„A wallet recovery is the proverbial last resort for many of our customers. In this context, we are often asked what we actually do and how we end up saving the cryptocurrency that was thought to be lost." -ReWallet
In order to shed more light on what is meant by the term wallet recovery, let’s first delve a bit into the basics of the matter. A wallet is ultimately nothing more than a data set, but it has some special features and, depending on the software or cryptocurrency, enjoys very strong protection. This is intentional because unauthorized access should be prevented as much as possible.
We would like to explain to you how the wallet recovery process works and what our wallet recovery services can actually do for you and other customers to recover your wallet.
There Are No Coins in a Wallet
Since the term wallet refers to what we use on a day-to-day basis to keep cash, credit cards, etc., many cryptocurrency users are subject to a misconception when they continue or think ahead with this analogy. Unlike the wallet, there are no coins in a crypto wallet and this is true regardless of the cryptocurrency in question. So whether you hold Bitcoin, Ethereum, Dogecoin, or other cryptos, they are not “inside” the wallet.
What the wallet usually holds are key pairs. One key is public, this is called a Public Key and the other is secret and is called a Private Key. With the private key, one is able to identify oneself as the legitimate owner of the associated public key and thus control the cryptocurrency assigned to it and can authorize or sign transactions. These are then triggered on the blockchain, which functions like a kind of decentralized cash book and ensures that the amounts instructed are transferred to an address and thus another public key (and private key).
This mode of operation is the same or similar for many cryptocurrencies, including Bitcoin, Litecoin or even Dogecoin. Other cryptos, such as Ripple, work a little differently and do not have a so-called UTXO model, but ultimately the basic principle remains the same. If you want to send coins, you have to be authorized to do so.
Depending on which cryptocurrency it is, a wallet contains several key pairs. It therefore facilitates the management of the keys, ultimately making it possible to create many different receiving addresses with Bitcoin, for example. The software makes it easier for you to sort through all the keys which safes you a tremendous amount of work.
In the end, a wallet is a collection of keys and they are usually password protected and encrypted.
The Cause of the Loss Determines the Wallet Recovery
To illustrate, let’s use a simple wallet setup rather than a more complex one such as multi-signature wallets. But even with such setups, the basic function of wallet software remains the same and is limited to securely managing key pairs to send, receive transactions or simply store cryptocurrencies.
If you lose access to a wallet, then you automatically reach the starting point for wallet recovery with the cause of the loss. For example, there are the following causes why access to a wallet is lost:
Loss of password and/or 2-factor authentication.
Partial or complete loss of the seed, master key, or individual private keys.
Loss of the wallet file.
For the actual recovery, every case is typically different, even those falling into the same category, because the details are crucial.
To illustrate with a small and simple example: If a user loses two words of a 12-word seed due to a mishap ( e.g. a tipped over cup of coffee), then a wallet recovery is basically possible. If, on the other hand, the user were to lose 10 out of 12 words, then it would be impossible to recover access.
It is the same with data loss or password loss. Every detail is crucial and contributes to being able to assess the case and make a reliable statement about the chances of success.
A Complex Puzzle Needs to Be Solved
Depending on the cause of the loss, it is necessary to examine which paths are open in order to be able to successfully carry out a wallet recovery. The methods are diverse and depend not only on the aspects described above but also on the software used and the cryptocurrency to be recovered.
A recovery can be symbolically thought of as a large puzzle, the difficulty of which is determined, among other things, by how many and which pieces are missing. In order to get the coins back, it is necessary to reassemble the whole picture. The following methods, among others, are suitable for this purpose:
Reconstruction of old or defective data carriers with the help of special software or in the hardware laboratory.
Cracking passwords with the help of appropriate software and special hardware.
Reconstruction or import of wallets with the help of already created backup copies of seeds, private keys or other files.
Creation of targeted requests and collaboration with manufacturers of hardware and software if it is foreseeable that this can successfully support a wallet recovery.
