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coin.space wallet usable in coinbase wallet app?

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 4:12 am
by stevenc88
I created a wallet at coin.space, and recorded my 12-word passphrase. I deposited some Bitcoin in it to play around with.

I am evaluating different (Android) wallet apps.

That same 12-word passphrase lets me open the wallet using the BRD (breadwallet) Bitcoin wallet. I see the same Bitcoin balance in that wallet that I did with coin.space.

However, when I put the same 12-word passphrase in the Coinbase Bitcoin wallet (not to be confused with the Coinbase exchange app, which is a different thing), it shows a zero balance.

I thought any wallet app could access a wallet using the 12-word passphrase, is that not true?

Is there something which would make a wallet incompatible between coin.space and Coinbase?

Thanks!

Re: coin.space wallet usable in coinbase wallet app?

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 6:55 pm
by nandibear
I created a wallet at coin.space, and recorded my 12-word passphrase. I deposited some Bitcoin in it to play around with.

I am evaluating different (Android) wallet apps.

That same 12-word passphrase lets me open the wallet using the BRD (breadwallet) Bitcoin wallet. I see the same Bitcoin balance in that wallet that I did with coin.space.

However, when I put the same 12-word passphrase in the Coinbase Bitcoin wallet (not to be confused with the Coinbase exchange app, which is a different thing), it shows a zero balance.

I thought any wallet app could access a wallet using the 12-word passphrase, is that not true?

Is there something which would make a wallet incompatible between coin.space and Coinbase?

Thanks!
Hi Steve, yes there at least a couple of possible reasons:

1. The apps you've referenced might use different derivation paths (some apps support just one path, or apps allow you to select or enter different paths)

2. The gap limit. Your 12 word seed is used to create an extended private key (xpirv) which is used to generate all private keys in your wallet. Since it's possible to generate a near infinite numbers of keys so it's not practical for a wallet app to keep searching addresses for balances without end. This is where the gap limited is applied. For example, some applications will search addresses (deterministic, the addresses are always generated in the same order when you import your 12 word seed) until a gap of 20 unused addresses is reach. You could have a balance at an address beyond that gap, it wont show in the app.

If you need more help please post a reply below.

Re: coin.space wallet usable in coinbase wallet app?

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:08 pm
by stevenc88
Thanks for the reply!

I was reading about the gap limit. It mentioned that over time the keys could diverge and you not see the balance. In this case, I created the original wallet literally within the last 2 weeks. In your opinion, could the gap limit be causing me problems?

Concerning the derivation paths, that was my initial suspicion. I read something about this concept, that the same key phrase may be interpreted by the wallet manager software differently.

Is there anywhere I can find out what the wallet uses as the derivation path data?

I tried contacting Coinbase Wallet support (via e-mail) but so far, crickets...

Re: coin.space wallet usable in coinbase wallet app?

Posted: Fri Feb 21, 2020 7:11 pm
by stevenc88
By the way, in both the coin.space wallet and BRD wallet (both with the same balance showing), if I select "receive coins" the Bitcoin addresses are identical.
With the Coinbase wallet (with 0 balance showing), the receive Bitcoin address is different. I believe that lends credence to the "derivation path" influence.

Re: coin.space wallet usable in coinbase wallet app?

Posted: Tue Mar 03, 2020 7:43 pm
by stevenc88
As a followup, with some google investigation and experimentation, I learned the following:
  • coin.space uses a derivation path of: m/0'/0
  • The Coinbase wallet uses a derivation path of: m/44'/0'/0'/0
I found out that many Android wallet providers do not provide a lot of customization of the derivation path for their wallets (nor do they do a good job of documenting the paths).

I did find that the Android Coinomi wallet provides a lot of customization, and holds multiple wallets. So I have my Coin.space (BIP32 m/0"/0) AND my Coinbase (BIP44 m/44'/0'/0'/0) wallets in the same app, and I am happy.

Also, for Windows, I found Electrum to have the required flexibility to handle both types of wallets.

I suppose I will eventually fix on a single wallet (probably the BIP44 one, since I read that it is "better" than the BIP32 one, for security reasons).

Side question: My BIP32 wallet has coin in 3 Bitcoin addresses. What is the easiest/cheapest way to sweep those into my BIP44 wallet?