The Schildbach wallet should be a familiar name to many Bitcoin veterans as it enjoyed its peak popularity around 10 years ago. The software bears the name of its programmer Andreas Schildbach who might also be known to some readers from the very popular timetable app “Öffi” and who manages both projects on a free and voluntary basis. In Google’s Play Store, the software is simply listed under the name “Bitcoin Wallet”. The names Schildbach Wallet or “Schildbach BTC Wallet”, however, still persist in the Bitcoin community.
Although a hardware wallet can now be conveniently paired with a smartphone and the Trust Wallet as well as the Coinbase Wallet enjoy great popularity for mobile users, Schildbach is still one of the most popular Bitcoin wallets for smartphones with over 5 million downloads. In fact, Schildbach Wallet is one of the first Bitcoin wallets that was ever available on Android.
We’ve taken up the task to review the wallet for you to explain its features and briefly show you how to create decent backups for the Schildbach Wallet and how to restore the wallet.
What is the Schildbach Wallet?
The Schildbach Wallet is available for Android, but not for iOS. It is a Bitcoin wallet that only supports Bitcoin and no other blockchains, coins, or tokens. Owners of an Android smartphone can either download and install the wallet via the Play Store or trigger the installation manually via GitHub.
The wallet is primarily designed for mobile payments with Bitcoin. Invoices can be paid by scanning a QR code or a QR code can be created on the smartphone to receive Bitcoin payments. Alternatively, the option to use the now more popular NFC standard is also available, with which one only has to position the device close to another to start a transaction.
In addition to the strong focus on mobile payments, the software has all the features you would expect from a Bitcoin wallet. However, it is recommended at this point, as with any mobile wallet, to only store amounts on it that you intend to spend on the go. If you want to learn why this is recommended and how you should generally handle a mobile wallet, we would like to recommend our
article about smartphones and storage..
Privacy & Security
Some wallets require their users to register on their platform via email address and password before they can be used. Schildbach does not require such registration.
Day-to-day security is provided by a PIN code that allows the wallet to be unlocked quickly, which is convenient but reduces protection. The PIN is requested every time one wants to send Bitcoin. Biometric unlocking is not possible. Thus, the Schildbach Wallet scores average in this respect but it offers quite sufficient protection for smaller amounts.
Since you manage your Bitcoin yourself with the Schildbach Wallet, you do not pay any fees to a provider. This is because it is open-source software. Thus, only the usual transaction fees in the Bitcoin network are incurred, which can fluctuate depending on the network’s load because the respective outstanding transactions compete for the block space.
However, as the experience of many users shows, the Schildbach wallet repeatedly has difficulties with setting the transaction fees dynamically. Therefore, users should keep an eye on how high the fees are and compare them with other sources if necessary.
Support and Documentation
Schildbach Wallet received its last update in the Playstore in 2021 and is actively maintained. In principle, users can make support requests and submit bug reports but direct support for questions about the product cannot be guaranteed.
A wiki is available via GitHub and there is also comprehensive documentation that describes the basic functions.
How to Create Backups and How to Restore Them?
The wallet stores the keys in a file, which is not compatible with other wallets. For example, it is not possible to import the wallet file into Bitcoin Core because the “wallet.dat” file there corresponds to a different standard or file format.
Creating backups is relatively simple and can be triggered manually. However, the file to be backed up can only be used again with the Schildbach Wallet. The backup copy can be stored in the cloud, for example in Google Drive. Alternatively, you can save the file on a desktop PC. By default, this file is located under the following path on the Android smartphone:
A restore can be triggered directly from the menu of the wallet if a backup file is available. The backup file carries the respective date of creation as an identifier:
Unfortunately, with a Schildbach Wallet, it is not possible to display and save the private keys or seed in plain text. This makes it difficult to export the wallet or switch to another software. If you have full access to the wallet, it is easiest to simply transfer your Bitcoin to a new wallet after you have created it and secured it with appropriate backups.
Lost Pin or Password – What Now?
In some cases, users have forgotten or lost their PIN or password, effectively locking them out of their wallets. In this case, it helps to stay calm and not rush into anything. As long as the wallet data is available there is a good chance of regaining access to the wallet.
If it is possible and has not yet been done, you should think about a backup now at the latest. After all, you don’t want to lose the data set that is at stake. After that, it helps to first try out all combinations of PINs or passwords that come to mind and to write down all failed attempts. This exclusion list can be helpful later on.
If you don’t succeed with your own attempts, please feel free to contact us via our contact form. By the way, also in all other cases of lost records, seeds, or passwords, you are welcome to inquire our wallet recovery services.
How Can I Still Export the Wallet?
The Schildbach Wallet takes quite some time to sync with the blockchain. In some cases, the ongoing sync keeps hanging, making it practically unusable for users with this problem. Therefore, it can sometimes be quite desirable from a practical point of view to extract the private keys from the backup or wallet file in order to perform an export via this route.
Since this process requires some knowledge and experience in addition to the necessary tools, we would like to recommend that you contact us if you still have the wallet file and would like to use it for recovery. We cannot and do not want to make any general promises about the chances of success, but we can proudly point out that we have been successful in similar cases so far. The best way to contact us is to use our form, after which our team will get back to you as soon as possible.
If you send a payment to someone who also uses the Schildbach Wallet and you are in the immediate vicinity of the recipient, you can also send a transaction offline. In this case, the signed transaction is transmitted via Bluetooth, NFC or QR code to the other device, which then sends the transaction over the Internet to the Bitcoin network. This way only the recipient of the transactions needs to be connected to the internet.
Yes, after you have exported the wallet from the old phone and transferred it to the new phone, you can access the wallet after entering the backup password. Before changing your phone, bear in mind that the Schildbach Wallet is only available for android systems.
Co-founder and CTO Bruno is a crypto native. Long before the public hype around Bitcoin, Ethereum & Co, Bruno was already active in the crypto field. The idea for ReWallet came to him a few years ago when he lost access to his own wallet.