(I've left this as an answer, rather than a wiki, to encourage multiple answers since there may be other explanations that resonate better with people) For brevity, this answer assumes that the underlying cryptography of Ethereum has not been broken. TLDR: private key = only way to access an Ethereum account password = protects private key via encryption; ...


Entropy implies randomness. Using deterministic algorithms on a password is not entropy and SHOULD NOT be used! I would recommend researching how to gather entropic data from whatever programming language you're using.


The mnemonic key phrase? How is that generated? I'm not sure how MetaMask generates it. But I can guess that it uses a similar approach to the other standards our there. E.g. BIP 39 For a detailed "how is this done". Read here: TL;DR: You need random data, aka, entropy. You get enough of that and do fancy computes on said data. That data is then ...

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