Getting Bitcoin Gold from Electrum wallet

I still have not split my Bitcoin Gold from my Electrum wallet.

I had Bitcoin on an Electrum wallet prior to October 2017.

  • On October 2017: Bitcoin Gold was forked from Bitcoin.
  • November 2017: I sent all of my Bitcoin out of my Electrum wallet to an exchange and traded it for Bitcoin Cash.
  • 2018: I sent the Bitcoin Cash from the exchange to my Electron Cash wallet.

Am I correct to assume that I can still split Bitcoin Gold from my Electrum wallet, using one of the methods below? Which article is the best to follow? The first?

“How To Claim Your Free Bitcoin Gold [BTG] From Any Wallet”

“How to Claim Bitcoin Gold (BTG): A Step-by-Step Guide”

“How to Claim Bitcoin Gold (BTG) from Electrum Wallet” on minerz dot info (I’m a new user and I’m restricted to 2 links.)

Which wallet is the best to use to hold Bitcoin Gold, what allows me to own the private keys and seed?

In fact, I haven’t split Bitcoin SV yet, from my Electron Cash wallet. After I’ve split the coins into 3 coins (Bitcoin Gold, Bitcoin SV and Bitcoin Cash), do I need to be burdened with 3 wallets? Is there a wallet that is secure, reputable, can store all 3 coins offline (like the way Electrum did) and let me keep the private keys and seeds?

I like Aaron Van Wirdum’s guide: https://bitcoinmagazine.com/articles/beginners-guide-claiming-your-bitcoin-gold-and-selling-it

I’d suggest not thinking of it as “splitting” coins at all. Assume you have 3 BTC. Think of it this way:

  1. You had 3 Bitcoin in 2016 or prior. What does it mean to “have” it? It means there’s a wallet address that “owns” 3 BTC, and you can control them with your private key for that address. Those coins exist on the blockchain, your private key can control them.
  2. BCH had their fork, splitting the chain to create a new one with all the same history/contents as the BTC chain. You address and history exist on that new chain, so on that new chain, there are 3 BCH in the corresponding BCH address… controllable by your same private key. You don’t need to “split” anything - the copy happened at fork time. Your coins are there, on the BCH chain.
  3. We had our fork for BTG. In BTG’s case, we did not fork the live chain; we stood up a whole new network using different miners on a different algorithm. But we started with a full copy of the BTC history (on Oct 25, 2017), and when the new network launched (on Nov 7, 2017), your 3 BTG existed on the BTG blockchain.
  4. BSV was a repeat of 2.

So your 3 BTC, BCH, BTG, and BSV exist. The “splitting” happened in the past.

What you need to do now is set up a wallet that can handle those coins. They are all controlled using your BTC private key which controls the original 3 BTC. So, what to do?

A. Move your BTC to a different wallet address. Some address based on a new private key. This is for your protection.
B. Pull out the private key from your old wallet. Import that key into the wallet software for the BTC fork in question. Repeat for each fork.

The details vary based on the wallet software in question. After you’ve done this, if you want to be completely safe, you should move your BCH, BTG, and BSV into new addresses based on new private keys.

Why? Because you’ve potentially exposed those private keys. They are less safe than a private key that was never copy-pasted. This is why I recommended you move your original BTC before moving any of the other coins - as soon as you ask your old wallet for the private keys, the potential for a problem exists. Of course, if you think your computer is absolutely safe, and you are careful about where you donwload you new wallet software, and you verify the hashes on all the new software you download, you probably don’t need to worry.

As far as what wallet to use - if you like Electrum, I’d suggest ElectrumG, which is a fork of the Electrum project which works on the BTG chain:
https://bitcoingold.org/electrumg/

You can also run a Full Node, if you like, or use any of the many good multi-asset wallets out there. If looking for a multi-coin wallet, I like Exodus, and it will work with Trezor if you want to use a hardware wallet. Note that most multi-coin wallets will not import and use your private key; they usually work off of one master phrase that underlies all the wallets for all the coins the wallet handles. When you give them your BTC private key, the multi-coin wallet will immediately “sweep” the BCH, BTG, or BSV coins into new BCH, BTG, and BSV wallet addresses in the new wallet software. (You’ll see the transactions on chain, moving your BTG from your old BTC address to a new one.)

