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I recall accepting bitcoin payment several years ago when the concept was fairly new. My trouble is, I don’t know what happened to the bitcoin after the receipt. What methods are available to search for “lost or abandoned “ bitcoin? Thanks in advance Becky

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  • If you do not control the private keys to the addresses where you received your bitcoins, there is no way to recover it. However, if you were using a third party service that were holding your bitcoins for you, you can enquire with their customer service department
    – Ugam Kamat
    Jun 20 '19 at 16:58
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What methods are available to search for “lost or abandoned “ bitcoin?

There are no methods available to other people (third parties). People could search for dormant amounts that were outputs of old transactions and not yet used as inputs to subsequent transactions - but those amounts may not actually be lost or abandoned. There is no way to recover control or gain control of these amounts without additional information known only to the person who received those amounts of bitcoin.

If you previously received some amount of bitcoin into a bitcoin wallet, you can search for evidence - perhaps a note of an online website who stored that amount on your behalf and who you could now contact for assistance. Perhaps some old "wallet.dat" files on a PC that indicate you had a desktop wallet with control of your own private keys. Maybe an app on an old phone in a drawer. Perhaps a written down recovery seed or private key in a locked box you use for important documents.

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In order to get access to the bitcoins, you need to have the access to the bitcoin address or the bitcoin wallet (usually a wallet.dat file) containing that address.

If you have the address, you can check if it has any balance on it with various explorers. [1] [2] [3]

You can access the address if you have its private key (password). If you have the wallet.dat file, you will need a password to unlock it if it has been encrypted. Else, you can access it without a password.

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