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I've bought Bitcoin back in 2014 and as my wallet I've used the bitcoin-qt client. Now I've remembered about it and I've recovered the wallet.dat file, but it's apparently encrypted by me (using bitcoin-qt) and I only remember what word was used for it, but not the whole password.

What I tried is downloading the bitcoin-qt client and tried unlocking the wallet via the console with walletpassphrase "passwordhere" 60 but the password is never correct. I did this offline though.

So my questions would be:

  • Can I somehow recover my password? Is there maybe a weakness in the encryption or something like that? I found a RPC password in a file, is that helpful in any way to unlock it?
  • Is it safe to delete the blockchain? If yes, which folders/files? That old PC of mine is lacking space apparently and it certainly can't fit the whole blockchain of today.
  • Could it be that being offline caused the wrong password prompt?
  • How could I possibly recover my public address of the wallet? I can see the transaction times, but the not the address apparently.

2 Answers 2

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  • You can try to brute force the password, trying all the different possibilities for your password, it is also possible to make a script for this task, but only you who know what the password is could give some hints about it. The RPC password may give some hints about the password for the wallet.dat, but it is not really related to the wallet.dat file.

  • You shouldn't delete the blockchain, because if you want to sync the blockchain in that computer, you should keep the files there, but you could also copy the wallet.dat and move it to another computer with more storage.

  • No, usually the password encryption doesn't have anything to do with the network, so it is not necessary to be online.

  • Once you sync your wallet, you will see your balance, you could also use the command listunspent during that process in your QT wallet to see the public addresses which contain some funds.

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  • Considering the fact that I don't have enough space on the PC isn't it safe to delete the blockchain or does it contain some useful information for me to deduce my public address or similar stuff?.. Sep 6 at 21:10
  • In regards to the brute force approach, the OP could potentially use the password finder that comes with Wasabi Wallet: docs.wasabiwallet.io/using-wasabi/PasswordFinder.html It is open source, so you could potentially modify the tool for your needs.
    – jesseaam
    Sep 6 at 21:20
  • @SirMuffington, the biggest folders are blocks and chainstate, you can delete them if you want, they don't have any data that can help you with the wallet.dat, but the other files like bitcoin.conf, debug.log, I would keep them. Sep 7 at 0:16
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I'm going to give a more optimistic answer, depending on what the user means by "wallet gone" in the subject line.

If they used a desktop bitcoin wallet, and they never backed it up, and they have thrown away the hard drive (or encrypted it multiple times and lost the key) then I think it's fair to say that their Bitcoin is irretrievably gone.

However, as I read the question, they simply stored their 12 word recovery phrase on their phone and then lost the phone. Their Bitcoin is still retrievable if a couple of conditions can be met:

If they used a web-based wallet (such as Blockchain.info) AND They still control the email address that they used to register for that wallet AND They remember part or all of the password to their wallet Then they could retrieve their Bitcoin.

Here's how you'd do this if your wallet was on Blockchain.info:

Get your "Wallet ID", either by finding your original "Welcome to My Wallet" email in your inbox, or Go to https://blockchain.info/wallet/#/login Click on “View Options” Click “Remind Me” Enter your email address and submit the form Wait a few minutes while Blockchain.info emails you your Wallet ID Next, if you remember your password you can login to Blockchain.info with your Wallet ID and your password. Problem solved. If you don't remember your password, but you have your Wallet ID and you're confident that you know part of the password then [shameless plug] a service like ours (https://www.recovercrypto.org) can help you recover your password.

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  • Apparently none of the above applies, I even doubt blockchain.info even existed back then :/ Nov 7 at 14:45
  • Did "12 word recovery phrase" be a thing in 2014?
    – Mercedes
    Nov 7 at 16:17
  • I doubt that... I don't recall any mmemonics Nov 14 at 15:04

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