I invested in bitcoins at the beginning of 2015. At the same time back in 2015, i installed Electrum wallet and somehow an offline version which meant that I stored the bitcoins on the computer's hard drive, this offline version was not something I wanted, it just happened by a mistake. Once the bitcoins were sent to my Wallet, it took about 3 days until the hard drive crashed.

A good friend managed to get into the hard drive via the wrong safe mode, and ran a backup of all important files, including the files to Electrum, including my wallet.dat file, which I have understood is a relatively important file.

I bought a new computer and downloaded the files from my backup and tried to restore my wallet, but I could not solve this.

An error message appeared when I tried to access / restore Electrum. When I tried to open the wallet file in a program called something with HEX, (which people had written about in diffrent forums), it stod ”the file is corrupt” according to the program.

I let it all go and more or less forgot this until now. I have read and i was thinking, could the reason why the file apears to be "corrupt" , just because its encrypted? I know the password for the encryption and I have just finally finished syncing the Bitcoin core. But i dont now how to decrypt it, and is my idea about the file issue, possible?

What is my next step to recover my bitcoins?

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    I would contact an Electrum developer, since they would be the people to know Electrum's wallet format the best ( electrumdev gmail.com taken from github.com/ecdsa) and offer them X percent of my funds if they succeed. – MCCCS Feb 12 at 8:46
  • The wallet file is from Electrum, so my awnser is Electrum core. Is it possible to Open it with Bitcoin Core anyway? – Wise Sam Feb 12 at 11:13
  • No and if it's corrupted it'll need someone's manual intervention anyway. – MCCCS Feb 12 at 11:15
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    "I hope this is taken seriously and free from trolls." An offer of $20000 will inevitably attract a lot of scammers/confidence-tricksters, be vigilant. – RedGrittyBrick Feb 12 at 11:44

If the file is corrupt, it will require manual editing to be able to open it with electrum.

Depending on how corrupt the file is, it might be possible to recover and and it also might not.

Say, for example, a single bit is flipped. Then a brute-force approach might work where every bit is flipped in the file and then check which result can be opened and decrypted with electrum..

Check with electrum developers who are most familiar with how a non-corrupt file should look.

If I were in this situation myself, what I would also do is generate a few new wallet.dat files using the same electrum version you used in 2015, open them in hex viewers / text editors next to each other, and try to see the patterns. Compare to your corrupt file.

Good luck.


The fact you might be ill or not is irrelevant, as is your family story.

The fact remains you're quoting a remuneration of $20,000 for a job we don't know how much effort entails. And I don't think you're paying $20,000 "for effort", you're paying only if the job's done.

So maybe if someone could 'crack' this in a month or even a year, it'd be worth the effort, but what if it takes their whole lifetime, and they still haven't finished? Since the effort they need to put into this is undecidable, how will they know it will ever end?

So I would not take the job, even if it'd pay a thousand times as much. Too much risk involved (the risk of wasting my time and earn nothing).

Secondarily, if your request is genuine, and the puzzle you're presenting can be solved, what assures you that the person who solves it won't keep the digital coins to him or herself? If as soon as he takes the coins he disappears, and won't communicate any more with you, or make contact only to make fun of you, how could you enforce the terms (for him to give you the money)? As even if you promise $20,000, the coins themselves could be worth more. In these circumstances and if stealing them from you (safely) is easy, they might as well do that. You might end up being the deceived one.

Either way I think the safest bet is to forget about the whole thing - forget you can get paid collaborators. Either try and do the job alone yourself (though I'd say if you do this you will almost certainly fail), or ask for free collaborators (in which case most people will ignore you and move on as if your request wasn't genuine - and as I will myself do as soon as I'm done writing this answer).

You're trying to put a price on something you don't know the price for. Time to face up to that. You don't know how much your own life or that of your family is valued either, or your collaborators' or even people who steal from you for that matter. Stop dreaming or playing the numbers' game. Salvation comes from inside, or it doesn't exist at all. Salvation grows inside or it will never be there. Stop the chase, and make the peace.

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    Character-count aside, this should be a comment. But otherwise, this website is full of people that spend their time helping others, without any offer of reward. At face value I don't truly disagree with what you wrote, and offers of reward are technically not allowed here, but nonetheless the core idea of this site is that it is a place to ask others for technical help. To suggest it 'isn't worth the effort' is kinda missing the wider point of why many people contribute, in spite of not being monetarily compensated for doing so. – chytrik Feb 12 at 23:19

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