I use Bitcoin Core to create SegWit paper wallets for friends and family. After creating the wallet via the GUI, the steps I take are as follows:

  1. getnewaddress # Carry this public key back to the paper wallet
  2. dumpprivkey *step-1-key* # Carry this private key back to the paper wallet

Then, using qrencode, I also print the two related QR codes. I tried to verify the correctness of the steps, importing one of the wallets I created into Bitcoin Core, as follows: (Make Blank Wallet > Yes)

  • importprivkey *step-2-key*

After waiting a while, it opens it correctly, but I see "HD key generation is disabled" (whereas at the time of creation it was enable). Why does this happen? What am I doing wrong?


[sic the text below was posted as an answer, and I believe it was intended as a follow-up addition to the OP question. I am copying it here to better position the question]

Before opening the thread, I had already tried to import a wallet on Bitcoin Core using the Master Private Key previously extrapolated with dumpwallet. In summary I had done:

dumpprivkey *step_1_key*

Then trying to import the newly created wallet again:

Make Blank Wallet > Yes
importprivkey *Master_Private_Key_(from_"dumpwallet")*

However, when I tried to issue the last command, I got the following error message: Invalid private key encoding (code -5)

Furthermore, I have now understood that the wallets I want to create for friends and relatives must be protected by a password (therefore BIP38 Encrypt) so that, by changing it, they have the security that I no longer have any access to their wallets. Is it therefore possible to create, through Bitcoin Core (it is the only software I trust), to create a SegWit wallet that has both HD seed and BIP38 technology? If so, what data should I print on the wallet, knowing that I want to provide these people with both the public and private keys (in this case, however, protected by a password)?

If you could help me I would be grateful: I'm going crazy!

  • Note that friends/relatives changing the password on a wallet you gave them does not prevent you subsequently spending money they later put "into" the wallet. This is a favourite trick of scammers. I'd try to find a different way to help them so you don't establish or perpetuate the misunderstanding among friends/relatives and so they don't fall victim to other "helpers" doing the same thing. Commented Jul 12, 2021 at 21:09
  • Hi RedGrittyBrick, thanks for your reply! In the period following the publication of the thread, I also understood that unfortunately the password change does not in any way prevent the "creator" of the wallet (me, in this case) from continuing to have access to the wallet itself, even after it has changed hands. I therefore stopped creating wallets for friends and relatives, especially to protect myself in case they lose their Bitcoins in the future, thus avoiding being able to become a potential "culprit" of their loss / theft. Commented Jul 13, 2021 at 6:10

1 Answer 1


The steps you described is for a single private key, not a BIP32 wallet. If you are looking to back-up your HD seed (master key) in bitcoin-core you should use the dumpwallet command.


  • Thank you so much for your answer! I answered below because it exceeded characters... Commented Mar 24, 2021 at 8:38

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