I have a very simple question, but didn't find a answer with google.

When i backup only my private key, it is possible to restore my addresses with bitcoins on it?

Example: I have generated 1.000 address not in the Client. Then some one sent 3 BTC to one of these addresses. Get the Bitcoin-Client the address with the 3 BTC automatically or only when i import the address?

  • You generated some addresses without the Bitcoin client and you want to know if the Bitcoin Client will show any incoming payments directed to any of these, is that correct? – cdecker Jul 31 '13 at 9:20
  • Yes :) I generate the addresss with the same private key as i use in the Client. – imises Jul 31 '13 at 12:40
  • How did you generate the 1.000 addresses from the one (???) private key? – cdecker Aug 1 '13 at 13:25
  • That was my mistake: i thought private key and address(s) where 1:n, but its 1:1. – imises Aug 1 '13 at 13:34

One private key <=> one address. You can restore by import privkey to bitcoind.


It seems that you are concerned about funds from a transaction that was sent to you after a backup of your private keys has been made. That's not something to be concerned about.

The private key is only needed to spend any bitcoins sent to your Bitcoin addresses. When you have imported the private key, all unspent transactions to that private key's corresponding Bitcoin address can then be spent, regardless of when those transactions occurred (i.e., including transactions that were sent after your backup was made).

Now keep in mind that if you are the sender of a payment, change goes to a new bitcoin address in your wallet. A backup will contain a number of addresses (default is 100) in a key pool which are used for transactions that follow when you made your backup, however if you are frequently sending funds you should frequently be making additional backups.

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