David Veksler

How does a Bitcoin wallet recovery service work?

Here is how our Bitcoin wallet recovery process works:

The process we follow depends on which of the below scenarios describes your situation:

  • Forgotten password
  • Corrupt wallet
  • Lost wallet
  • Broken computer/phone
  • Payment sent to the wrong currency type

Step 1: Understand your situation

First, we’ll ask you to describe your situation and agree to our service contract.  We support communications by email, phone, encrypted messaging app, or in-office visit in Denver, Colorado.  (See this FAQ on the kinds of recoveries we can perform.) Before we proceed, you will be informed whether recovery is likely or not.

Step 2: Gather required information

If you have your wallet file, you can send it directly to us by an encrypted channel or physical delivery. If you don’t know how to find it, we’ll guide you over a phone call, email, or in-person visit.  If we’re helping you with a damaged device, we’ll provide you with shipment information.

If you don’t remember your password, we’ll ask you for a list of sample passwords you might have used.

Step 3: Recover your Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency:

Once we have received the information needed to start processing your situation, you will receive confirmation that we’re ready to begin, and another we start on your case.

For forgotten passwords:

We’ll create a list of tokens to submit to our brute force tool. These tokens are designed to test every possible variation of your password ideas while excluding guesses that are less likely. In some cases, we write software to create a custom password list.

We then process the token file on dedicated hardware, specifically one of two 12-core 8th generation Intel i7 8700 machines with a GTX 1070 GPU.  Token files can generate anywhere from hundreds to about 1 billion password possibilities.  The number of guesses needed depends on how much of your password you can remember.

For corrupt or deleted wallets:

We wrote the top guide to the recovery of corrupt or deleted Bitcoin wallets. We follow this process when possible. We have a custom build of BerkelyDB, the database used by most cryptocurrency wallets to repair corrupt wallet files.

After we repair or unlock your wallet file, we extract your private keys and load them into a recovery wallet.  We then delete the personal information and files you send us.

Step 4: Returning your Bitcoin back to you

After a successful recovery, we’ll ask for a destination address to returning your coins, minus our fee.  Our service includes advice and assistance on setting up a new, secure wallet.  For recoveries over 100 BTC, we’ll offer to come to you in person, deliver a hardware wallet with your coins, and train you on how to use it — this service is included in the fee.  We’ll also offer to fork your Bitcoin Cash or Bitcoin SV when possible.

Step 5: Removing your personal data

After the recovery is complete, or if we notify you that recovery is not possible, we will securely delete your personal data.  If you sent us a device, we will offer to ship it back to you or to destroy the storage media.

How long does it take?

In simple cases, this process takes as little as two hours.  In more difficult cases, such as when you’ve lost your password, we may need to spend several days running a brute force password algorithm.

The time needed depends very much on the complexity of the situation.  If you have 10 or more possible password ideas, and we need to try a billion passwords, it may take several weeks to run through our brute force tools.

If you’ve accidentally sent BTC to a BCH wallet, we can have your coins back within an hour.

If you’ve lost track of your wallet on a hard drive, or we need to perform hardware repairs, the service can take several days or longer.

We can provide an estimate before we take your case and will always inform you immediately when progress is made.





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