I recently used the website https://www.bitbrothersllc.com/Bitbrothersllc/Welcome.html to obtain my bitcoins, but when I was asked what address to send my coins to, I accidentally put down my wallet's private key, not my bitcoin address.

I'm wondering if the coins are lost forever now, or if they will still appear in my wallet because the private key is attached to my address. I'm really hoping they are not lost forever, and I would greatly appreciate any assistance anyone could provide.

  • 1
    Did the site give you a transaction id when you entered the transaction? If so, you can check it on blockchain.info. It's possible to determine a public address from private key, but not sure if the site is doing that.
    – ChrisW
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 17:46

3 Answers 3


A private key can be encoded in a number of different formats:

  • 51 characters base58, starts with a '5' (for example: 5JrnhhNpRNsC6xPUhLfc4yJEviuRxMcvpcB4pc1opgHTSVi64aP)
  • 64 characters [0-9A-F] hexadecimal format, for example: 89609C6B52AE0061FB8FFE3AF83528AC24AC637A386FE61D2822128ABE80162F
  • 44 characters base64, for example: iWCca1KuAGH7j/46+DUorCSsY3o4b+YdKCISir6AFi8=
  • 52 characters base58, WIF Compressed, starts with a 'K' or 'L', for example: L1pkidDJJbWY1HUDF3oPnXV6U7xR9L1aZ8FRs7YZfSPdh5NPzRB5

A bitcoin address, which is a hash of the public key, is 25-34 characters, typically 34 characters, for example: 1A5QMFw4vXVwLF1zZMSvAYJStuVMcjSqAa

Maybe a bitcoin address could be encoded in some other format, but 25-34 characters of base58 is the standard.

I don't know what kind of validations are in place at bitbrothersllc, but they should easily be able to see that you entered 51, 64, 44, or 52 characters instead of the 25-34 characters that would make up a valid bitcoin address.

Contact them. If they are legit, you'll get your funds back. Good luck!

  • So just out of curiosity, I goggled bitbrothersllc and CEO Cameron Schorg. You should too, caveat emptor. Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 18:38
  • Thank you! I researched bitbrothersllc before deciding to try the service, but I didn't think to research Cameron Schorg himself. The first link on google about him didn't make me feel too hopeful, but that's what happens when you don't fully do your research. Thank you for the helpful insight on this, hopefully a response is sent back to me soon by this guy.
    – Matt1639
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 19:28

If you indeed received a payment, you must move the money to a different address ASAP because you have already given the private key to the site. They can take your money back at any time.

  • Very good idea, I will definately do that...If I even recieve the coins that is. Thank you.
    – Matt1639
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 19:29

You can't send to a private key, that would be invalid in any client. You have exposed your private keys to a third party though, which you need to rectify immediately.

  • It was empty to begin with, but I would definately obtain a new address. Thanks!
    – Matt1639
    Commented Mar 5, 2014 at 22:33

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