How to spend Bitcoin Cash with just private key?

If you had your balance within your Bitcoin wallet which you hold private key, then you should be able to spend your Bitcoin Cash (BCC/BCH) with the private key! Most wallet will be able to backup your private key, mostly in a 12-word mnemonic phrase (BIP39-compatible), or 24-word if you’re using hardware wallet like Trezor, which I recommend.

Before spending your Bitcoin cash

It’s always recommended to move your Bitcoin (BTC) to a completely new wallet address generated from a new seed, not new address derived from same seed (deterministic wallet).

Wait for at least 6 confirmations, theymos suggested in the forum to wait for 30 confirmation for maximum safety, or at least 3 if you can’t wait!

(Assuming the Bitcoin cash replay protection is fully functional and work as the premise, it wouldn’t have any risk.)

How to recover your wallet using Electron Cash

I’m using Electron Cash as it’s one of the wallets suggested by Bitcoin cash website but other should work as well.

1. The first time you execute the app you will be creating a wallet file, just name the wallet file and click next.

2. Next, you’ll be given the option to create either standard or wallet with specific features, I’ll go with the standard one, as I didn’t plan to use it anytime after I sent my BCC

3. In the third page you will choose the way to recover your wallet
A. If you have the private key in 12-word mnemonic phrase, choose to recover with seed, second option.
B. If you going to restore a single key wallet with master private key (xprv), choose the third option.

Now just type your 12-word into the box separated by single space, tick BIP39 from the option, and click Next. Click next on the following page when it asks the derivation format, and create a password if you need for the extra security.

4. Now you should wait for the application synchronizes with the blockchain, and your transaction and balance should be load at the end. If you did move your Bitcoin (BTC) before you do this, you should see your transaction of moving those fund, and have empty balance, this is normal for the first time using this application, just click the green button at the bottom.

5. Untick the “automatically select server” and right click at the correct node, then choose to follow that branch. (The one with as node)

That’s it! You should be able to spend your Bitcoin Cash now!

Some information

  • So far the only exchange platform allows me to deposit BCC is ViaBTC
  • Bitcoin Cash (BCC/BCH) confirmations could take VERY long time

8 thoughts on “How to spend Bitcoin Cash with just private key?

  1. I am no tech wizard, I have an Electrum bitcoin wallet. I was looking to collect the bit coin cash from the split on Aug 1.

    I can follow your instructions till the end of screen 5.

    After I uncheck Select Server automatically, and click on node 651ef99cb9@478559, then what???????

    Does this eventually get me bitcoin cash?

    Earlier today I had opened a bitcoin cash wallet also but I could not find my address on Electrum to send my bitcoins to the bit coin cash wallet, as I thought I had to do that to claim the bit coin cash.

  2. Hi, do you advise to transfer the BTC out before using the 12 words recovery phrase ?
    The worst would be to lose the BTC while trying to recover the BCC.

  3. Very helpful instruction, thanks! (Note that there is one additional input box that comes up after selecting the BIP39 seed format, regarding the “wallet derivation”, but this has a default value which works, so no additional knowledge is required for this step.)

    This helped me to move BCH out of a coinbase wallet – currently do not support BCH – and into my account for trading. Yes, kraken have recently started accepting BCH funds — they currently require 20 (!) confirmations, but anyway…

  4. Hello Joseph!
    Thanks a lot for these instructions. Unfortunately it did not work, because at 4th step, there is no history of transactions shown. I have no idea what is the matter there?!?
    Before I got the seed I sent all my BTC from my account to a different address; so the account of was empty of the BTC. But no transactions are there in the history of electron cash.
    If I look at the addresses I cannot find the one I had at among them. Shouldn’t the address I had at be there??

    Thanks for your reply,

  5. Everything has resolved. The solution: if you get your private key on it is a compressed private key; so you have to copy this key, go to and to “wallet details”, paste the key in there, and get the uncompressed private key; then you can use this for electron cash.
    Best, Matt

  6. Hi, Joseph. I’ve been trying to get my bcc out of my paper wallet for quite long, but when I get to step 3 of your tutorial and I use my private key (because there isn’t passphrase/seed for my wallet), the Next button keeps gray (disabled). How can I solve it?

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