I have several bitcoin addresses (together with corresponding public keys) from Electrum wallet I've used previously. I moved to another CentOS server and now I need to import this addresses back. But when I do:

electrum sweep [public key] [btc address] -w [path to wallet]

I get:

Traceback (most recent call last):
File "/usr/local/bin/electrum", line 384, in <module>
result = server.run_cmdline(config_options)
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.7/site-packages/jsonrpclib/jsonrpc.py", line 748, in __call__
return self.__send(self.__name, args)
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.7/site-packages/jsonrpclib/jsonrpc.py", line 630, in _request
File "/usr/local/lib/python3.7/site-packages/jsonrpclib/jsonrpc.py", line 1321, in check_for_errors
raise ProtocolError((code, message))
jsonrpclib.jsonrpc.ProtocolError: (-32603, 'Server error: File "/usr/local/lib/python3.7/site-packages/electrum/bitcoin.py", line 475, in deserialize_privkey | electrum.util.BitcoinException: cannot deserialize privkey 024..c0\n') 

What am I doing wrong?

1 Answer 1


You need the private key not the public key to do a sweep.

Actually it'll be easier if you simply copied the wallet file to the new system. If you have access to the electrum gui then you can create a copy via file > save copy. If you don't then find the wallet file and copy it over.

  • I got private key. How do I pull several addresses in? I don't have old wallet anymore. I restored from seed
    – Bonfop
    Commented Jun 17, 2019 at 1:58
  • The command in the OP will work fine if you use your WIF private key. Here's a example of what that looks like.
    – Abdussamad
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 7:43
  • @Bonfop I'd also like to point out that this site is not suitable for the back and forth conversation that you need. So if my comment above does not solve your problem I suggest asking for help on any one of the community forums.
    – Abdussamad
    Commented Jun 18, 2019 at 7:49

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