I had the idea to move all of my existing bitcoins (10 BTC) from Bitcoin-Qt/paper wallet to Coinbase.

I had imported the paper wallet to Bitcoin-Qt and the balance there was 10 BTC total. For some reason, I then went and imported the paper wallet to Coinbase, and ~5 BTC was added.

At this point, Bitcoin-Qt still showed the balance as 10 BTC. I went ahead and made a transaction of 10 BTC from Bitcoin-Qt to my Coinbase address.

The result is that the transaction keeps having 0 confirmations, Bitcoin-Qt shows balance to be 0 BTC and the transaction never showed up in Blockchain. I have no idea where the "missing" 5 BTC are and what to do. I realize that a double spend might have occurred as 5 BTC was already imported to Coinbase from the paper wallet and I tried to send 10 BTC from the Bitcoin-QT.

Here's the Coinbase address https://blockchain.info/address/1GeQeHnJEnKfcfWonGCrj52kChyXqib5sC, and you can see the that the 5 BTC import from the paper wallet went through.

What's the solution here?

Here's how Bitcoin-Qt's transaction history looks like: enter image description here

  • Have you done transactions using Bitcoin-Qt, after the paper wallet was created? In that case, change is sent to newly created addresses which are likely not in the paper version. Sep 29, 2013 at 15:38
  • @PieterWuille: Correct, I have done transactions after the import. I've added the complete transaction history to the question. I'm still confused.
    – randomguy
    Sep 29, 2013 at 15:46
  • In that case you have lost your change, as it is sent to addresses you don't have on your paper version. You need the actual wallet.dat file. Without that, I hate to tell you that you've likely lost those 5 BTC. Paper wallets aren't actually supported by the reference client yrt for that reason. When the software adds support for deterministic wallets, this will likely change. Sep 29, 2013 at 22:06
  • @PieterWuille: Thanks for the info. I didn't quite get what you are saying, but can't I access the walled.dat via the Bitcoin-Qt? For the paper wallet, I still posess the private key. Where has the missing 5 BTC gone to?
    – randomguy
    Sep 29, 2013 at 22:37
  • In the first step when you said you imported 10btc to bitcoin-qt, where were you importing from? Was this another actual import from paper or an actual transaction? Sep 29, 2013 at 23:40

1 Answer 1


Addendum: It looks like the coins have been found; just quoting the relevant solution from the external thread so we have a complete answer on record. Long story short, the problem was as we suspected: the paper wallet did not contain all of the change addresses from the 5btc of transactions that had occured since tge import. Simple fix:

I started the client with /Applications/Bitcoin-Qt.app/Contents/MacOS/Bitcoin-Qt -salvagewallet. It's still syncing with the network, but it looks promising as it's now showing a +4.9315 balance!

Ok, I'm beginning to piece together what happened now.

  1. At least according to your blockchain links, you initially received 10 BTC via 3 transactions, at the 1Fr3p address then spent 5 on 17 april. So that particular address only had 5 remaining at the time of the import to coinbase.

  2. When you import rather than send, the coins will still show in both wallets; if you send them from the old one after that this will not update in the new wallet because of change addresses. Importing != spending.

  3. You will additionally need to import the change addresses that have been created since using bitcoin-qt to coinbase for everything to sync correctly. Check out this thread.

  4. As far as fixing the crazy transaction, I'm not sure what to do there. Hopefully when you finish importing everything it will manage to work itself out in the client? Don't send anything else from the old wallet again--once you can use the coins available in the coinbase wallet, send from there only.

  5. If you want to use qt client again, create a new wallet for all transactions moving forward.

update What do you know about these transactions from your link in the comments? Your client is only showing the -.01 portion of those tx but the remainder seems to be what's missing...

screenshot from blockchain.info

  • I was able to successfully remove the crazy tx from wallet.dat using pywallet and then rescanned with Bitcoin-Qt, but for some reason Bitcoin-Qt is still showing the balance as zero. This doesn't make sense to me, because after the removal, transactions should add up to a +4.9315 balance (i.imgur.com/XMPKwbE.png).
    – randomguy
    Oct 1, 2013 at 9:26
  • @randomguy see update Oct 1, 2013 at 13:34
  • Ah, that's weird. Indeed, I wonder why Bitcoin-Qt is saying the amount as 0.01. I haven't been able to figure out what those two transactions were. I'll continue investigating further. Here's the further details I got for the transactions from the client i.imgur.com/vlVz7BJ.png and i.imgur.com/DuVRTdS.png
    – randomguy
    Oct 2, 2013 at 15:13
  • I checked my mtgox, bitstamp and btce balances and they are all empty. Those two transactions lead to blockchain.info/address/1VtaJTXABVbrZKxFYPXUg3iGMS5mxBXxB and blockchain.info/address/1KASMYinhnBUmk64RhZPJEFicfHqfNXBrS, and those addresses still have the balance.
    – randomguy
    Oct 2, 2013 at 15:32
  • Could it be that those transactions were made to a new address I created within the client? The -0.01 would make sense in that case, since it would be the net total with the fees after the "internal" transactions.
    – randomguy
    Oct 2, 2013 at 15:35

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