I have bought some bitcoins a while back, and stored them in bitcoin core. Now I try to use them, but I have to download the whole blockchain (1 year and 23 weeks to go) which takes about forever..

I donwloaded the electrum wallet and want to wire the bitcoins to that wallet.

Is this possible without downloading the entire blockchain? It would be the first time I do a transaction with bitcoins so I am a bit careful.. There is a transaction cost I can set (normal - fast) which gives a confirmation in 25 - 1 block. Is this confirmation sent after I downloaded the entire chain?

simple question, but I do not find the answer...

thanks in advance!

2 Answers 2


My suggestion for your case is you can use a mobile wallet and import the private key of the address which you used to receive Bitcoin and then use your Bitcoin from that mobile (lightweight wallet).

In fact, the mobile wallets will also download the blockchain and keep its database up to date with the Bitcoin database but it will not fully download the whole blockchain so it will be so much faster.

  • Hi,thanks for the help. How do I find the private key and how do I import it? do you have any suggestions which wallet to use? kind regards
    – Pieter
    Mar 15, 2017 at 16:40
  • 1
    Run the command dumpprivkey <address> to get the private key associate to your address. To run this command, you can either run it in bitcoin-qt console or with command line in bitcoin-cli. I'm now using BreadWallet which is easy to use and pretty nice UI/UX, you can search for it in Google Play or App Store and take a look to see whether it fits your needs.
    – hoanghs13
    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:45
  • You can also look up for other useful commands with Bitcoin core here: en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Original_Bitcoin_client/API_calls_list
    – hoanghs13
    Mar 16, 2017 at 1:50
  • Also, You can use Electrum instead of the Mobile wallets mentioned. After you have gotten your private key, then follow this guide: docs.electrum.org/en/latest/…
    – Rouse
    Aug 9, 2018 at 13:39

It is safe to send some BTC without downloading the entire blockchain. Your sending wallet will know about the transaction immediately. Your receiving can know about the transaction once it is received by broadcast (I presume Electrum may notify of this?) and it will be confirmed once the transaction is mined into a block.

If you are using a very old version of Bitcoin Core, it may be worth upgrading to the newest official release version from bitcoin.org first. To do this, safely exit your existing Bitcoin Core software, make a good secure backup of your wallet file once it has stopped and, then perform an upgrade install. The next time you open Bitcoin Core it will upgrade your data files. No need to finish downloading the blockchain first.

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