The private key is a Base58 format, with uncompressed public key. The private key is a mini key with 22 characters. I bought Bitcoin in February 2009 and had forgotten what I had invested in,founded out it was Bitcoin two years ago and recovered the private key 2 months ago.

As it’s been so long there is the issue of file compatibility etc

A trusted family is going to help me with the set up but would like your advice as a guide to ensure that he is doing the right thing.

Please can you help to provide a step to step guide as to the things he should do.

The wallet was last accessed in end of 2009

  • Please mention which software you are having compatibility problem with the file. Is the file from Bitcoin Core? Multibit Wallet? As you say, if the key is in base58 format, you can import it in compatible software: electrum, bitcoin core, bluewallet Private keys in WIF formats starts with 5, K,or L. Waiting for details. Feb 3 at 5:37
  • Thanks John for coming on board this journey. Certainly a WIF format mini key starts with S. I’m currently just compiling everything that I need until my preordered android phone is delivered in around a week or so from now. In regards to the compatibility if I have not missed read Bitcoin core does not support uncompressed key format? But Wallet support also provided a very useful link which explained how to navigate all of that and I will definitely be using it as a guide. This site has really been useful in providing technical support and I will be back with any questions once my device arr
    – 21mbk
    Feb 5 at 12:32

3 Answers 3


It could be a Casascius Series 1 private key, which has exactly 22 Base58 characters. However, they have been in circulation since 2011, not 2009.

I restored a Casascius key last year. Here are the steps to recover them:

First, you need to hash the string using SHA256:

echo -n "your_key_here" | shasum -a 256

Then, convert it into a WIF key using the bitcoin-tool.

./bitcoin-tool --input-type private-key --input-format hex --output-type private-key-wif --output-format base58check --network bitcoin --public-key-compression uncompressed --input your_hex_private_key_here

This will provide you with the private key, which you can then import into a wallet such as Electrum. Here is a guide on how to do this.


Please note, we are unable to see a Blockchain.com Wallet in our system unless you are a Limited Access or Full Access user.

I just received the above statement, it was included in a message from blockchain.

Should this be a cause for concern, the reward account should be an active account, or what is the point that I’m missing here?


Thank you for all the responses again.

I am not very technical, and would really want to avoid enlisting the help of anyone.

In addition to the option to import the private key, I was advised that I should be able to contact blockchain support just to update the email address because I have both a custodial and a passive reward account with them.

I have been in contact with blockchain support them for a couple of months but the staff seems to lack the capability to know how to make any changes without the email address that I signed up with.

The support staff who first responded to my email seems to know what he was doing, it’s the first time they had asked for my personal information and to do selfie with the date, btc price, just as I did when I created the account 15 years to date.

I initially, had just the passive reward account and a paper wallet then a few months later I signed in and add them to blockchain custody.

Can you please advise if the private key still has to be imported and what my next step should be to gain access to the assets in custody.

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