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My question is back in 2016 i purchased bitcoin not knowing nothing about it forgot i even had it they were i believe segwit or bip39 anyways when i got back into trying to locate my wallets no data is showing on my wallets someone told me somthing about a fork and changing software not really sure but my real question is when i go try and get back in my wallets do i need to be on the same path and server as when i did the actual transactions? Alot of my addresses start with bc1q if thats any help thank you for your time

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my real question is when i go try and get back in my wallets do i need to be on the same path and server as when i did the actual transactions?

It probably depends on what wallet you were using. There are many different wallets. Your question is tagged electrum-server so you must be using Electrum.

If by path you mean "derivation-path" - yes, you need that to be the same.

Some lightweight wallets, also known as SPV wallets, which are typically used on a mobile phone, are linked to specific servers but I believe many can work with other servers that provide the kind of service needed by that specific wallet. Obviously you need to be very careful to use trustworthy servers and not just ones suggested by online friends. In the case of Electrum, I think anyone can download compatible server software such as this example and run it so that they can link their Electrum wallet to their own server. Presumably there are other people or businesses who run Electrum servers. Any honest server should provide the means to access (i.e. spend) your money using an Electrum wallet.

It doesn't apply to you but sometimes people use the word "wallet" for an online custodial account provided by a business. In that case you need to use the same servers provided by that specific business. Since businesses don't survive forever, and many disappear or otherwise fail, I believe this is the least reliable way to hold Bitcoin long term.

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