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I have a situation where I sent 1 coin to and address I own and my wallet sent the unspent output to a change address but due to a glitch in the wallet software, that change address doesn't show up in my wallet. I did see that change address in my wallet at some point in the past but when I upgraded the wallet, the address was gone. When I look at the unspent transaction, I see that it immediately flushed the entire address to another address that I think I do not own. I do not have my private key and cannot seem to reproduce it from my 24 word BIP32 mnemonic.

Questions:

  1. If I own the private key to the change address, then how could the change address spend my coin without my private key?
  2. If the wallet doesn't identify the change address as being owned by me, does the miner take the balance?

I'm stumped by how and why this happened.

Thanks

  • 1
    What software are you using? – Pieter Wuille Oct 27 '17 at 7:16
  • If you look up the receiving addresses involved in blockchain.info, it may help shed some light on what's happened. – Highly Irregular Oct 27 '17 at 10:00
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Generally, this should not happen. The situations this can happen should be limited to:

  1. bugs in the software
  2. malicious acts by the software

to resolve this you will need to look up the transaction on a block explorer and document all relevant information, including the block height, transaction id, inputs spent, target address, change address and possibly the miner that relayed the block.

armed with this information you then reconfirm in you wallet and doublecheck for deviations, and if necessary contact the developers of the wallet.

if they cannot help, you should at least be able to ask new and more precise questions here afterwards.

  • It now appears that the wallet code that was meant to create a change address using my seed, was hacked or hard-coded to substitute another address instead and my unspent output was moved to that address. That address was created in 2014 and my seed was created in 2016. I'm told that I am SOL. But I think this is theft and will likely proceed along those lines. Here is the transaction: blockchain.info/tx/… – JimTW Oct 28 '17 at 9:16
  • I also define that as theft, could you share your story with others to help avoid further thefts? In particular, it would be good to know which wallet software, and what source you downloaded it from. – Jonathan Silverblood Oct 29 '17 at 6:21
  • The wallet is mSigna and somehow unspent coins are sent to a change address not created by your private key. Apparently this has caught others out and they have upgraded the code. But I am SOL. – JimTW Jan 3 '18 at 12:56

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