Sorry to sound like a total Bitcoin noob (which I am). I've just made a purchase at the new Robocoin Bitcoin ATM. I have a paper receipt that has a Private Key (starting with 5 and 51 characters long). How do I import this key into my wallet? I'm using MultiBit 0.5.14 on Ubuntu. Thanks in advance!

4 Answers 4


Tools -> Import Private Keys

Create a file with the private key inside it. If you do not add the time of creation of this address, you get this message:

"There were missing dates. Have to go back to genesis block."

I think this date should be the first transaction date registered in the block chain.

Key createdAt is in UTC format as specified by ISO 8601 e.g: 2011-12-31T16:42:00Z . The century, 'T' and 'Z' are mandatory

To be safe, turn the date back a few days.


Importing private keys into MultiBit:

  1. Create a file with the extension ".key" (like "mybitcoinkeys.key")
  2. Put each private key on a separate line.
  3. Next to each private key, type a space and then the date that the private key was created (in UTC format).

(this last step is important because MultiBit will only check the blockchain from that date forward)

Here's a sample file that I dug up:

# Anyone who can read this file can spend your bitcoin.
# Format:
#   <Base58 encoded private key>[<whitespace>[<key createdAt>]]
#   The Base58 encoded private keys are the same format as
#   produced by the Satoshi client/ sipa dumpprivkey utility.
#   Key createdAt is in UTC format as specified by ISO 8601
#   e.g: 2011-12-31T16:42:00Z . The century, 'T' and 'Z' are mandatory
THIS_IS_THE_PRIVATE_KEY 2014-08-01T00:00:00Z

# End of private keys

P.S. The date can be as early as you want but should absolutely be before the first transaction involving the address. The time of day doesn't matter because MultiBit will check starting with the beginning of the day anyway.

  • Should be "before the first transaction", not "after". Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 7:43
  • Ah, yes, thanks for pointing that out. Fixing that now.
    – Ryan Shea
    Commented Jan 8, 2014 at 22:26

also I think the same process is described at https://multibit.org/help_importingPrivateKeys.html

it didn't work for me at first, but I changed the private key format to Bitcoin-Qt Format instead of Base58 and it worked.


Importing a private key into MultiBit Classic is not hard at all.

Open a text file and copy in the following line:

5JinrCK2zeijdidLmjxCfpRWMbfXNS8i6XdUbmQAvW7CC55LQcU 2014-08-01T00:00:00Z

Replace my private key with yours, leave a single space after the key, and don’t change the date, leaving it as 2014-08-01T00:00:00Z

When saving the file replace the extension .txt with .key.

Open MultiBit Classic and import the key, and you are done.

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