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I recently discovered that I had Bitcoin that I invested in over a year ago, and I didn't open an external wallet. I want to find out how I can move it to an external wallet, so I can get a payout on it.

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  • Hi David, the last bit of your question, “so I can get a payout on it” has me wondering. Do you want to just withdraw your bitcoin, or are you asking how to sell your bitcoin? Could you please clarify?
    – Murch
    Dec 21, 2022 at 14:01

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To withdraw or transfer your Bitcoin from an exchange or online wallet to an external wallet, you will need to follow these steps:

Make sure you have control of your private keys. If you are using an exchange or online wallet that does not allow you to control your own private keys, you will not be able to withdraw your Bitcoin. You will need to use a wallet that allows you to control your own private keys, such as a software wallet like Electrum or a hardware wallet like Trezor or Ledger.

Set up your external wallet. If you are using a software wallet, install the wallet on your computer and create a new wallet. If you are using a hardware wallet, set it up according to the manufacturer's instructions and create a new wallet.

Transfer your Bitcoin from the exchange or online wallet to your external wallet. To do this, you will need to provide the receiving address of your external wallet to the exchange or online wallet. This will typically be a long string of characters that begins with "1", "3", or "bc1".

Wait for the Bitcoin to be transferred. The time it takes for the Bitcoin to be transferred will depend on the fees you pay and the current demand on the Bitcoin network.

Check your external wallet to confirm that the Bitcoin has been received. Once the Bitcoin has been transferred and confirmed on the blockchain, it will be available in your external wallet.

Keep in mind that transferring Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency carries some inherent risks. Make sure to only send Bitcoin to addresses that you control, and be aware of the potential for loss or theft due to hacking or other security breaches.

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  • Hi mgaaron, thanks for your answer! “If you are using an exchange or online wallet that does not allow you to control your own private keys, you will not be able to withdraw your Bitcoin” is a bit confusing to me. Many exchanges and online wallets allow you to withdraw bitcoin. I agree on the recommendation to use a self-custodial wallet, but did you perhaps mean something else instead of “withdraw” here?
    – Murch
    Dec 21, 2022 at 14:09

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