Bitcoin, and the blockchain specifically, is a pretty cool technology. The price of a bitcoin, as shown in the above image, is still in flux. That’s euphemism for a bloody roller-coaster. 🙂
Anyway, this post is about something connected, but not entirely the same. This post is about recovering some bitcoins which I had in an old wallet, and where I thought they would stay.
Some background info
When I was involved with coinduit I used to have some bitcoins (some part of bitcoins, of course) on Mycelium wallet on my android mobile phone. Unfortunately my phon encountered a kind of strange problem: even if connected to the charger, the phone was unable to charge. This meant I had small amount of time to transfer all my bitcoins, and take a backup of my existing wallet. I tried to do the 12 words backup with Mycelium, but didn’t manage. However I’ve managed to export the private keys of my three accounts that I had created at that time…
Who has the private keys of a bitcoin address, owns the address, therefore keeping the private key secure is paramount. The private key is necessary to sign a transaction, which is the way the bitcoins do get transfer from one address to another one. Basically without the private key, you can’t move the bitcoins from a bitcoin address.
So before my mobile ran out of juice, I’ve managed to transfer some coins on a new wallet I’ve just opened on blockchain.info. For some reason that I do not remember, I didn’t send them all of them, but some millibitcoins stayed behind. I think just after the transaction, my phone poweroff. That was basically the swan’s song for my phone.
I’ve sent the phone to be repaired, but as usual, they did a factory reset and everything that was stored on the phone, was gone.
Quick fast forward to today. I’ve got a new phone, a bit of time ago, and I’ve decided to see if I could recovered the coins.
It was super easy!
I have just scanned the three private keys into Mycelium, regaining all my bitcoins that were left there. As I said at the beginning, having the private key makes you the owner of these bitcoins, or at least gives you the power to move them to an address you control. So I have transferred the bitcoins from the old address to the new Hierarchical one that comes with the latest Mycelium.
After that, I’ve logged into blockchain.info, and sent the bitcoins from that address to the new one. Now all the bitcoins are once again on my device and I am in full control.
This time I’ve managed to back up the seed to recreate the Hierarchical Mycelium wallet, therefore next time I have a problem, I have just to recreate the address using the 12 random words and I’m sorted.
I’m using clipper.is as password manager, to store all this details, so the solution is pretty secure.
So, yeah, pretty pleased with bitcoins and the ability of rescue them. Get some if you didn’t so far.