## I Restored My Phone Wallet and Now All My Coins Vanished

1

TL;DR:
After creating a backup, I added a pin to my "Langerhans" Dogecoin wallet for android. Now, the pin doesn't get accepted (or I forgot it). Finally, I used the "Restore Backup" function and got:

"You have successfully restored your wallet. Now determining the value of your wallet will take some time."
"Synchronizing with network, 6 weeks behind."

Did I lose my money? Do I have to wait six weeks to find out? I also have the backup on my computer, but it is in an "unrecognized format". How would I use it?

This question regards the "Langerhans" Dogecoin wallet for android phones, which is effectively the same style and configuration of wallet as the "Langerhans" Bitcoin wallet for Bitcoins. Both of these wallets are, of course, available for download through Google Play.

I had amassed a total of over 10-million Dogecoins into the android phone wallet (or about $1,500 USD) over the course of approximately one week. I did this by first purchasing Bitcoin from a Bitcoin ATM and then exchanging the Bitcoin for Dogecoin through the SHAPESHIFT.IO exchange system. These exchanges were conducted in the form of 15 separate transactions of equivalent$100 each per transaction.

I then backed up the wallet a final time through the wallet itself, which created an external backup file that is accessible not only through my Gmail account, but is also apparently accessible through the Bitcoin wallet on the phone itself. Then (unfortunately) following that final transaction, I created a so-called "Spending PIN," which would need to be entered any time I wanted to spend the coins.

Well, it seems I either forgot my Spending PIN, or something else went wrong with the system; because when I attempted to transfer the coins out of the wallet, the application indicated that I had used an "INVALID PIN."

No, I did not write down the PIN, which was numerical and eight (8) digits in length, but it was also a common combination of two separate 4-digit pins that I use all the time anyway; so I didn't think I would forget it. I did attempt several different combinations of any potential PIN numbers that I would have used, but nothing worked. (I also read another testimonial of this same exact thing happening with another user of the Langerhans android wallet, whereby he was certain that he didn't forget his PIN.)

In not being able to access the funds in the wallet, I then used the "RESTORE WALLET" function of the wallet itself, which required me to enter another password; but in that case, I did have the password written down. Apparently the process of restoring the wallet was successful at least in the sense that the system accepted my password entered into it.

HOWEVER, in the first place, the system offered a warning that any coins in the wallet would be lost following the restoration process UNLESS I had otherwise created a backup of those. The statement in this regard was very general, and in that sense it seemed vague. While I didn't fully understand why it would be telling me that I was going to lose coins if they were not backed up, since I was using the most recent backup file that I had created in the first place, I still assumed that because I had the backup file stored on my Gmail account it would allow me to recover the coins from the external file itself.

THEN, in the second place, it was after conducting the "RESTORE WALLET" function where a message appeared on the screen stating to the effect that -- "You have successfully restored your wallet. Now determining the value of your wallet will take some time."

Okay, so it didn't tell me HOW MUCH TIME that would take, but when I went into my phone wallet, it is showing a balance of ZERO coins. The other notation showing on the wallet is where it states the following: "Synchronizing with network, 6 weeks behind."

SIX WEEKS BEHIND? Good grief! What the hell does that mean? Does it mean that I can expect to be waiting for at least SIX (6) weeks before my coins miraculously appear back inside my wallet? Or is it more likely to mean that I have lost my ass on this whole thing?

Well, the only other thing I still have at this point is the actual externally saved so-called "BACKUP" file that was sent to my Gmail address as an apparently "UNKNOWN" file type. I did open the file through the Windows NOTEPAD program, it shows up as an considerably long string of random characters, which are inclusive of both numbers, letters, as well as the plus (+) sign symbol and the forward slash (/) symbol. There are no other special characters.

At least generally, I am strongly presuming (or hoping anyway) that this long string of characters amounts to a valid copy of my suggested backup file that would allow me to recover my coins. If it would allow me to recover my coins, then I don't know how to use it. My only thought for using the file would be the need to turn it into a QR CODE, but the amount of characters in the ledger is too long to be supported by any known online QR CODE generators.

Does anyone know what I can use this backup file of code for in attempting to recover my coins? Naturally, I don't want to wait for SIX WEEKS or more to have the coins back; but I'm also not convinced that I will get them back anyway in that case.

Thanks for any help. (sigh)

2I haven't read all of your question, but "six weeks behind" doesn't mean you will have to wait six weeks to use the wallet. It means that the latest transaction data it has is from six weeks ago, and it is downloading and verifying information about everything that has happened since then. Depending on the details of hardware and software, this could take a few minutes or a few hours. Definitely not six weeks. So assuming everything else works and you are connected to the Internet, just wait patiently. – Nate Eldredge – 2016-01-05T22:08:00.663

1The moral of the story is -- backup your private key(s). – David Schwartz – 2016-01-06T00:30:10.017

Thanks for the response back, Nate & David... I just now looked at the phone wallet and there are still zero coins in it; and it is still showing the phrase, "Synchronizing with network, 6 weeks behind." I had already seen this same basic phrase while using the wallet continuously for a period of time, but in past instances where it was showing the statement of "1 HOUR BEHIND." That statement was in reference to the current exchange rates; and I frankly don't know what the "6 weeks" thing is all about. Also, I did back it up per the program, but that backup appears to be useless. – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-06T23:05:47.247

