KeychainX

Aug 15, 2021

4 min read

Multibit Magic — How to recover keys

Multibit Classic or Multibit HD wallets were very popular during the early days of bitcoin. The wallet was first introduced in 2011 and was one of the most popular Bitcoin GUI wallets.

Unfortunately the wallet is no longer supported and many have not been able to recover their bitcoin (or BCH and BTG forks) since the original wallet and website is gone ( multibit.org ). Many Bitcoin holders from 2011 and forwards have contacted us with questions regarding how to get those back. This is a quick guide which is going through step by step what is needed to find those keys.

So what does one need to do to get them back?

  1. First you need to locate or find your wallet or keys. The folder location varies depending on your system OS.

On Windows look into

On Mac check

On Linux look for the folder “multibit”

The wallets are encrypted in two different ways. The file ending with .key holds a single key and uses MD5 encryption. The other filetype is .wallet and holds your mnemonic words or multiple private keys.

To find the full wallet file look for the file .wallet in the wallet-backup folder.

You single private key is saved in yoursavedname.key in the key-backup folder.

The difference is the .key file is holding only one key and your wallet holds all the keys or even a mnemonic (in case you used a Multibit HD wallet)

So now when you located the files, whats next?

2. If you have access to an old multibit app on you computer you need to import the wallet and export the private keys. This can be done using the pulldown menu TOOLS and choose export private keys.

You should get a long string that starts with 5 or L followed by letters and numbers that you can simply import to Electrum (You can download here: https://electrum.org/ )or Bitcoin core (Download core from https://bitcoin.org/en/ . In Core open the console and type “importprivkey yourprivatekeystring”. This might take a while as core will need to check all blocks for transactions with your wallet all the way back to 2009. Electrum is much faster but less secure, as you need to connect to external nodes and there are many fake electrum nodes and versions that will simply steal your keys. You can read about this flaw here: https://github.com/spesmilo/electrum/issues/5081

3. If you do not have a copy of Multibit there is a different way to decode the wallet. You can use openssl together with your password and decrypt the .key or .wallet file

First you need to install openssl from here https://www.openssl.org/

Next with your located .key or .wallet file you can go to a command shell window and enter the following

This command will decrypt your wallet using you password. You can double check that the encryption works by simply opening the .wallet file to see a bitcoin.org text followed by 12 words. This is your mnemonic seed. It can be used to restore all addresses that you have used in your wallet. The mnemonic seed can be imported to many popular bincoinj compatible wallets.

You have now hopefully recovered you long lost bitcoin stash…

4. If you do not remember the password, you can use a number of free online tools like john the ripper, btc recover and hashcat. They will help you find your password if you have a good sense of the password.

You can find John the Ripper here: https://github.com/openwall/john

You can find btc recover here: https://github.com/gurnec/btcrecover

You can download hashcat here: https://github.com/hashcat/hashcat

LESSON LEARNED.

If you still have access to your Multibit Classic or Multibit HD wallet,there is still some hope using some magic to get your keys out. It just involves a few technical steps.

Disclaimer! This article was written by Robert Rhodin, CEO of KeychainX AG, Crypto Recovery Service, based in Zug, Switzerland. To read more about our company please visit https://keychainx.io or send us an email to keychainx@protonmail.com if you need to talk about password recovery.