I had a few transactions sitting in my imported address and not in my actual wallet (at that time I didn’t know I had to move the funds from the imported address to the main wallet). I only found out recently when I changed phones and forgot my login since I didn’t use the blockchain app for a while. I used the 12 word phrase to recover the account and when I regained access, the balance was zero. Now I know that the 12 word phrase does not back up the imported addresses.

What can I do to recover the funds?

1 Answer 1


What can I do ...

Re-import the addresses

to recover the funds?

Imported addresses are called "watch-only" or "unspendable" addresses.

If you ever had control over the money at these imported addresses you would have had a private-key somewhere for them.

To give your current wallet control over that money (the ability to spend it) - you must either "import" the private key(s) or "sweep" those private keys into your wallet.

Sweeping private keys is usually considered safer than importing private keys for the reasons demonstrated by your question - imported things are not recovered by using a recovery phrase to recreate the wallet.

The recovery phrase only recovers private-keys and addresses that were generated by the original wallet, not things that were imported into it.

If you don't know the private keys for the imported addresses, there are a couple of possibilities depending on where you got those addresses from in the first place:

  • You have another wallet that contains those keys
  • Someone tricked you and you never had any Bitcoin money at those watch-only addresses.

Confusion about the nature of imported addresses is something we often see in victims of fraud.

  • Hi RGB, thank you for your response. The funds were acquired from a legitimate Bitcoin ATM and were scan to the blockchain account using the QR code from app on the cell phone. Nothing technical was done other than scanning the QR code and seeing the funds go to the account. At the time I didn’t know if I was supposed to do anything further because I was satisfied seeing the funds go directly to the account and accumulated accurately as it added more funds. Do you suspect anything I may need to try in order to recover the funds?
    – Need Help
    Jan 15, 2021 at 4:56
  • How did you get an imported (watch only, unspendable) address in your wallet? That isn't a normal, routine or valid part of receiving payments. Did the BTM issue a paper receipt? Jan 15, 2021 at 10:07

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