The paper wallet was printed on slick paper... like the old fax machine paper-the toner print smears or smudges easily even gently getting from a physical wallet. You CANNOT get a replaced public addy or private key, if something were to damage it or etc. Now, QR code is unable to scan for reading; but the good news: 99% of the private key is legible..except 3/4 characters can be questionable reads & public address is fully legible. What can be done for me to gain access to my $100.00 bitcoin kiosk atm purchase? Can I use the Bitcoin paper wallet creater to make a new private key from original public addy?

1 Answer 1


Bitcoin uses public key cryptography. Public key cryptography is based on key pairs consisting of a public key and a private key that are mathematically linked. It is possible to calculate the public key from the private key, but it is not feasible to calculate the private key from the public key. The public key can be shared with others, while the private key is kept secret and allows the owner to authenticate themselves as the owner.

In Bitcoin, an address which is a derivative of a public key, enables any other users to pay the owner of the key, or to look up what funds are held by the key. However, only the owner can spend the funds by signing the transaction using the private key.

The paper printed by the ATM probably had both the private key, to enable you to sweep your funds to your own wallet, as well as the address to easily verify that funds were paid. It sounds as if the QR-code for the private key has gotten smudged. As explained above, you cannot recreate the private key from the address (otherwise anyone could spend your money). While you might be able to see the funds using the address, in order to access your money, you need is to recover the private key. Beside the QR-code there is hopefully a string representation of the private key. Record it as completely as possible. If it's missing only three or four characters, it should be easy to generate all possible private keys that match the remaining letters, and then use the checksum to figure out the actual candidates and look up which one holds the funds on the blockchain.

You may also want to point out the low resilience of the print to the ATM operator in your customer feedback.

  • I contacted the Bitcoin of America who owns/operates the kiosk atm. Jan 6, 2023 at 18:57
  • Not their responsibility. Jan 6, 2023 at 19:21

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge you have read our privacy policy.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.