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Author Topic: securing your wallet - need some explanations  (Read 853 times)
jamesclandestine
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June 05, 2011, 07:37:35 AM
 #1

Hi all,

I am new to the bitcoins and although i enjoy traiding at mtgox.com I definately have not grasped the entire technicalities yet. Esp. securing your wallet.. I have read the wiki but i dont yet get it completely. I know that i can transfer bitcoins e.g. from mtgox to the address which is displayed in the bitcoin software and from there to other adresses which I enter. What i dont understand is how i can secure a copy of the bitcoins stored in there e.g. in an encrypted container somewhere safe without actually duplicating the value of the coins?! also i dont understand the whole "key" thing in the wiki.

If i e.g. have some bitcoins in my wallet and decide to transfer it to another computer by copying the file there and install bitcoin, can i then use that wallet with the new software? What happens to the coins on the other computer in the wallet?!

Sorry for my technical difficulties..
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June 05, 2011, 08:41:55 AM
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First off, the coins aren't actually stored in your wallet. Instead, think of it like your wallet contains the keys to unlock a coin and send it. If you make a duplicate key to your car, do you now have two cars? No, of course not.

If you "unlock" some coins on one computer and send them away, the same transaction will show up on the other computer.

Note: the above explanation is extremely simplified. For one, "coins" don't actually exist, just previous transaction records. Also, "unlocking" and spending are not independent operations of each other. The best way to see this in action is to view a transaction on the bitcoin block explorer.

Additionally, please DO NOT run the same wallet.dat on two computers at once. The current version of the software won't recognize this, so you could end up corrupting* your wallet. This will be addressed in a future version.

*don't worry, it IS repairable, just not very easily with our current tools; so please don't

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