How to

Learn how to transfer the private keys of your cryptocurrency addresses from one wallet to another

Key facts:
  • Technically speaking, a wallet is a pair of keys (or addresses).

  • We will learn how to export/import our private keys from your wallet.

Before we begin, we need to understand something: many people refer to the app they use on their mobile phone or computer as their “wallet”. Technically speaking, a wallet is a pair of keys (or addresses), one public; which is used to receive funds and private; which works as an exit key, without the latter you cannot withdraw money. Now an application installed on our mobile phone or PC is responsible for managing these addresses and protecting our private keys. The same thing happens with cold wallets, where our private key is stored in specialized hardware.

That being said, in the following tutorial we will learn how to export/import our private keys from wallets such as: Exodus, Blockchain, GreenAddres (segwit). But hey, don’t worry, we’ll show you how to get your private keys regardless of whether they’re among them or not.

Differences between prohibited and imported

When transferring our private key, it is important to know the difference between these terms: import and clearance. The first refers to the fact that the portfolio will be added to another manager and will therefore exist both where it was before and in the new portfolio it was imported into. Otherwise, the sweep will clean up the old address and it will be transferred to the new wallet address being imported to, requiring a transaction to be made that incurs commission costs to settle it on the blockchain.

This is always recommended When a paper wallet is to be introduced, a scan is performed so the written private key is not vulnerable to theft.

How to extract your private keys

There are some ways to store your private keys: The main ones are independent keys ie; so you can export your keys one by one and import them wherever you want (you’ll learn how later). Let’s make an example to visualize it better. In this case we will use Exodus

Exodus: direct export of private keys

We assume that you have already used this wallet and realized that Exodus only gives you 2 public bitcoin addresses; contrary to what happens with mnemonic wallets (mostly, not all) that give us a certain number of public and private keys, which makes it a bit more complicated to import one by one. Although Exodus is special, it also offers us 12 keywords to access our wallets. But for this case we will do a direct import.

To begin with, we need to access developer options. To do this, we’ll open the app and then press CTRL+SHIFT+D. This will open the top menu as seen on the screen.

Developer options have been applied

Here we will click on Exodus -> Developer -> Assets -> Bitcoin -> Export Private Keys. When we click, it will warn us that we are compromising the security of our funds, but we continue and a folder with a file will be saved on the desktop, which, when opened, will show us our private key.

Exported private key format

Be warned, not all of this bar is organized as follows (see top line). The bottom line is divided by commas, the first is the public key, the second is the Path, the third is the current balance at the time of export from the wallet, and the last is our private key. Later we will learn how to import it to another wallet.

Electrum: export keys from 12 recovery words

Many of us may have mnemonic wallets like Jaxx, Copay, Bitpay or Exodus itself. These wallets give us a backup phrase that allows us to have full control over our funds.

The first thing we need to do to import our funds is download a destination wallet. In this case we will use Electrum to begin.

Main screen when starting electrum

Here we will assign a name to the portfolio we will import and click “Next”

Different types of portfolios that can be generated in Electrum

Here we have to select the option «Standard wallet» since we will create a portfolio from our seeds. Note that the last option allows us to import our private key and create a new wallet.

Wallet return options

In this section we have to choose the second option where we indicate that we already have the seed to renew our portfolio.

Here we are set our accompanying words separating them with a space. Then we’ll select “Option” below the box where we placed our phrase and we’ll select an option Bip 39 seeds; This refers to the format of the seeds we place. Once this process is complete, we will click on «The next one“Hopefully our wallet is synced and that’s it, we’ll have a synced wallet along with all the addresses.

At this point the wallet is already synced and active

We’ve already partially imported our wallets, but we still don’t get our private keys. To do this, we will go to the section «Addresses» (in case you don’t see it, click in the top menu on View Then inside Show addresses) and will show us all the addresses that belong to our portfolio. Here we just have to select one and right-click, and in the drop-down menu click on Private key. This will show us the private key corresponding to that address.

Generating a private key

Ready, we already got our private key starting from the seed.

Importing private keys

Before we start, we reiterate that we need to consider the difference between sweeping and importing as this can lead to costs.

Import keys to

At this point you should already have our private keys with you. Then it’s time to import them. We’ll start with the online wallet it offers the possibility of importing our portfolios. To do this we will go to our wallet and in the left menu click on configuration and then addresses.

Import section of our wallets on the platform

Here we will go to the section Imported addresses. In this section we can add and view addresses. To do this, we must have a private address, previously exported from another portfolio. To begin, we will click on Thing Address.

Here you must enter the wallet key in BIP39 or WIF format.

Here we are enter the private key and we’re going to click import.

Address information to import

In the previous field, we were shown that the specified address is valid, that it has funds and the corresponding public address. In the lower buttons we are shown two options: one that tells us Transfer, which will perform the sweep, i.e. the funds will be transferred from the old address to the new one from the wallet. If we click close and then confirm that we don’t actually want to transfer, the address will be imported, without scanning. In our case we will click on import and that’s it. The address has been imported.

We have already imported our wallet from Exodus to

Address transfer to GreenAddress

GreenAddress is a wallet with SegWit implemented, which is why only allows the scan option when importing.

To start, we’re going to open up our GreenAddress app and go to Receive moneyhere we will click Show advanced options.

An interface for receiving funds or clearing an imported wallet

Section from Private key in WIF or BIP38 format We will enter the address of the wallet we want to clear, then we will click the clear button and wait for the transaction to be confirmed and ready, and our address will be imported and cleared.

Many people have recently chosen the option to migrate their addresses due to the high fees that some wallets impose, it is clear that the wallets do not state the cost of the fee, but since many do not allow changing the transaction rate, it makes a small transaction troublesome and expensive.

To see live how you can perform the procedure, watch the video:

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *