Every day, I get 10+ Bitcoin wallets that someone “forgot” the password to. Some are worth a few Bitcoin while some have 100,000 (or more!) Bitcoin.
They all have three things in common:
- There haven’t been any transactions in a long time, like 10+ years.
- The password ideas are non-existent or very vague (“something with a nickname and 1980”)
- The wallet is fake. It was created by scammers to sell to victims who don’t understand how Bitcoin wallets work.
Don’t buy fake Bitcoin wallets expecting that you’ll somehow “brute force” them.
What is a fake Bitcoin wallet?
A fake wallet is a wallet.dat file that is created to scam people into thinking that the Bitcoin inside can be unlocked. There are many thousands of fake wallets floating around the Internet. They are ALL scams.
How do you make a fake Bitcoin wallet?
A Bitcoin wallet is a database of Bitcoin addresses and private keys. The address is public and on the blockchain. Addresses cannot be faked. The private key is the secret code that generates the address. The only way to prove that you own a wallet is to generate a signature matching the address with the private key.
Without the password for the wallet, it is impossible to verify if an encrypted private key will generate the public address.
This means that anyone can edit a wallet file and put any address they want in there. You can put 1, 100, 10,000,000 Bitcoin keys in a wallet file, and no one will be able to tell whether they are real without knowing the password.
How do I know if I have a fake Bitcoin wallet?
The only way to receive any cryptocurrency is to create your own wallet or open an exchange account and send someone your Bitcoin address.
If you did anything else, you probably have a fake Bitcoin wallet. (There is a list of fake wallets here.)
Can you help me find the password for my fake Bitcoin wallet?
No. For four reasons:
First, it’s not your wallet. Even if I could find the password, I would be stealing Bitcoin from the original owner. It’s against the contract I require all customers to agree to before I start work. I’m not going to return your Bitcoin without proof of purchase or legal ownership even if I could.
Second, the few times when I have found the password, the private key for the wallet does not match the public address. There is no way to know this until the wallet is decrypted.
Third, even if your wallet is not fake, and the password is really just forgotten, it’s impossible to decrypt a strong password. A random 16-digit password would take longer to decrypt than the lifetime of the universe. It’s hopeless.
Fourth, your wallet is fake. Google the address and you will find it for sale on dozens of sites, all selling the same wallet.
You were scammed, and now you are trying to scam me. No thanks.