I am confused, maybe I am just reallllly tired; i've dedicated my life pretty much to being a geek so feel free to ridicule me if it's an obvious oversight here
how is the number of bitcoins for the address stored?
where is it stored?
how is it secured?
if I format, and lose my address, do I lose all my bitcoin cash?
what the hell stops someone else using my address?
what lets me use my own address?
I am so confused
Every transaction is registered in the block chain. You have a wallet, holding pairs of public/private keys. You give your public to people that pay you, they sign their coins to your public key. You then need the matching private key to use the BTC so:
- Your keys are in your wallet, means lose the wallet, lose the BTC. Someone gets your wallet, they can send themselves the BTC.
- Everything else is in the block chain, means you can access your coins wherever you want as long as got your wallet with you. Careful with that though.
- Public addresses are only to send BTC to you. Someone can use it, and you'd be getting free BTC =P
- Right now you are expected to provide security for your wallet on your own. Client based wallet encryption is under dev/testing right now.