@MentalNomad Thank you for your reply.

You wrote:

A. Move your BTC to a different wallet address.

As mentioned:

  • November 2017: I sent all of my Bitcoin out of my Electrum wallet to an exchange and traded it for Bitcoin Cash.

I no longer have BTC in my Electrum wallet. How do I move the BTC if I do not think that I own any?

Am I correct to assume that the private keys in my Electrum wallet no longer control BTC, since I sent the BTC to an exchange? Do these private keys still control some BTG? If so, I will import these to an ElectrumG wallet.

Note, I had already exported the BCH, controlled by the Electrum wallet, into the Electron Cash wallet. I do not remember exactly what I did, but I assume that I had imported the Electrum wallet’s private keys into Electron Cash.

When you give them your BTC private key, the multi-coin wallet will immediately “sweep” the BCH, BTG, or BSV coins into new BCH, BTG, and BSV wallet addresses in the new wallet software.

Will the above work if I had already done the following?

  • Already moved my BTC from Electrum wallet to an exchange.
  • Exported BCH from Electrum wallet to Electron Cash wallet.

Are the multi-coin wallets, like Exodus, safe and secure if they can communicate with the internet? One of the things that I liked about Electrum is that I can keep the wallet offline, which can generate send/purchase transactions that I can take over to an online device/computer. I don’t think Exodus does this, does it? What is there to stop some rogue Exodus programmer from putting in code that sends the private keys to himself?

You are correct; you’ve already done step A. I included it because others can look at this thread and I want them to have the most complete set of instructions.

Correct. Those keys still control that address, so if someone sends more BTC to that old address, those keys will still control it. But if you’ve sent the coins out of it, then those keys no longer control any BTC right now.

Yes, exactly right. If you import those private keys into ElectrumG, you’ll find it controls the corresponding BTG.

That would have no impact on your BTG or your BTC. The only risk there is that you “exposed” your private keys when you did this. If your computer was not secure, someone can have copied those private keys - or if you had accidentally downloaded a scam version of Electron Cash, the scammer might have your private key. If someone else got you key somehow, they can then use it for BTG or BTC or any forked chain that has coins in the corresponding wallet.

Yes; it will still work. What you do on the Bitcoin chain stays on the Bitcoin chain, and what you do on the BCH chain stays on the BCH chain. All that matters is that the Bitcoin and BCH coins and BTG coins are all controllable by the same private keys, because their wallets are forked copies of the same blocks and transactions as the original BTC wallet.

Note, however, that for the highest safety, after importing that private key into Electron Cash, you want to move those BCH into a new BCH wallet address… and after importing that private key into ElectrumG, you want to move those BTG into a new BTG wallet address. Again, once you’ve started handling your private key, it’s not as secure as before. How much less secure depends on how careful you are capable of being when handling the private key.

In BTG’s case, you can also look up your bitcoin wallet’s public address on https://btgexplorer.com/. One nice feature of this particular explorer is that it shows both the BTC version and the BTG version of the address. You’ll find the same transaction history in a BTG explorer for that wallet as you saw in a BTC explorer for that wallet (up until the fork date.) The official explorer at explorer.bitcoingold.org does not show the BTC-derived addresses.

Technical tidbit: the BTG addresses (starting with A or G) and the bitcoin addresses (starting with 1 or 3) are both derived from that same private key. The derivation details were changed so that users don’t get confused about which coin they are working with! That’s why we have A and G for BTG. (There were people who ran into serious problems sending BCH to a BTC address or BTC to a BCH address.)

You’re right, doing offline signing via ElectrumG on an offline computer provides an extra layer of security against that kind of rogue actor. That said, Exodus does give the option of using a Trezor hardware wallet, which also keeps your keys offline.