine App’s password creation screen to secure your account
Dopamine App’s password creation screen

How to secure a seed phrase

After setting your password, you will be presented with the recovery phrase screen. The recovery phrase is also called seed or mnemonic phrase. This step is of the utmost importance, and if you lose your recovery phrase, you won’t be able to access your funds in the event your device is stolen or broken.

Dopamine App’s recovery phrase screen

There are two ways to secure your recovery phrase. You can either write it down on a piece of paper and file it somewhere secure or copy it to your clipboard and paste it into the Notes section of your password manager. There are many options as far as password managers go, but one of the best ones – and free as well– is Bitwarden.

If you picked Bitwarden, you can create a Secure note. Like Dopamine, Bitwarden is a zero-knowledge application, meaning that you’re the only one in control of your keys. If you already have a password manager – like LastPass or Dashlane – most of them also allow the creation of secure notes.

The role of seed phrases in the crypto world

Introduced by the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 39 (BIP39), the seed phrases allow users to back up their wallets. If you lose or break the device on which your wallet is installed, you can recover your funds by entering your seed phrase.

The seed phrase, technically called a mnemonic phrase, is a string of bits – computer code composed of ones and zeroes – chosen randomly by the wallet. Then, the wallet takes those bits and divides them into segments of 11 bits. Finally, each of these segments is associated with a word in the standard list of 2048 words, which in turn makes a phrase.

Most of the time, a seed phrase will have 12 or 24 words; in Dopamine it’s 12 words. The number of words depends on the initial number of bits since each word represents a string of 11 bits.

Once the seed phrase is generated, various hash processes are applied to derive the private keys from the phrase. The way the seed phrase is built allows wallets to create multiple private keys from a single phrase. In the end, the private key is used to create a public key composed of 256 bits, which in turn is hashed into a string of bits representing your wallet’s address.