Tag Archives: wallet

You May Have a Fortune on Your Hard Drive: Recovering Lost Bitcoin

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There’s Gold In Them Hills, and Bitcoin On Your Hard Drive, Maybe

A story published by The Guardian is sweeping the Internet today. It’s about a Norwegian man who found 5,000 Bitcoin in 2009 for $27, and forgot about them until this year only to discover that they are now worth over $800,000.

“Kristoffer Koch invested 150 kroner ($26.60) in 5,000 bitcoins in 2009, after discovering them during the course of writing a thesis on encryption,” explained the Guardian. “He promptly forgot about them until widespread media coverage of the anonymous, decentralised, peer-to-peer digital currency in April 2013 jogged his memory.”

Koch bought an apartment in Toyen with his newfound money.

Recover Bitcoin

Losing Bitcoins is Not Uncommon

It turns out that losing Bitcoins is not an uncommon circumstance. Many of the early adopters started mining or trading for Bitcoin back in 2009 and 2010 when the currency had little value. They did not look at Bitcoin as an investment, but rather a social experiment.

One man, in May 2010, offered to pay 10,000 BTC to someone to deliver a pizza to him. That sum is now worth over $2,000,000.

Bitcoin Stories Million-Dollar Pizza

In the early days of Bitcoin, there were no cloud wallets. Bitcoiners used client software that would generate or accept bitcoins and save them into a file on the computer. Imagine the scenarios in which these bitcoins can be lost: file corruption, hard drive crashing, or just disposing an old computer.

One user on a Reddit forum compared his experience to the Norwegian man, “This happened to me but I only walked away with $25k. Still felt like winning the showcase on the Price is Right. I was cleaning up my important folder on one of my hard drives and came across the wallet.dat file.”

How to Recover Lost Bitcoins

The first step in protecting your Bitcoin investment is proper backup. You can use a Bitcoin cloud wallet to store your money or just use regular file backup solutions.

Second, if you think you used Bitcoin in the early days with a client program, search your hard drive for a file named “wallet.dat.”

Finally, if you do have bitcoins stored on your computer and your hard drive gets corrupted, then here is a list of free software to help you recover what might be a small fortune.

  • TestDisk (Windows/Mac/Linux) – multi-platform, command-line only
  • PhotoRec (Windows/Mac/Linux) – companion to TestDisk, not just for photos
  • Undelete Plus (Windows) – used to be paid, now free, Windows only
  • Recuva (Windows) – user-friendly, Windows only
  • Restoration (Windows) – tiny program, Windows only

Happy hunting!

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Bitcoin Wallet Goes Mobile with New Coinbase iPhone App

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“We’re excited to announce our iOS app is now available on the App Store!” — Coinbase team

If there was one major critique of Bitcoin wallet provider Coinbase, it was the lack of an iPhone app. The company did have an Android app, but nothing on iPhone.

To the delight of its userbase, Coinbase today announced the availability of the Coinbase iPhone app in a blog post. Now users can buy, sell, and send Bitcoin on iOS, Android, and the web.

Coinbase iPhone app

This is a big step forward for Bitcoin payments accessibility. Prior to the launch of the Coinbase iPhone app, iOS users had limited options for mobile payments, with most using a relatively challenging app from Blockchain.info.

Link: Get the Coinbase iPhone App


Some users might be worried about security. What happens if your phone gets stolen?

Coinbase says they have you covered. “To protect your Coinbase account you can set a pin code in the app, and even remotely disable access if you phone is ever lost or stolen.”

Apple and Bitcoin

Apple continues to have an arms-length relationship with Bitcoin. In the Blockchain.info app, for example, restrictions from Apple led to the exclusion of bitcoin wallet functionaility in the latest version.

It looks like Coinbase has received the green light from Apple to have a fully-featured app. Great news for the App Store overall.


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Top Bitcoin News Last Week: Bitcoin is Money, BYU, Android Wallets, Mt. Gox

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Bitcoin is Money SEC Ponzi Scheme Ruling

Bitcoin News

A roundup of the top Bitcoin news from August 5 to August 11:

Monday, August 5

Tuesday, August 6

Thursday, August 8

Friday, August 9

Sunday, August 11

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Vulnerability Discovered for Android Bitcoin Wallets

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Android Bitcoin wallet vulnerability

Bitcoin.org just published an alert about Android wallet vulnerabilities.

We recently learned that a component of Android responsible for generating secure random numbers contains critical weaknesses, that render all Android wallets generated to date vulnerable to theft. Because the problem lies with Android itself, this problem will affect you if you have a wallet generated by any Android app. An incomplete list would be Bitcoin Walletblockchain.info wallet, BitcoinSpinner and Mycelium Wallet.

In order to re-secure existing wallets, key rotation is necessary. This involves generating a new address with a repaired random number generator and then sending all the money in your wallet back to yourself. If you use an Android wallet then we strongly recommended you upgrade to the latest version available in the Play Store as soon as one becomes available. Once your wallet is rotated, you will need to contact anyone who has stored addresses generated by your phone and give them a new one.

If you use Bitcoin Wallet by Andreas Schildbach, key rotation will occur automatically soon after you upgrade. The old addresses will be marked as insecure in your address book. You will need to make a fresh backup.


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Here Comes the Bitcoin Venture Capital

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Jeremy Liew Bitcoin Venture Capital

Bitcoin Venture Capital Heats Up

Lightspeed Venture Partners’ Jeremy Liew published his perspective on the incredible opportunity to invest in companies that are building new ideas for the Bitcoin ecosystem. It looks like the Bitcoin venture capital is heating up.

There are three key markets in Bitcoin:

Wallet. Holding your Bitcoins for you, serving some of the checking account functions of a bank.

Exchange. Converting from USD to Bitcoins and back.

Payments. Helping merchants accept Bitcoins for their transactions.

As a rule of thumb, VCs like to see billion-dollar markets to get excited. How can each of these markets get to be a billion dollars in size?

To build multi-billion dollar opportunities, the Bitcoin economy needs to grow 100X from where it is today, Liew goes on to say. But to put that in perspective, it grew more than 10X in the last year.

These opportunities are not without risk. Liew acknowledges that in its short existence, Bitcoin has been the target of theft and over 10% of the Bitcoins in circulation have been stolen. This and other risks will make it hard to be build sustainable businesses, but not impossible.

Via TechCrunch.

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