Of course, not all methods always lead to the goal. In some cases, the cost may exceed the value of the wallet. And sometimes, a wallet recovery may not be possible because the probability is incredibly low even if all approaches were analyzed.
How to Support the Process
Every recovery is an individual case which must be evaluated separately. Nevertheless, some basic advice can be given to make recovery easier.
Passwords are often forgotten. If you have unlimited attempts to guess the password, it is advisable to make a list of combinations that you have already tried unsuccessfully. You should also write down which parts of the password you remember for sure. This data is very valuable for wallet recovery.
Backups are worth their weight in gold as data loss is a major problem. The good advice to make enough backups usually comes too late. In many cases, however, a data set that was thought to be lost is still on the data carriers or can be recovered with elaborate procedures. So don’t continue to overwrite or delete data media but keep them.
Every detail counts: Keeping calm is not easy for many owners when they suddenly realize that they have locked themselves out of their wallet. Take a deep breath and think carefully about when you last worked with the wallet. Has the password been changed again? Does one still have backups somewhere? In the end, you may give yourself the crucial hint by remembering.
Apart from these general considerations, we will begin by asking you some initial questions about your personal situation through our contact form. Based on this first input, we will go through the most important points with you via mail or in a personal conversation. It can help if you have already considered the points listed above.
Why a Wallet Recovery Is a Matter of Trust
In addition to personal data, which is collected from each customer in the course of processing his case, you entrust us with your “treasure”. Granted, at the beginning of the recovery, no one has access to your cryptos, but as the case progresses, hopefully, that will change.
ReWallet has not only earned an excellent reputation in the German and European crypto industry but builds on a foundation that only very few companies in the industry can even offer:
Our office is located in Berlin and our company is properly registered in the commercial register. Not every provider in the international environment can claim this.
Having a personal contact person is not only a confidence-building measure. Our employees show face and are directly accessible contact persons for our customers.
No wallet recovery without a contract. We record all important agreements with our customers in writing and in a legally secure manner in advance.
Trained experts: We know what we are talking about and have the theoretical and practical skills to handle all tools professionally, thereby maximizing the chances of a successful wallet recovery for you.
Professional environment: Our tools and hardware comply with applicable norms and industry standards. We do not experiment and if it is necessary to go unusual ways, we meticulously control all parameters.
We strongly advise every client to pay attention to these quality features. Websites are created quickly and can even give dubious companies a trustworthy look. If you give your wallet out of your hands, you should put it in the hands of a company that has earned its trust. At ReWallet, we respect and maintain the standards necessary to justify the trust of our customers.
Yes, in principle it is possible. However, it usually fails because of the implementation. Often, in addition to knowledge and experience, the necessary hardware and software to implement such a project is missing. If you get stuck, we will be happy to assist you with our service.
As explained above, each wallet recovery is always an individual case. In some cases, it takes days, in other cases weeks or even months until success is achieved and you regain access to your wallet. Depending on your case and the information you provide, we can usually give a rough estimate of how long it will likely take.
No, we work according to very strict guidelines and therefore always create the necessary backups, for example, to ensure that we do not lose a data set. Of course, we can’t completely rule out something like force majeur. However, we are well equipped for the majority of cases and no damage is to be feared as a result of the recovery efforts.
Yes and no. Of course, breaking a password, for example, is a technique that an unauthorized person could also use. However, they would first need access to the corresponding records and a set of information that only you can give them. So, unless you make your wallet freely available to everyone, you have nothing to fear.
Yes, unfortunately, that does happen. However, you should not bury your head in the sand because of that. We only take our commission if we can save the wallet. Therefore, an inquiry and the examination of your case are free of charge. You can only lose if you don’t try with us.
ReWallet’s service stands out because we don’t charge expensive flat rates or estimates. Instead, we charge a commission of 20% of the coins we secure for our clients. This puts us in the same boat. We are only rewarded for our work if we are successful.
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.