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I found an old BTC wallet. The password should have about 8 characters but forgot it unfortunately. Is there a realistic chance to recover it or is this hopeless?

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This depends on the char set you used for your password. The numbers below are from Wikipedia (no guarantee) and describe how long it takes to crack a password with a standard PC + GPU. They are for the case that the password exactly 8 characters.

[0-9]: 100 ms

[a-z]: 4 min

[A–Z; a–z; 0–9]: 3 days

[A–Z; a–z; 0–9] + Special Characters: 84 days

So in the case of 8 characters there is a certain chance that you can crack it. However, if you only used a 9 characters pw, the last two cases already way more difficult.

[A–Z; a–z; 0–9]: 159 days

[A–Z; a–z; 0–9] + Special Characters: 22 years.

So for passwords with special characters 8 is the maximum length you have a chance. If the password only contains [0-9] or [a-z] there is a chance until 11-12 chars.

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  • This seems to assume, with no justification, that each attempt takes 1 ns. That number could vary greatly depending on the hash or encryption algorithm used for the password, which we don't really know. So I'm not sure these numbers are at all meaningful. – Nate Eldredge Jun 12 at 22:00

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