Questions tagged [private-key]

Private keys are used for signing transactions and allow the holder of the private key to spend the Bitcoin associated with the address derived from the private key.

Filter by
Sorted by
Tagged with
73 votes
4 answers
37k views

What is a compressed Bitcoin key?

The standard Bitcoin client in version 0.6 apparently introduces compressed keys. What are they? Are there any drawbacks to using them? Any incompatibilities with older software? Reductions in ...
Thilo's user avatar
  • 4,759
46 votes
1 answer
9k views

ELI5: What's the difference between a child-key and a hardened child-key in BIP32

I've read BIP32, and I do understand it more or less. Could someone please explain to me like I'm 5 years old what the difference between a child-key and a hardened child-key is? I'm trying to add ...
Amin Shah Gilani's user avatar
45 votes
2 answers
71k views

How do I import a private key into Bitcoin-Core?

How do I import a private key into Bitcoin-Qt? bitcoind is nowhere to be found, and pywallet says it requires "bsddb" when I run it, which is also nowhere to be found. I generated some vanity ...
lurf jurv's user avatar
  • 2,714
44 votes
2 answers
85k views

How can I export the private key for an address from the satoshi client?

If I want to transfer an address from the satoshi client into a different client, how can I find its private key to do so?
Chris Moore's user avatar
  • 14.8k
30 votes
5 answers
19k views

How are public & private keys in an address created?

I understand the high level concept I am more interested specific details. How is a private key generated. How exactly is public key generated, how is address generated from public key.
DeathAndTaxes's user avatar
27 votes
2 answers
37k views

What is the wallet "word seed" that is commonly used in popular wallets clients and what does it do?

I've been using a pretty old version of Multibit classic and recently decided to upgrade. I tried out Multibit HD and Electrum and noticed that both have me set up a wallet with a "word seed"...
user avatar
23 votes
2 answers
54k views

How are public and private keys related to the wallet?

I understand that all the Bitcoin protocol is based on an asymmetric cryptography. A user gets 2 keys (public and private). How do these keys connect to the Bitcoins? How are the keys are related ...
Sean Black's user avatar
23 votes
7 answers
32k views

How do I get the public bitcoin address from a given private key in wallet import format offline?

I have made paper wallets. And I continually send what bitcoins I get to them. I'm paranoid that I've been sending bitcoins to the paper bitcoin addresses where somehow at sometime my saved private ...
user299648's user avatar
20 votes
1 answer
15k views

What is a private key and a public key?

What exactly is a private key and public key in relation to Bitcoin? What are they, how are they used, and how does one find out what their private and public keys are?
Sam Weinberg's user avatar
19 votes
1 answer
2k views

What is the status of hierarchical deterministic wallets (BIP32)

BIP32 specifies hierarchical deterministic wallets, where a master seed fully determines a whole tree of keypairs that can be arbitrarily branched. It also introduces the notions of internal and ...
Noah's user avatar
  • 1,479
18 votes
2 answers
15k views

Does a wallet containing multiple addresses have a single private key?

Title says it all. Would one private key enable you to recover all the addresses in your wallet? Or does a wallet just contain a series of key-pairs?
user avatar
17 votes
2 answers
11k views

Why so many warnings about importing private keys?

Blockchain.info and other products make you read dire (but vague) warnings that "you must be an expert" before you can import private keys. What's that all about?
RentFree's user avatar
  • 2,539
17 votes
1 answer
32k views

How can I convert a SHA256 hash into a Bitcoin base58 private key?

How can I take the output of sha256sum sudofox@ubuntu:~$ echo -n 'Hi guys!' | sha256sum 7542fb6685f9fd8f37d56faf62f0bb4563684a51539e4b26f0840db361e0027c - and turn it into a Base58Check encoded ...
Austin Burk's user avatar
  • 1,109
17 votes
2 answers
15k views

Why doc says importing private keys is so dangerous?

There are a lot of applications when someone would like to import a private key. However in wiki documentation they say it is very dangerous: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/How_to_import_private_keys ...
Felipe's user avatar
  • 1,738
16 votes
3 answers
9k views

Key derivation in HD wallets using the extended private key vs hardened derivation

I am reading the book Mastering Bitcoin and confused about wallet key derivations in Chapter 4. Keys, Addresses, Wallets. The book first mentions a private child key derivation where the child ...
user1's user avatar
  • 161
16 votes
2 answers
3k views

Is a wallet just a collection of private and public keys?

There is a fundamental bitcoin concept I don't get. Am I correct in that all I "need" to send and receive money are a single address and its associated private key? In other words, can't I just ...
Jimbob's user avatar
  • 161
16 votes
1 answer
3k views

Can private keys remain offline for their entire life?

