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I didn't create a private key for my bitcoin address and am unable to do anything with these coins. How do I resolve this issue?

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Just to clarify, are you saying that you imported "Watch Only" Bitcoin addresses into your, but don't have the private key for it? – Stephen Gornick Oct 11 '12 at 4:31
Are you using a client, or an eWallet? – ThePiachu Oct 11 '12 at 7:01
@ThePiachu: I think she means she's using MyWallet. – Meni Rosenfeld Oct 11 '12 at 8:43
How did you get this bitcoin address in the first place? What makes it yours? – David Schwartz Oct 11 '12 at 13:30
@StephenGornick: Yes, I imported "Watch Only" on my address. Reason, Bitcoins didn't post to Issue: slow servers, but resolved, available now. – susan Oct 11 '12 at 14:02

In order to properly create a Bitcoin address, you need to create it from a private key. If you just start from the middle of address generation - say a public key or a result of a hash, you are not guaranteed to have a private key that can be associated with that address. In order to recover a private key that was never used to create an address would require you to brute force all the private keys, which at the moment is computationally impossible (might be more possible in 50+ years). This is in place to ensure that nobody can steal your coins.

If you are using Bitcoin honestly, however, you should find your private keys stored it wallet.dat in the Bitcoin data directory, or in case of using eWallets - online.

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Address created in I will follow thru on your suggestion. Thank you. – susan Oct 11 '12 at 14:11
@susan: Above you said you imported it in Here you're saying you created it in Did you create it and then later import it? – David Schwartz Oct 11 '12 at 14:35
@DavidSchwartz: Sorry for the confusion. I opened an acct. with Address auto created when acct established. Once coins are in mywallet, another is auto created, therefore, my wallet has 2 addresses currently, one holding bitcoins which I placed under "watch list" and 0 bitcoins on the newest address. MyWallet creates this extra security measure. – susan Oct 11 '12 at 14:50
I've made several mistakes regarding wallet: 1) no patience, servers slow that day in deposits 2) not understanding process of addresses changing in mywallet upon coin deposit, 3) putting address with "missing deposit" on "watch only" to find out where they went, which was to my account but much later typical due to server issue. – susan Oct 11 '12 at 14:54
As far as I can tell, you can only add a watch-only address that you already have. I don't see any way to create a watch-only address or convert an existing address to watch-only. So I still can't quite tell what you did. I played with the interface on every screen and I can't find any way to convert an account from a regular account to a watch only account. – David Schwartz Oct 11 '12 at 14:56

You haven't stated from where you obtained the Bitcoin address in the first place.

It didn't come from the same wallet in because won't let you watch one of your own addresses.

If the address is from your client (i.e., Bitcoin-Qt), then you simply spend from the client and not from

If the address is from another EWallet on, simply log into the correct wallet and spend from that.

If the address is from an EWallet on some other service, e.g., on Mt. Gox, then you will need to go there to withdraw any funds that you've received.

Hopefully you can remember from which wallet or EWallet service you obtained the Bitcoin address from originally.

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If you ended up creating a second EWallet on and in that second EWallet is where you entered the watch-only address, then there are ways to regain access to the original EWallet, even if you didn't bookmark the url, enter an e-mail address, or a nickname even. – Stephen Gornick Oct 11 '12 at 17:44
Thanks for this information ALL. I must have started another wallet in trying to figure out the system. Fortunately, it wasn't much money as I am testing out the processes. Starting over :-) This information helps greatly. I will try to jog my memory. – susan Oct 11 '12 at 18:45

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