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Recovery

Restoring or recovering your wallet basically means you would initialize the new device and it would be the “exact copy” of another wallet. You would essentially have an exact copy of everything in it.

If you recall, one way to back up your cryptocurrencies was to back up a wallet.dat file, which holds vital information. For example, if you use Bitcoin Core, your wallet.dat file would be located at “%APPDATA%\Bitcoin on a Windows PC. On a Mac or Linux, it would be “~/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/” or “~/.bitcoin/”, respectively.

Once you locate the wallet.dat file, you would need to copy it to another device, such as a USB drive, CD, an air-gapped computer or external hard drive. Once you have your .dat file in a secure place, you could restore the backup in the event your computer breaks. All you need to do is copy the backed up wallet.dat over the existing one in the Bitcoin folder.

If you have a backup using a software wallet like Exodus, it’s fairly simple to restore your digital assets.

Here’s a look at the step-by-step instruction to restore your assets stored on Exodus :

  1. Download the latest version of Exodus from www.exodus.io/releases/ on the computer you want to restore your blockchain assets on.
  2. Launch Exodus on your new computer.
  3. Once Exodus is launched make sure it shows a $0.00 balance. (This is just a double check to ensure you don't have an old Exodus balance.)
  4. Close Exodus.
  5. Open your email and click on your Exodus backup link.
  6. Exodus will prompt you for your password.
  7. Wait a few minutes and your blockchain assets will be restored!”

Now, hardware wallets are easy to restore and secure. If you own a TREZOR or Ledger Nano S and either of the devices break or are lost, you could restore the wallet. These wallets protect your private keys from both exterior and online vulnerabilities.

Let’s assume you own a hardware wallet and lost it. However, you were responsible and kept your recovery seed phrase in a safe place. Therefore, you could restore your wallet. As explained earlier, if you own a TREZOR device, you could export your private key to a new device.

All you would need to do is purchase another device from the company and use their interface and start the recovery process. The downside with this is that you would need a new or wiped TREZOR device . You would also need a computer with the TREZOR bridge installed as well as your TREZOR recovery card with the appropriate information filled in.

If you own the Ledger Nano S, it’s just as simple to recover a wallet. Here’s a look at Ledger’s step-by-step guide on how to do so :

“First, make sure to have a 12-word, 18-word or 24-word backup. (Ledger passphrases are always 24-word ones)

  1. Connect your Nano S
  2. Read the instructions
  3. Decline to configure as new device by selecting the cross icon with left button when "Configure as new device ?" is prompted
  4. Select “Restore configuration” with Right button.
  5. Choose a 4 to 8 digit custom PIN code, using left button to decrease value, right button to increase it, and both buttons to validate each number.
  6. Confirm by re-entering this same PIN code.
  7. Now you need your Ledger Recovery sheet on which you previously copied your 24 words backup, or a passphrase from a wallet designed by another brand
  8. Choose the number of words required to restore your backup. For example, if you import a Ledger Wallet recovery phrase, select "24 words"
  9. Then enter each word following the numerical order until the 24th
  10. Wait until confirmation

Now, if you have your private keys saved, you could also import the keys into a wallet. You don’t have to use Exodus, but this software wallet allows you to import a private key for an Exodus-supported digital asset. Keep in mind the risks of a software wallet if you do decide to use it.

Mycelium also lets you import private keys. First, you would need to open the app and press “Restore from backup.” Thereafter, you would type in the seed exported from the wallet. Press next again and your wallet would be imported.

Losing your cryptocurrencies are tough but luckily, there are some ways to recover your digital assets. Hardware wallets are great for “cold storage” and you could go to bed knowing your cryptocurrencies are safe. Additionally, you are able to recover your wallet even if it’s damaged, lost or stolen. Now, if you do not want to invest in hardware wallets, don’t forget that there are other ways you could potentially recover your digital coins as well.

Conclusion

With the exponential growth in cryptocurrencies, there are more hackers trying to steal your cryptocurrencies. That said, there are ways to back up, prevent some risks and recover your digital coins if you damage your computer or mobile device where the wallets are installed. Take note, there are a multitude of ways to back up and safely secure your cryptocurrencies. You should understand the basics of backing up your private key and wallet and how to mitigate risks of storing your wallets, as well as potentially recovering your digital assets.

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