How to recover lost bitcoins from an Android wallet

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A little while ago I discovered Bitcoin. Put simply, it allows people to send any amount of money, anywhere bitcoin wallet backup format the world in about ten minutes without incurring an excessive transaction fee.

In short, it is money, reinvented. If you want to send someone less than a dollar on the other side of the world, you can do it with Bitcoin.

There are many Bitcoin clients out there I contribute development effort to the MultiBit project and some have taken advantage of the Android platform. And then my smartphone died as a result of faulty networking hardware. Bitcoin requires you to keep your private keys safe since they provide access to your bitcoins in the public ledger called the blockchain.

Lose those private keys and you lose your bitcoins. What follows is a guide that shows what I had to do to get my bitcoins back. If you find yourself in the same situation, perhaps this will help you. If the idea of installing the Android SDK and using a shell to run up adb fills you with horror, stop now. This should not delete any data from your system, but will enable you to access otherwise protected files.

And, yes, I did try mounting the partition as read-write and totally failed to get it to work. The Armstrong key is more complex, it is stored as a serialized ECKey. Poking around with an IDE and debugger lead me to the private key that looked a bit like this:. By far the fastest way is to just register an account with Mt Gox a major Bitcoin exchange and use their very flexible private key import facility.

A short while later bitcoin wallet backup format Mt Gox account will be credited with the bitcoin wallet backup format and you can do with them as you wish.

This shows what must be done to recover your private keys and is correct at the time of writing. However, you should be aware that soon all private keys will be encrypted so that in addition to the above steps, you will also need to know the bitcoin wallet backup format to gain access to the private bitcoin wallet backup format. Consider a small donation: How to recover lost bitcoins from an Android wallet.

December 28, Comments Tags: Tips Android Bitcoin Tweet.

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A wallet backup is a copy of your Bitcoin wallet or your wallet's private keys that you can use to recover your bitcoin if something bad happens to your original wallet file. No, MultiBit Classic does this automatically in the background using special files that are described in detail in the File descriptions article.

These files can often be used to recover your wallet automatically should a problem occur. MultiBit Classic will place the backup files in a sub-directory created in the same directory as wherever you created the wallet.

Backups only work if you have access to them. If you rely on the default location for wallet backups then you are at risk if your computer is stolen or damaged beyond recovery. A good backup is a copy of your wallet file that you store off your computer. That way if something happens to your computer you still have access to the backups. IT professionals have a saying: You can restore from a private key export using these instructions.

You should try MultiBit HD so that you can take advantage of greatly improved backups and other features. Back to Table of Contents Wallet backups What is a wallet backup? Do I have to enable it? The backups are encrypted the same as the original wallet.

I want my bitcoin to be safe. What do you recommend? At the very least you should have the following in place: Encrypted wallets to prevent others from accessing the data A new wallet created in a directory that is regularly backed up SpiderOak, Dropbox, Carbonite, Time Machine etc A USB stick with additional copies of the private keys in case your machine is stolen and you forget your backup account password Each time a new receiving address is generated a new private key is made which must be backed up.

You must use encrypted wallets if you are storing them off your computer. My wallet was lost but I have a backup. How can I restore it? You can restore from a backup as follows: My wallet is encrypted but it's on my machine. How can I move it? Please refer to the moving a wallet article.

Is there a better way to handle backups?