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Author Topic: Why would this issue happen? (regarding bitcoin wallet seed recovery)  (Read 92 times)
StackGambler
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March 15, 2019, 03:47:02 AM
Merited by bones261 (1)
 #1

I have a Ledger Nano S which is stored in a secure vault in a different country. In order to access the funds, I used the recovery seed (which I plan to store in a third country's bank vault but haven't gotten around to it yet) in Electrum. I entered the seed words, twice, checked them carefully, but when the wallet synced, it still showed 0 balance. I changed the servers multiple times, and got the same result.

I then plugged in a spare Trezor I have and inputted the seed words. The balance loaded fine on the Trezor and I was able to send it out.

Does anybody know why this issue would crop up? I thought BIP39 seed words were universal. Not sure at all why the balance would work on the Trezor but not on Electrum. Yes, I have the latest version of Electrum installed. This isn't an important issue since the matter has been resolved, I'm just curious as to why this could have happened, because I try to learn as much as I can about bitcoin whenever something new crops up.
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March 15, 2019, 04:28:04 AM
Merited by joniboini (1), StackGambler (1)
 #2

instead of checking your balance check your addresses next time. see if the two wallets you are checking are showing the same set of addresses, if they do then the problem is most likely because your hardware wallet is using the BIP39 seed and your electrum is using the seed as an Electrum seed (which are different) and this can be a very rare case.
or a more likely possibility is that the two wallets are using different paths to derive your addresses which can be fixed but first lets make sure you are indeed seeing different addresses.

if they show the same address then it might be a connectivity problem with the other wallet that can not fetch the transaction history of your wallet.

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March 15, 2019, 04:28:28 AM
Merited by bones261 (1)
 #3

Did you check the box in Electrum that indicates the seed is a BIP 39 seed? Electrum does not use BIP 39 by default and needs to be told if a seed it is importing is BIP 39 or not.

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March 15, 2019, 04:39:46 AM
 #4

Did you check the box in Electrum that indicates the seed is a BIP 39 seed? Electrum does not use BIP 39 by default and needs to be told if a seed it is importing is BIP 39 or not.

Yes, I did. After I entered the words, the "next" button was greyed out until I checked the BIP39 option.

instead of checking your balance check your addresses next time. see if the two wallets you are checking are showing the same set of addresses, if they do then the problem is most likely because your hardware wallet is using the BIP39 seed and your electrum is using the seed as an Electrum seed (which are different) and this can be a very rare case.
or a more likely possibility is that the two wallets are using different paths to derive your addresses which can be fixed but first lets make sure you are indeed seeing different addresses.

if they show the same address then it might be a connectivity problem with the other wallet that can not fetch the transaction history of your wallet.

Yeah, that might be the issue. Since the problem is already fixed, I'm too lazy to re-enter my seed words and find out... well, thanks for the input anyway!
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March 15, 2019, 07:20:27 AM
 #5

I entered the seed words, twice, checked them carefully, but when the wallet synced
Btw, your recovery seed is potentially compromised now.
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March 15, 2019, 07:24:51 AM
 #6

I entered the seed words, twice, checked them carefully, but when the wallet synced
Btw, your recovery seed is potentially compromised now.

Do you think I should redo the whole process on my Ledger? That would involve a trip to Malaysia :/ What makes you think it's compromised? I did use Electrum on my own PC... which, as far as I can tell, is completely malware-free.
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March 15, 2019, 07:38:10 AM
 #7

I did use Electrum on my own PC... which, as far as I can tell, is completely malware-free.
But what if it isn't? igor72 said potentially. The fact remains you entered your seed from your Ledger Nano S into a desktop wallet. Even if it is a signature verified Electrum obtained from the original source you still trusted it with your seed words. Have you verified the signature of your Electrum wallet?

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StackGambler
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March 15, 2019, 07:40:14 AM
 #8

I did use Electrum on my own PC... which, as far as I can tell, is completely malware-free.
But what if it isn't? igor72 said potentially. The fact remains you entered your seed from your Ledger Nano 5 into a desktop wallet. Even if it is a signature verified Electrum obtained from the original source you still trusted it with your seed words. Have you verified the signature of your Electrum wallet?

I've verified the signature, yes, but nevertheless, you're right. I guess I'll make time for resetting the Ledger when I can. Thanks!
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March 15, 2019, 07:54:46 AM
 #9

I did use Electrum on my own PC... which, as far as I can tell, is completely malware-free.
If you are 100% sure, then fine. Ledger recommends:
Quote
NEVER

    Enter the 24-word recovery phrase into your computer or phone.
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March 15, 2019, 11:29:42 AM
 #10

StackGambler, so you live in one country, hardware wallet is in another country, and you have in plan to store your seed in third country? Is this not a little exaggerated security measures? As you see, they actually work against you, but in the same time you work against your coin security. If you need access to your coins, only correct way would be to restore your wallet in other hardware wallet (and you have Trezor for that), but you chose desktop wallet, which is in any case a bad choice.

I think you should make some effort to find out where is the problem with Ledger seed and 0 balance in Electrum.

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March 15, 2019, 12:05:45 PM
Merited by Abdussamad (2)
 #11

Ledger creates either Legacy ("1-type" addresses) or "Nested" SegWit (aka P2SH-P2WPKH, "3-type" addresses) wallets.

However, Electrum, by default, will attempt to create a "Native" SegWit (aka P2WPKH, "bc1" bech32 address) wallet... even when you use a BIP39 seed, it defaults to the "native segwit" option on the Derivation Path selection screen.

To generate the same wallet as your Ledger and/or Trezor, you will need to select either Legacy (if your addresses start with a 1) or the "p2sh-segwit (p2wpkh-p2sh)" option if your Ledger addresses start with a "3":

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March 15, 2019, 12:55:43 PM
 #12

Ledger creates either Legacy ("1-type" addresses) or "Nested" SegWit (aka P2SH-P2WPKH, "3-type" addresses) wallets.

However, Electrum, by default, will attempt to create a "Native" SegWit (aka P2WPKH, "bc1" bech32 address) wallet... even when you use a BIP39 seed, it defaults to the "native segwit" option on the Derivation Path selection screen.

To generate the same wallet as your Ledger and/or Trezor, you will need to select either Legacy (if your addresses start with a 1) or the "p2sh-segwit (p2wpkh-p2sh)" option if your Ledger addresses start with a "3":


This is what I was looking for. I was selecting the third option, not the second! Thanks so much for a satisfying conclusion  Grin
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