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Author Topic: Encrypted wallet portability?  (Read 737 times)
crazylikeafox
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November 21, 2012, 03:53:54 PM
 #1

Hey Guys,

I've figured out most of the problems I was having with the rather complex use case I have for Bitcoin.  My final question is this: the official client gives a warning upon encryption that your wallet won't be able to be used on other machines once you encrypt it.  So if I encrypt my wallet and back it up, then have a machine crash and need to restore the wallet on some other machine, I've lost all of my coins?  If that's the case, I can't encrypt the wallet because I don't want to risk losing all of my coins.  Am I misunderstanding something?
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niko
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November 21, 2012, 04:04:37 PM
 #2

I haven't tried it myself, but I am pretty sure it will work anywhere, anytime. All you need is the encrypted wallet and the correct passphrase. Like with any encryption, backups, paper wallets, etc. - it's a good idea to run a few tests.

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prezbo
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November 21, 2012, 04:13:34 PM
 #3

You misunderstood. The wallet shouldn't be used at two different computers at the same time, since that could result in double spends. It has absolutely nothing to do with encryption. Just don't forget your password Smiley
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November 21, 2012, 04:40:09 PM
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Double spends are not an only issue in shared wallets. After some time you will end up with 2 forks of your original wallet with partially different set of addresses.
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prezbo
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November 21, 2012, 04:47:25 PM
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Double spends are not an only issue in shared wallets. After some time you will end up with 2 forks of your original wallet with partially different set of addresses.
BIP_0032 FTW!
That is correct, addresses generated after current memory pool is exhausted will be different, but that can be mediated by synchronizing wallets every once in a while.
hashkey
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November 21, 2012, 06:14:40 PM
 #6

The purpose of the wallet encryption is to add a layer of security. For instance, someone got a copy of your bitcoin wallet but doesn't now your passphrase/password. In this case, he won't be able to withdraw bitcoins from your wallet. But for the case that your computer is infected with a type of malware/virus that has a keylogging feature, even if your wallet is encrypted, chances are the author of the malware may still be able to withdraw from your encrypted wallet if he have successfully extracted your passphrase/password.

When you encrypt your wallet, be sure that the passphrase is not short/weak. And also when you encrypt your wallet, your previous unencrypted backup copy of it would be voided thus you should never forget to make a backup of your encrypted wallet just after you encrypt it. And last, you may use your wallet (encrypted/unencrypted) on other machines so portability is not an issue.

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November 22, 2012, 09:34:53 AM
 #7

the official client gives a warning upon encryption that your wallet won't be able to be used on other machines once you encrypt it.

I'm not sure the exact wording of that, but I'm pretty sure that isn't the message.   

Because the encryption process marks any addresses in the keypool as no longer being usable, the very next transaction you make will have change going to an address that did not exist in any prior backups. 

Quote
When wallet passphrase enrcyption becomes enabled, any unused keys from the keypool are flushed (marked as used) and new keys protected with encyption are added. For this reason, make a new backup of your wallet so that you will be able to recover the keys from the new key pool should access to your backups be necessary.
- http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Wallet_encryption

I think that is what the message after encryption is telling you.


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