Hi guys I am seeking to retrieve my bitcoins I purchased years ago but my bitcoin qt never synced to receive them! I have now downloaded bitcoin core and I was advised that once I have done that it should automatically just transfer over but it hasn't! So what are my options to get hold of my bitcoins I purchased years ago????

2 Answers 2


The information needed for you to recover your coins is in the original bitcoin-qt you used to get the addresses to request the bitcoins. Did you back up its data folder?

The private key for your coins is in that backup. If you didn't back that up, you probably can't recover the coins.

  • how can i back it up when it never synced? it never synced as i was using prepayed internet credit at the time. by the time i got a normal plan the bitcoin qt wallet is now a dud so i cant sync it! @galileopy
    – kym
    Mar 28, 2016 at 21:14
  • Syncing only means downloading the full blockchain to inspect it and check if you have received funds. When bitcoin-qt starts it creates a lot of addresses and saves them in a wallet.dat file, which can be encrypted if you choose to add a password. If you use any of those addresses to ask for bitcoins, then you should've had saved that wallet.dat file. Is the only thing you need to recover your bitcoins. And you can't recover your bitcoins without it.
    – galileopy
    Mar 29, 2016 at 19:47

do you have a backup of the private key of BTC address you bought BTCs for? basically when you buy bitcoins you give a public address to receive the coins. do you have the secret key of that BTC address you used for buying bitcoins?

  • Do you have an example of one! I have got all my emails between the seller and myself! I am unsure what you mean by the secret key?
    – kym
    Mar 26, 2016 at 2:15
  • this is a BTC public address: "1MaJUYE7iF54HvMvJXAFcdqpzhQmiW5gRm" you give it out to the world so that ppl can send you BTC, now, this its corresponding private key:"L5UpMvXikdz3xKwHRqxPvn3kwtF7CpKkAG7dnKa7hoXPytBW9kCJ" to be able to use and own the bitcoins you receive in that public address, you should have this private/secret one, otherwise you can't spend the bitcoins.
    – torstack45
    Mar 26, 2016 at 4:14
  • I have got the block explorer link that takes me to where it is! There is a long key on there, that would be a private key? Sorry I am not that good at this! I have all the info from when I purchased the coins! The other problem is i don't know how to send them to my new bitcoin core wallet! @torstack45
    – kym
    Mar 26, 2016 at 5:02
  • block explorer does not show you the private key of a bitcoin address, it usually shows its current balance, ripemd160 Hash, and the addresses it has sent to or received from, look at the link below: "blockchain.info/address/1MaJUYE7iF54HvMvJXAFcdqpzhQmiW5gRm for simplicity do not use bitcoin core, instead create a wallet on blockchain.info, after that go to "import/backup", enter your supposed private key and see if it really works. --->any BTC are retrieved to your account ----> blockchain.info/wallet/new
    – torstack45
    Mar 26, 2016 at 5:04
  • the best solution for you may be to contact the seller and ask them the address/es they have sent coins to, then search your bitcoin client for any of those addresses. if you can't recognize that address to which the sender has sent coins, then the coins are not anymore yours.
    – torstack45
    Mar 26, 2016 at 5:38

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