I am new to Bitcoin and this question is based on 3 assumptions that may be incorrect. Assumption 1: If I understand correctly, the Bitcoin address is generated algorithmically independent of the ...
Usman Mutawakil's user avatar
15 votes
2 answers
14k views

What is a 130 hex character public key?

I went onto https://www.bitaddress.org and the last tab there is a place to enter a private key and it shows the various formats of public and private keys. It is strange to me that the public key can ...
shoeless joe's user avatar
  • 2,267
15 votes
1 answer
8k views

How does bitcoind generate a new address if the wallet is encrypted

Suppose that my wallet is encrypted with a passphase and currently I have not provided bitcoind with the passphrase to access the private keys section of the wallet. If I enter: bitcoind ...
Sam's user avatar
  • 151
15 votes
2 answers
17k views

The length of the Bitcoin's private keys

I read here: In Bitcoin, a private key is usually a 256-bit number ... Although it is a silly question, is this length safe? Based on this site, Elliptic Curve 256 bit keys are safe until 2040. ...
Tail of Godzilla's user avatar
15 votes
3 answers
32k views

Import private key to coinbase?

Is there a way to import a private key that I have been using in bitcoin-qt to my coinbase wallet?
RentFree's user avatar
  • 2,539
14 votes
3 answers
4k views

How would one "Encrypt" a message using a Bitcoin *public key* and use its private key to decrypt it?

I have the following text string: This is a test message. Using my bitcoin public key (bitcoin address?), how can I encrypt this message? How would I decrypt the message using a bitcoin private key?
Patoshi パトシ's user avatar
13 votes
1 answer
2k views

Is any 256-bit combination a Bitcoin private key?

I've recently been implementing a simple Bitcoin wallet and some libraries seem to disagree with address derivation from the same WIF private key, and thus wouldn't sign transactions. After that, I ...
kuco 23's user avatar
  • 255
12 votes
5 answers
11k views

Recovering bitcoins after the owner's death

My Brother died in April and we believe he had a bitcoin account. Is it possible to find out how to recover/take over his accounts? I know this is a new form of currency but it seems odd there is no ...
caz's user avatar
  • 121
12 votes
5 answers
5k views

What would happen if you send bitcoins to a non-existent Bitcoin address?

If one were to send bitcoins to an address that has not been created yet, what would happen? Would the coins be lost forever? Would they just sit there until the address and key pair are generated?
Sam Weinberg's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
4k views

How can I manually (on paper) calculate a Bitcoin public key from a private key?

I am interested in generating a Bitcoin address by hand for security's sake. After I choose/generate a private key, how do I generate the public key? From there, how would I double check my work? ...
Peter Bergman's user avatar
11 votes
3 answers
1k views

Will I need to keep track of my old private keys forever?

Let's say someone (person A) starts using Bitcoin and in a period of time eagerly publishes some of their randomly generated (eg. by the Satoshi client) receiving Bitcoin addresses on formus, sends ...
mazi's user avatar
  • 434
10 votes
3 answers
3k views

Does the protocol ensures that private keys are unique?

There is a very very low chance for the same private key to be generated. (source) However, what happens when my generated private key matches a private key that is already used? Does the protocol ...
Pacerier's user avatar
  • 2,105
10 votes
4 answers
23k views

How can I delete an address (private key) in the list of received Bitcoins?

For every transaction I wanted to get, I was creating a new address, but soon I realized that there is just no way to delete all these addresses from the UI. To make it clear, here is a picture: I ...
Salvador Dali's user avatar
10 votes
3 answers
2k views

Is it important to have an unencrypted backup of the private key?

Am I correct that in not having our private keys written in paper or otherwise backed up we are implicitly trusting the wallet developers to keep publishing wallet versions that are capable of reading ...
DrGC's user avatar
  • 201
10 votes
3 answers
6k views

Can I use a passphrase as a private key?

Is there a way to use a long (and possibly hashed) passphrase as a private key, so that all I need to recover my Bitcoins would be that password? I was thinking of buying Bitcoins using a private key ...
Adam Matan's user avatar
10 votes
2 answers
2k views

Is is possible to prove you possess an amount of BTC without actually spending it?

I could think of several situations, especially in large purchase negotiations, where one party would like to know that the money is under the control of the other party before continuing with the ...
LateralFractal's user avatar
9 votes
5 answers
1k views

Can I create a deterministic wallet and export/disclose indiviual keys without compromising the wallet?

Scenario: Create a deterministic wallet and a larger number of private keys and associated bitcoin addresses on a safe (e.g. offline) computer. Backup the seed securely. Store the private keys ...
Jan's user avatar
  • 1,000
9 votes
4 answers
7k views

How to generate keypair completely offline?

