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Why is the 12-word recovery phrase so important?

Because of the strict security in Zion, your 12-word recovery phrase or Social Key Recovery are the only ways to recover your Vault. You must back up your Vault with a 12-word recovery phrase written on paper and kept in a safe place. HTC cannot recover your Vault.

Zion Vault generates your 12-word recovery phrase when you create a new Vault. Your recovery phrase is unique to you, and is used to generate the public and private keys for all your crypto assets. It is not a password. You should not share it or carry it with you, as someone with your recovery phrase could access your vault. It's important to write it down—by hand—and keep it in a safe, offline place so that it can't be easily hacked, stolen, or duplicated.

The 12-word recovery phrase is one of two ways to recover your Vault. The other way is Social Key Recovery, an optional recovery method that must be enabled before use. For details see What is Social Key Recovery and why use it?.

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