Bitcoin Cracking Tools

From GPU to CPU to Javascript Cracking Program

The bad news: mordern CPU can do computations in the ball park of 2^30/s, it is far, far away from the 2^80 computations needed to have a reasonable chance to crack a private key. The good news: it doesn't get more difficult. The asymptotic difficulty of searching Bitcoin's private key space is constant, if you believe that Moore's Law is happening on the number of CPU cores, that we will have 1,000 cores in one CPU in 10 years, the search will be exponentially easier.
In contrast, mining bitcoin is exponentially harder.
One day, cracking bitcoin will be more lucrative than mining bitcoin.
And admittedly, sometimes cracking is more fun. When attempting to break the German Enigma Cipher, the British code breakers at Bletchley Park didn't resort to brute force searches. Instead, they analyzed the Enigma machine, they identified its design flaws, they utilized the human errors when operating the ciphers. Only after the analysis that massively reduced the search space, the researchers were able to decipher Enigma by moderate automated computation. Code breaking can be a lot of fun!

Brainflayer CPU Cracking Program

Brainflayer is a single threaded CPU search program developed by Ryan Castellucci, Nicolas Courtois, Guangyan Song, it was released on DEFCON 2015 to showcase the flaw of using sha256(passphrase) as Bitcoin private key. As of today, Brainflayer is still a fast CPU program to search Bitcoin and Ethereum private key space, if your OS is still Ubuntu 14 or Ubuntu 16, you can compile Brainflayer per the instructions in the original code repository.

If you are running Ubuntu 18.04 LTS or Ubuntu 20.04 LTS, we provided an updated Brainflayer repo for Ubuntu 18.04 and Ubuntu 20.04 :

Compile Brainflayer on Ubuntu 18.04 or Ubuntu 20.04

$ git clone
$ apt-get install openssl
$ apt-get install libgmp3-dev
$ apt-get install libimobiledevice-dev libplist-dev libusbmuxd-dev libssl-dev zlib1g-dev
$ apt-get install dh-autoreconf
$ cd brainflayer/
$ make

After successful compilation, you can learn more about Brainflayer's operating mode:
$ ./brainflayer -h

Now go ahead to make a bloom filter, assuming you have BTC address file downloaded and processed.

$ ./hex2blf /path/to/your-btc-data-folder/btc_h160.txt /path/to/your-btc-data-folder/btc_h160.blf

The resulting file "btc_h160.blf" is the huge list re-arranged into a bloom filter for faster check up, otherwise for each private key you have to loop through a huge list of ~28 million items, which is unbearably slow.

Now start your search:

$ ./brainflayer -v -I 0000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000000001 -b /path/to/your-data-folder/btc_h160.blf

Another command:
$ ./brainflayer -v -b /path/to/data/folder/btc_h160.blf -i /path/to/data/folder/wordlist.txt

Again, explore more brainflayer operating modes with the command "./brainflayer -h".

Brainflayer for Windows 10

An easy way to run Brainflayer on Windows 10, is to install a WSL (Windows SubSystem Linux) with Ubuntu 20.04 or 18.04, and follow the above steps.

To compile Brainflayer as Windows 10 native executable, we can give it a try when we receive sufficient requests.

More Bitcoin Cracking Programs

We will expand this page to review more bitcoin cracking tools, stay tuned.

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