I recently installed the same app onto a secondary phone and the "6 weeks" message is NOT showing on the new phone. If you read the fine print about what those apps are capable of doing to your phone (both the Dogecoin & Bitcoin versions) it states that the apps are capable of -- "Erasing or modifying your SD card." With that being said, I had deposited TODAY equivalent of \$3,000 USD into another new Bitcoin wallet, came directly home to unload the funds into a separate account, and the Google browser froze on me. All I could do to complete the process was to copy/paste info from emails. – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-06T23:13:38.143

But I frankly don't know what you mean by suggesting that "the latest transaction data it has is from six weeks ago." Are you referring to transaction data concerning my phone specifically, or are you referring to the worldwide network of operations? My phone has NEVER been off during this period of time; AND I only started doing this thing during the last week in December, not six weeks ago. – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-06T23:21:33.470

If you want to watch how (and if) the app catches up on the blockchain, go to Options > Network monitor > Blocks. You should see the blocks arriving, unless the most recent block is from just a few minutes ago. – Andreas – 2017-01-03T21:06:11.753

2

The main issue seems to be a misunderstanding of this message:

"Synchronizing with network, 6 weeks behind."

This indicates that your wallet will be processing transaction data of the last six weeks to ascertain whether any of it is relevant to your wallet. As apparently the Langerhans Dogecoin Wallet is a fork from Bitcoin Wallet for Android, this should take no more than a few hours depending on the computing power of your hardware.

Presumably, the wallet has to check the last six weeks because that's the age of the first addresses it created. This would also explain why the message didn't show up on the other phone. As that wallet was new there couldn't be any past transactional data relevant to it.

The backup file on your Google account is likely a binary file encrypted with your password specific to the wallet software you are using. You would use it by copying it to a smartphone with the Langerhans Dogecoin Wallet and restore it there. There may be other software that can import it as well.

To permit yourself more equanimity while familiarizing yourself with new cryptocurrency software, please consider testing with pocket change amounts at first.

Well, thank you for responding here. The wallet did eventually come back, but it took a full week to do so. Then, the forgotten password was apparently still intact into the encryption, so attempts to access the funds were unsuccessful, since I evidently didn't input the correct password. Then I ended up "recovering" the wallet a second time, which again took about a week to ponder through the system. In the process of the secondary recovery, I found that I could delete the app info from the phone, which then allowed the setting of a NEW password, but it WAS NOT the same wallet in that case... – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-29T02:53:40.080

By not being the same wallet configuration, that meant the so-called "recovered" funds were never going to show up on it. I had also used a secondary Bitcoin wallet (i.e., of the exact same design as the Langerhans Dogecoin wallet, but apparently NOT by the same designer) on a totally different phone. Since I had never experienced any problems with the original Bitcoin wallet on the first phone, I didn't anticipate any problems with the SAME type of Bitcoin wallet on the secondary phone. In that case, I deposited about 3.0 Bitcoin onto the wallet... – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-29T02:59:11.413

When I then attempted to transfer the 3.0 Bitcoins to an online wallet, the phone mysteriously froze up on me, thus displaying the ominous message: "Sorry, Google search stopped working." While it had NOTHING to do with "Google Search," per se, what happened is that my "keyboard" function stopped working, which meant that I could not input data into the Bitcoin wallet in the interest of moving out the funds... – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-29T03:02:34.457

In figuring out a "back door" to solving this dilemma, I used the Gmail address installed on that second phone to send the input date from one Gmail address to the Gmail address on the phone -- AND THEN I was able to copy & paste the input data into the Bitcoin wallet enough to be able to facilitate the transaction in the absence of my keyboard function not working anymore. Following that, I deleted both the Bitcoin wallet from the secondary phone in the interest of seeing if that would fix my keyboard problem. It did not fix the problem... – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-29T03:06:33.360

I am convinced that the phone was infected with a virus or Trojan and that this is what caused the keyboard to stop working in the first place. The fact that the keyboard decided to stop working AT THE TIME when I was trying to transfer 3.0 Bitcoin out of the wallet is apparently quite the coincidence; but my thoughts are that the wallet itself is a phishing operation... – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-29T03:13:12.133

CASE IN POINT: Prior to deleting the Bitcoin wallet from the secondary phone, I read the "precautionary" message in the app info page, which clearly states the following information, to the effect: "Program is capable of altering and deleting the phone SD card." In contrast, you WILL NOT see this same message being displayed for the "MYCELIUM" Bitcoin wallet, which is evidently at the top of the list for the most trusted phone wallets out there... – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-29T03:20:58.703

I think the fact that they would produce a wallet that is capable of TAKING OVER your phone is suspect enough. Otherwise, in commenting on your suggesting to first experiment with a wallet by using a small amount of funds, that sounds good, EXPECT that almost no thief out there is likely to be interested in ripping off "small amounts of change." It makes more sense that they would be looking for dumbshits like me who are putting thousands of dollars onto their apps and then THAT MUCH MONEY is definitely worth stealing... – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-29T03:24:11.133

I think that the idea of trying to temper the reliability of any phone application of this sort by using "small change" as a test environment is definitely NOT a good barometer of proving anything in the event that the application itself is capable of taking over your phone. Just because it would work with small change does not prove anything in this case. – Jim Shepard – 2016-01-29T03:28:28.707