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What do I do if my hardware wallet is lost or stolen?

If your hardware wallet is lost or stolen, you need to acquire a new one and conduct a key replacement.

Warning: The following steps impact the keys securing your bitcoin, and missteps can result in permanent loss of funds. If you'd like to speak one-on-one with a bitcoin expert to walk through this process, purchase a Premium Support session.

While a single lost or stolen hardware wallet usually presents no immediate risk to funds in a multisig custody setup like an Unchained vault, a lost or stolen hardware wallet constitutes a compromised key. Performing a key replacement to reestablish the proper operational security of your multisig setup is a high priority and should be done as soon as possible.

Follow the below steps to replace the lost wallet and reestablish vault security.

1. Acquire or reset a replacement hardware wallet

If your hardware wallet is lost or stolen, you need to purchase a replacement if you don't already have one. It's generally best to purchase hardware directly from the manufacturer. See the full list of hardware wallets that Unchained supports

Optional: Factory reset an unused hardware wallet

If you have an old hardware wallet (ensure it is unused and non-compromised before proceeding) that you want to replace the lost or stolen hardware wallet with, you can follow the manufacturer's respective instructions to perform a factory reset.

2. Initialize the hardware wallet as new

Next, initialize the brand new (or newly-reset) hardware wallet. This generates a new seed phrase which generates the public key that you will upload to the Unchained platform.

Note: Don't dispose of the corresponding seed phrase for the broken hardware wallet at this stage. While not required, you may wish to use that backup to sign for the key replacement as described in step 4 below. This allows you to conduct a key replacement without depending on an Unchained signature.

Follow the guide from the manufacturer to set up the device as new:

3. Conduct a key replacement

Follow our step-by-step guide to replace your key. It may help to open the guide in another browser tab while you perform the key replacement. Please contact us if you need any help with these steps.