I'm in a bit of a pickle :-).

I recently discovered I still have a few dollars worth of BTC, which I bought in 2017. I transferred the BTC from Coinbase to my Electrum Wallet (a client, which I no longer use). First things first, I no longer have the word seed, nor the back-up of the wallet (I know...), but I do still have the private key to the public address I've sent the BTC. Now, the thing is: I think this is an HD-wallet, and I think the private key I managed to find is one of the child keys, as opposed to the master key. The private key starts with L, the address with 3.

Now, I've tried to sweep or recover my BTC in a variety of ways, none of them seem to work:

  • Import private keys --> Electrum crashes
  • creating a new wallet, aborting as soon as I have my new seed and change the keystore type (to BIP32), derivatino path (m/49'/0'/0') and script type (to p2wpkh-p2sh) --> unable to sweep private keys (see 3 and 4)
  • sweeping private keys with prepend 'p2wpkh-p2sh:' --> Sweep-button disabled
  • sweeping private keys without prepend --> Error: 'Exception('unexpected txin_type to sweep: p2sh')' What I am able to do is to create an read-only wallet with my address and view my balance (which is still there, fortunately).

I really don't know what else to do, so if there's anyone out there who is willing and able to help out, I'd truly appreciate it. Thanks!

2 Answers 2


An HD wallet is either BIP44, BIP49 or BIP84 and respectively gives addresses that start with 1, 3 and bc1 prefix. Each BIP has its own derivation path but at the end as you mention it ultimately derive a child key, which is just another key pair (pub/priv key). So if you only got a private key, there is no need to think about derivation path at all. From a private key you can generate an address with any of the prefix I mention before.

I would simply advise you to check on a blockchain explorer that any of these (addresses) prefix from your pub/priv key has some utxos. You can install pycoin https://github.com/richardkiss/pycoin from instance with pip install pycoin and use its command line tool to generate these addresses.

ku -nBTC <pub key compressed or not || private key>

❯ ku -nBTC 02973cb953058078c954dc9ab3954af915002602a681a594957dcb85b74d43dd08

input                        : 02973cb953058078c954dc9ab3954af915002602a681a594957dcb85b74d43dd08
network                      : Bitcoin mainnet
symbol                       : BTC
public pair x                : 68406530021289069032471352545666369841106941027032016929508897308263034641672
public pair y                : 80216383420587139320035020594593963281252174207557474006953625954089543141724
 x as hex                    : 973cb953058078c954dc9ab3954af915002602a681a594957dcb85b74d43dd08
 y as hex                    : b158dd33b2073fc40bae9726dff19db7592c9a2c3c107ec6bcb093518df0095c
y parity                     : even
key pair as sec              : 02973cb953058078c954dc9ab3954af915002602a681a594957dcb85b74d43dd08
 uncompressed                : 04973cb953058078c954dc9ab3954af915002602a681a594957dcb85b74d43dd08\
hash160                      : 1fb6d281eb8fe2f425fe83d8618ff6bfa6b96068
 uncompressed                : 262a6db745105e0ad6cd6f08f6c546a16f9d4039
Bitcoin address              : 13tgxfRcLudZspr2Db3G2Lzt8MbBmEvMYz
Bitcoin address uncompressed : 14UoWHAwjkqBVfxZqNVUoZDUmB45Cj12DE
Bitcoin segwit address       : bc1qr7md9q0t3l30gf07s0vxrrlkh7ntjcrg2wy6fl
p2sh segwit                  : 35ibrTZ31tKBtg37LRGbvNDWMqiUrPYAWd
 corresponding p2sh script   : 00141fb6d281eb8fe2f425fe83d8618ff6bfa6b96068

Then you have Bitcoin address, p2sh segwit and Bitcoin segwit address.


In Electrom, each receives has a private key. Those private keys in mycelium will allow you to access your funds.

  • Mycelium does not support the private key for some reason. In other wallets as well, there occur some errors (the most common one is 'Version 133 not supported), even in bitaddress it doesn't seem to work. Could it be because the address originated in Electrum and is therefore not supported elsewhere? I read dozens of forums and articles, where people are most helpful, but so far without any success...
    – user121805
    Jun 4, 2021 at 11:46

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