Is it possible to generate address and private key pair completely offline, using only dice / other random number generators, calculators, paper and pen? If yes, whats the procedure and formulas used?
vi.su.'s user avatar
  • 1,852
9 votes
3 answers
6k views

The best way to keep my private keys safe?

Best ways means the most reliable and robust, and meanwhile easy to access ways?
Urso's user avatar
  • 191
8 votes
2 answers
5k views

What roles of WIF(Wallet Import Format)?

I am reading "Mastering Bitcoin" written by Andreas and I found this explanation about "WIF(Wallet Import Format)" Key Formats Both private and public keys can be represented in a number of ...
zono's user avatar
  • 1,935
8 votes
8 answers
8k views

How do I extract my private keys from a protobuf wallet?

Recent changes to Andreas Schildbach's Bitcoin client for Android have removed the option to export private keys. This has been replaced by an option to back up the entire wallet. Unfortunately, the ...
dogzilla's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
3k views

When importing private keys, will compressed or uncompressed format be used?

I am looking into implementing support for compressed public keys on Vanity Pool. However, I have my concerns about importing solutions into a desired vanity address under that format. From what I can ...
ThePiachu's user avatar
  • 43.1k
8 votes
2 answers
9k views

Public Key + Private Key enough to backup?

I invested in bitcoins and unfortunately I have problems to understand the system. Perhaps you can answer me the following questions? 1.a) I know my public and my private key. Do I still have to ...
user4918's user avatar
8 votes
2 answers
14k views

What exactly happens when a new wallet is created?

I am asking for what is being created when there is a new wallet created. And the second part of my question is considering public key. Is the public key the same thing as the address? I read that ...
Comodore's user avatar
  • 568
8 votes
4 answers
544 views

Is this an ok "poor man's 2 out of 3" key solution?

In the situation that you want no individual to have the complete private key, but you do want to share the complete key between 3 individuals, of which any 2 can construct the complete key, what is ...
Richard Green's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
791 views

Why does Base58 WIF-format of PK have '5' prefix (the standpoint of mathematics)

I'm trying create raw private keys using the steps: Take a version of PK (0x80) and concatenate (as prefix)with my pseudo-random 32bytes-array. Take a calculated checksum (4bytes) and push it to the ...
Mergasov's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
6k views

How to dump all of addresses from wallet.dat for other alt-coins?

I'm on binarycoin now, with solo mining. Luck smile to me. I'm found 5 blocks. It is 100.0 binarycoins. I'm trying to use "aggressive" speed-up, my daemon compiled with -O3. After last block I ...
user2496's user avatar
  • 187
8 votes
1 answer
12k views

Extract private keys from Bitcoin Wallet

I have encrypted my bitcoin wallet. I know the passphrase, that's not the issue. I want to transfer my bitcoins to blockchain.info but it's asking me for the private key. I cannot find it nor can I ...
Danny's user avatar
  • 83
8 votes
1 answer
2k views

What qualifies a valid private key?

The title pretty much sums up the question - say (for instance) I have a string of letters or numbers committed to memory, how hard would it be to convert that into a private key? Or similarly, how ...
George Pearce's user avatar
8 votes
3 answers
26k views

Using dumpprivkey to make a paper backup

I'm just getting started with bitcoin and haven't acquired any significant amount yet, but want to feel relatively secure before I do. And at the moment, my fear of losing bitcoins or a device on ...
BlueMonkMN's user avatar
8 votes
1 answer
733 views

Is it possible to use BitGo's wallet with other software (Electrum or else), what is the used derivation path?

BitGo wallets are based on a 2-of-3 multi-signature, the end user have access to: - Public key (xpub) of the 3rd signer (as the main wallet xpub) - Native Segwit (Bech32), bc1... addresses to receive ...
intika's user avatar
  • 81
7 votes
2 answers
18k views

Does the private key of Bitcoin change everytime the address changes?

I have read from many sites that an address should change every time a Bitcoin transaction is made. Does the private key change along with the Bitcoin address. How is the address obtained from the ...
I'm Curious's user avatar
7 votes
3 answers
3k views

Importing private keys creates different address

How does importing private keys work? I have previously imported the private key for a 1Archive... address into Bitcoin Core and noted then it added an address like 1AXbRq... and I didn't follow it ...
Willtech's user avatar
  • 3,269
7 votes
2 answers
9k views

How to sweep private extended key from mycellium for bitcoin cash coins?

I have my coins stored in mycellium, but when I try to export my private key I get a private extended key. How can I import this into coinomi android wallet? I see there is a sweep option in conomi, ...
Patoshi パトシ's user avatar

1
2 3 4 5
18