I'm trying to take an address from my Satoshi client and transfer it into my new MultiBit client. I have found several questions similar to this, and have tried all their solutions, but to no avail.

This is the basic process I go through: (Note: The address & private key I use in the example are empty; made for this example)

  1. On the Satoshi client, I go to the console and type: dumpprivkey 16tTCqoguKk7ZvLXsUyUE5JKJQ2VMDpCQj
  2. I get the private key KzD6eDjxCwPf8YTGiGhNWAyg4HU4H6iWXYEqCyKGhH8Dy9ZKhdui
  3. I confirm on bitaddress.org that the private key does indeed output the public key above.
  4. I then export the private keys on MultiBit (Version 0.4.19 BTW), and add the private key listed above into the exported file.
  5. Importing the private keys back, the public address 1GWqf362pUzGfrZ7K7Thazd27aRBsakGcX is imported, rather than 16tTCqoguKk7ZvLXsUyUE5JKJQ2VMDpCQj.

I'm not exactly sure if I'm doing something wrong, or the problem is some sort of bug in the software... Please excuse me if I sound "Bitcoin-Illiterate", I'm kinda new to this stuff.

  • Welcome to Bitcoin.SE! Thanks for putting some effort into writing your question! Jan 28, 2013 at 3:25
  • 1
    For the benefit of anyone who might not happen to know, never reveal private keys from your wallet as they can be used to spend any funds received at that key's corresponding Bitcoin address now or in the future. Jan 31, 2013 at 2:46

1 Answer 1


Notice that your private key retrieved from the Satoshi client begins with a K. According to the List of Address Prefixes, that means the key is exported in compressed form.

MultiBit's export file saves private keys in uncompressed form. Private keys in uncompressed form begin with a 5.

You can divine the uncompressed key using Bitaddress's wallet details page. Just look for the private key that begins with a 5. It's the private key that has a QR code next to it.

Repeat the latter part of your steps, adding the uncompressed key to the export file and then importing that file.

  • 3
    Colin is correct. At the moment MultiBit only supports uncompressed keys for import (the ones beginning with 5). Compressed key support will be going into bitcoinj 0.7 so when that comes out I will improve this. For the moment do as Colin suggests and convert it to uncompressed.
    – jim618
    Jan 28, 2013 at 12:48
  • Is there any way to uncompress the private key without sending it to an external service?
    – kristianp
    Aug 16, 2013 at 9:49
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    @kristianp: BitAddress runs entirely client-side in JavaScript. If you don't trust that, you could disconnect from the Internet while you uncompress it. Or, you can try using Sx.
    – Colin Dean
    Aug 18, 2013 at 19:46
  • @ColinDean thanks for that info, I didn't realise it was client-side.
    – kristianp
    Aug 24, 2013 at 9:44
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    Colin Dean, the javascript could be compromised. To trust that website, you should read and understand the source code before use and every time the web page is changed. Also, you'd have to do the same for the web browser that you're using.
    – Eyal
    Sep 12, 2013 at 12:17

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