Wednesday, November 29, 2017

So you want to claim your BCH from your old BTC wallet

This post has been a long time coming. I finally feel comfortable with a bitcoin cash wallet and the process for importing a legacy bitcoin wallet to it. For now I'm recommending people with casual bitcoin/bitcoin cash money grab the wallet. It is available for Android, iOS, Windows, and Linux. It will handle both Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash for you. I strongly encourage you to follow links to it from the linked website, as friends have run in to issues with downloading less reputable clients.

I'm assuming you're coming from Mycelium, Electrum, Bread wallet, or some other software that had you write down as 12 word "Wallet Seed Recovery Phrase." This phrase can be called a "Mnemonic Backup" or "BIP39." It should look like twelve random words. You'll need those words to continue with this guide.

Once you've downloaded and installed the software, read the introduction, and wrote down your new 12 word phrase you're ready to begin importing your old wallet. Remember, you MUST SET UP A NEW WALLET FIRST.

If you want to use this software for BTC and BCH you will need to follow these steps for both the Bitcoin Cash blockchain and the Bitcoin Core (formerly Bitcoin) wallet.

  1. Click the + icon next to the blockchain you wish to import.

  2. Click 'Create New Wallet.'

  3. Enter a name for this wallet (Such as "Old Wallet") and then click 'Show advanced options.'

  4. Click the dropdown next to 'Wallet Key.' Change the value from 'Random' to 'Specify Recovery Phrase.'

  5. Enter your recovery phrase from the old wallet in the field marked 'Wallet Recovery Phrase.' Click 'Create new wallet.'
  6. Now the wallet is aware of your old account, but it still shows 0 balance. To correct this click 'Settings' in the bottom right and then 'More Options.'

  7. Click 'Wallet Addresses' and then 'Scan addresses for funds.' This may take several minutes, but once complete you should see your balances have updated.
  8. I recommend moving the funds from your old addresses to your new, then deleting the old. It's tidier. But you do you.