Consolidating old Bitcoin Core Wallets

Recently I started digging through old backups to find some coins that people were telling me they were sending but to addresses that weren’t in my wallets anymore. I discovered I had dozens – or even more (i’m discovering more all the time).

Objectives:

  • Hash all wallets that are found in iCloud, DropBox, Google Drive, and other backups so that we can save time loading duplicates (when searching backups for wallets, you’ll often end up with hundreds or thousands of duplicates.
  • Upgrade all old wallet files.
  • Create an encrypted drive containing all of the wallet.dat files for backup purposes.
  • Import private keys from all wallets into bitcoin core’s latest version so that they are all in one master wallet file.
  • Import private keys from all wallets into electrum, in one master keyfile.

Hashing All Wallets

Since many backups will contain identical wallet files, we will first start by renaming all wallet.dat files to an md5 checksum of their content. This will prevent issues with accidentally overwriting a wallet.dat if one has many wallet.dat files. The chances of two md5 hashes being identical are very very low, so unless you’re messing with satoshi’s 1 million bitcoins, probably safe enough for de-duplication of identical wallets.

This is done very simple on osx with the following commands:


spikes-MacBook:~ spike$ md5 wallet.dat
MD5 (wallet.dat) = fdf25759f1c6d450a0f8425284867a3d
spikes-MacBook:~ spike$ mv wallet.dat fdf25759f1c6d450a0f8425284867a3d.wallet.dat

Importing and Upgrading all wallet files

First, we will start by installing the latest bitcoin daemon. Once that’s done, we will create a wallets directory, and put all of our wallets there (since the file names are dependant upon the md5 hash, we can safely overwrite whenever there are two files with the same name – they are both identical).

Within ~/.bitcoin/bitcoin.conf (you can create this if it doesn’t already exist), let’s add a couple of configuration options:

server=1
daemon=1
wallet=fdf25759f1c6d450a0f8425284867a3d.wallet.dat 

This is going to tell bitcoind to run in the background and to use the listed wallet file. You can list as many wallet files as you like (there are potentially limits of around 300 wallets at once).

Now we start bitcoind and give it some time to sync the blockchain. Now we will have all wallets in the same version of bitcoind and we can start to dump the private keys and then import them all into one new fresh wallet.

Step 1) Create a new wallet:

Step 2) Dump Private keys from each of the wallets we earlier imported.

Step 3) Import private keys from each of the wallets we earlier exported.

Backing Up or Duplicating Google Authenticator 3-Factor Authentication from one iPhone/iPad to another

Recently I realized that if I lost my iphone I’d be in a world of trouble, nearly every bitcoin exchange I work with utilized Google Authenticator’s 3-Factor Authentication.

Here’s how to back it up (and if you have a second phone around you can put a copy on it as well).
To Backup the keys, Make a backup of your iPhone in iTunes, a local backup. You cannot use iCloud backup, it will not backup the keys (i tried), you also must enabled encryption. Pick a strong password too as if someone were to find the backup they could get access to all your 3FA keys.
Now if you lose your iphone, just connect your a new one and restore the backup, and violla the keys are there.
To add to a second iPhone, simply make the encrypted backup, then connect the other phone Restore it, then chose the backup from your other phone.
KEEP A BACKUP THOUGH! Note that it takes mtgox weeks to reset a Google Auth.

BIPS.me No Longer Using MtGox Rates

Up until about a week ago, one of the best places to sell bitcoins was BIPS.me. For over a month nobody has been able to get any money out of MtGox (due to their withdraw haitus followed by unexplained delays – Or potentially the early stages of liquidity problems), as such a large spread (of about 10%) has developed between MtGoxUSD/BTC and other major exchanges BTC/USD prices. Thus being able to sell on BIPS.me at MtGox’s exchange rate was a major arbitrage opportunity for anybody with USD on the other exchanges.

This arbitrage opportunity has been closed now though as BIPS.me is now one of the least profitable places to sell coins for USD.

And for a quick review of BIPS.me…They wire the funds to your account, it usually takes around 5 days before the payment is received. They have a nice presence at most of the bitcoin conferences, and seem to be a pretty well funded, legitimate company.

OkPay to suspend Mt.gox

Today OkPay says that,

“Dear customers, we are currently suspending bitcoin processing.” (https://www.okpay.com/en/company/news/bitcoin-okpay-terms-of-use.html)

Mt.Gox issues a release saying,

“Statement Regarding OKPay Integration

Tokyo, Japan, May 28th, 2013 – Mt. Gox has recently been informed by OKPay, one of our longtime partners, that they are planning to stop performing wire transfers to and from all Bitcoin exchanges, including Mt. Gox.

OKPay is offering a solution, but in the meantime we want to make sure that Mt. Gox customers and the Bitcoin community are well-informed about this development. While we are not completely clear about the dates of the transition, we would like to make a couple of points clear:

•We will soon stop accepting deposits via OKPay. This may take up to a couple of weeks, but it will happen eventually.

•Withdrawals to OKPay accounts will not be cut immediately, but will only be allowed up to the amount that OKPay users have deposited into Mt. Gox via OKPay. Beyond that amount there are other methods of withdrawal available.

Mt. Gox wishes the best to OKPay, and we look forward to working together more closely in the future. The Bitcoin economy is going through many changes recently, and we are positive that they will ultimately work themselves out in the best interests of the community and the World.

Media Contact

[email protected]

statement

There’s also an article on coindesk about it here