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Mainly due to utter curiosity I purchased 0.5 bitcoin in 2013 and I have a piece of paper with 3 different passwords on. however, I've recently opened the wallet I had the coin in, but nothing shows up! Neither does it ask me for a password? I've searched around for knowledgeable individuals who can guide me - in very layman terms - as to what process I need to go through in attempting to retrieve this 1/2 coin. As I'm very much in need of getting rid of the 1/2 coin I shall be more than happy to financially reward any person who can successfully retrieve it.

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    Welcome to Bitcoin SE. Just so you are aware, this is not a site that acts as a job board, where you can offer money in exchange for services. In fact, that is likely to get your question closed. I recommend you re-word this question to remove your offer of a "cash reward" in exchange for help. People here are likely to point you in the right direction anyways. – Jestin Nov 20 '17 at 4:34
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First off: DO NOT send those exact passwords to anyone offering help. Having those passwords may allow them to access and steal your coins.

If you open your wallet and see a zero balance, that is probably not a good sign if you haven't moved the coins yourself. Look at the history of transactions, and see if there are any that moved the coins to a new address. You need to figure out if the bitcoin has been moved to an address that you no longer control.

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  • first para - good alert. – Regmi Nov 19 '17 at 21:10
  • I've checked the history of transactions and no other addresses are showing up. I will not send any password info to anyone I'm just not sure how to go about searching into my hardrive or anywhere else as to where the actual data is that will make my coin appear in the wallet. – Chris Nov 19 '17 at 22:04
  • What addresses do show up when you check transaction history? Check them on blockchain.info to confirm the balances. Wallets do not work by 'hiding some addresses until you enter the right password'. So if your software is properly synced and displaying a balance of 0, chances are your balance is 0. What software are you using? What is the format of the passwords? DO NOT send the actual passwords, just give a general description of them (eg: a mix of numbers, letters & symbols, or just numbers and letters, or just numbers and dashes, etc). Perhaps one of them is a seed, not a password – chytrik Nov 19 '17 at 22:19
  • That's interesting regarding the wallet being properly synced. It's showing up as out of sync and as I've not opened it since 2013 its showing "synchronizing with network ", and saying ive just over 168,000 blocks remaining. Software is "Bitcoin version v0.8.1-beta. Only 1 address shows up and I've checked it with blockchain but it shows no coins. – Chris Nov 19 '17 at 22:36
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    The Bitcoin ledger has grown a lot since 2013: it will take you a while to download the whole thing (= synchronization). If you want to spend your 0.5 BTC without downloading the entire ledger, you will need to import your private keys into an SPV wallet (e.g. electrum). So, it seems that your priority is to find out what your private key[s] is/are, without disclosing them to anyone else. If the passwords that you wrote down are passwords for unlocking your full-node wallet, then you should be able to extract your private keys from that wallet while safely unplugged from the internet. – user58807 Nov 19 '17 at 22:54
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Chris, Did you go to blockchain.info and copy/paste the public address of your wallet into the search box in the top right-hand corner of the screen? This will let you see the amount of bitcoin assigned to that address on the blockchain itself, so you don't have to wait to download the entire thing. If you have done that and it shows zero bitcoin we probably have two scenarios; theft or its the wrong public address for the wallet. If it does show your 1/2 BTC in there you will need the private address to import it. I'd recommend opening the account in blockchain.info, since it just references the blockchain instead of making you download it. If you have a blockchain.info accoutn you can import your 1/2 BTC wallet using the private address at this location... Settings -> Addresses -> + Import Bitcoin Addresses -> Import Address -> put the private key in the box -> Import -> Close

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The information provided is quite vague so I will provide my assumption as to how to resolve it. It sounds as if you have a paper wallet. Paper wallets have a public/private key pair. In your post you mentioned a third piece of information which might be the seed of the wallet.

First step, search the public key on a blockchain explorer (blockchain.info or tradeblock.com are good choices). There you will see all transactions associated to the wallet.

If the balance is 0.5 then it is just a matter of importing the key pair into a wallet (this can be done through the mycelium wallet). You can also YouTube how to sweep a paper wallet for more information about importing the key pair.

If this answer doesn't help then you need to add more information about the paper that you have: how long are the "passwords", are they a combination off all characters, are they words or public/private keys.

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