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Author Topic: Detect importing private keys into wallet with seed?  (Read 273 times)
Spendulus
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November 22, 2017, 04:30:44 PM
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I know it's dumb to use a wallet with seed phrase such as Armory or Electrum, and directly paste a private key into it, because then, the seed will not generate ALL the addresses used by the wallet. It will generate all except for the inserted private key(s).

But what if you have some wallets laying around, and you know in the past you probably did some dumb things?

Is there a way to see/know/figure out that in the past, private keys were imported?

Reason I ask. To know if securing the seed is adequate for a restore or not adequate.
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DannyHamilton
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November 22, 2017, 04:55:57 PM
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Reason I ask. To know if securing the seed is adequate for a restore or not adequate.

I'm sure you realize it now, but for the sake of others that stop by and read this thread...

This, right here, is one very important reason NOT to import private keys.

Spendulus now doesn't know if his backups are adequate or not.  If he never imported seeds, he wouldn't need to worry about it.  I'm sure at the time of importing the seed, it didn't seem like a big deal. He either figured that he would remember to store the private key separately, or he thought he'd remember to back it up separately.



Spendulus,

The only keys that really matter are the keys you are using.  I'm neither an Armory nor Electrum expert, but I think both of them offer some sort of "coin control" features that allow you to see which addresses have bitcoins on them?  If so, then it should be possible to generate a long list of addresses from the seed and see if any of the addresses in use are not on that list.

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November 22, 2017, 06:12:44 PM
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Reason I ask. To know if securing the seed is adequate for a restore or not adequate.

I'm sure you realize it now, but for the sake of others that stop by and read this thread...

This, right here, is one very important reason NOT to import private keys.

Spendulus now doesn't know if his backups are adequate or not.  If he never imported seeds, he wouldn't need to worry about it.  
I'm sure at the time of importing the seed, it didn't seem like a big deal. He either figured that he would remember to store the private key separately, or he thought he'd remember to back it up separately.



Spendulus,

The only keys that really matter are the keys you are using.  I'm neither an Armory nor Electrum expert, but I think both of them offer some sort of "coin control" features that allow you to see which addresses have bitcoins on them?  If so, then it should be possible to generate a long list of addresses from the seed and see if any of the addresses in use are not on that list.

Bolded above is the very point.

Any situation where one "does not know if his backups are adequate" is essentially a situation where one has no backups.

It had crossed my mind that a full audit of the transactions would answer the question, but identifying keys that were generated from the seed as opposed to those which were imported .....

Well, I can think of some ways to do that in an excel spreadsheet. More private keys floating all over the place to try to resolve an obscure issue about the validity of private keys....

An associated point to be made is that this is the very situation with all the people who have imported lists of private keys into a wallet such as Electrum to recover bitcoin cash or gold. The only way to get recovery from seed to work would be to move all those funds from imported keys to keys generated from the seed.
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November 22, 2017, 06:42:42 PM
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The only way to get recovery from seed to work would be to move all those funds from imported keys to keys generated from the seed.

This is probably the fastest and easiest solution.

Instead of trying to figure out if you are using any addresses that weren't generated from the seed, you could just generate new addresses, and then send your entire balance to the new addresses.  That way you would no for certain that none of the addresses were imported.

pawanjain
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November 23, 2017, 06:49:12 AM
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I was trying to figure out the same thing yesterday. I have my coins stored on mycelium and i have the backup of the seed.
The wallet has stored 3 private keys in it but I actually don't know how to export the particular private key for the address in which my coins are stored. This is when an idea stuck into my mind that transfer all the coins into another wallet and then clear the wallet and re-transfer them back into it. Then comes exporting the private key. So it's basically generating a new address that would do the job instead of complicating your mind in the older addresses.














 

 

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Spendulus
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November 23, 2017, 05:12:26 PM
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The only way to get recovery from seed to work would be to move all those funds from imported keys to keys generated from the seed.

This is probably the fastest and easiest solution.

Instead of trying to figure out if you are using any addresses that weren't generated from the seed, you could just generate new addresses, and then send your entire balance to the new addresses.  That way you would no for certain that none of the addresses were imported.

Yes. Of course nothing has value without verification and validation.

Here this consists of generating a new wallet from seed, and checking that the balance is the correct total. Simple.
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