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Author Topic: Safest way to store bitcoins  (Read 6167 times)
RomertL
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June 09, 2011, 06:56:51 PM
 #1

Hi all

I'm new in this game and don't have that much coins at this point. But at some point I will have too much to be comfortable with storing them in the hdd of my laptop, (I've had two hdd:s that crashed in my life + the risk of fire, theft etc).  I'm sure there's already some cloud-based solution for this, but how can you trust them? I'm sure they could disappear without a trace with the coins if they wanted to right? Sure you can compare it to normal banks, but most of them have a reputation that stretches many decades, and they are very regulated etc. There's also the risk of government seizure since they don't seem to be that fond of the new currency Wink

I've also heard of people storing them in USB-memories in safes, how do you do that? Doesn't seem like a ideal solution, I've had quite a few usb-memories crashed as well in my days, and it's kind of a step back compared to normal currencies since you could not use without going to a physical location... 

So... those of you that have already accumulated lot's of coins, how do you store them?

Doc

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Drifter
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June 09, 2011, 07:04:18 PM
 #2

Copy your wallet.dat file onto another hard drive. Whether it be USB, internal, external....
As long as you have multiple copies, unless you lose them all at once, you'd still have a backup.

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Securing_your_wallet



655321
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June 09, 2011, 07:12:30 PM
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What I do is keep all my bitcoins in my wallet.dat file. I then make copies of that file, put them inside highly encrypted file containers (with the help of TrueCrypt) and then upload those encrypted file containers to various cloud services online. That way I can still get to my bitcoins even if my computer is seized or melets or whatever. All I need to do to recover the coins is find a new computer, install the client, and unencrypt the file container after downloading it from the cloud. Easy peasy!  Wink
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June 09, 2011, 08:01:09 PM
 #4

How big is this file?  Will it grow huge over time?  What size thumb drive should be used?
wareen
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June 09, 2011, 08:06:21 PM
 #5

Don't worry about the filesize - it will never be huge by today's standards (couple 100k normally).

But I'd strongly advise against _ever_ making unencrypted backups of your wallet.dat because you always have to worry about somebody gaining access to one of your backup copies.
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June 09, 2011, 08:27:58 PM
 #6

Save it in a shadow wallet.

I would love to see functionality similar to the following in the client:
Generate a new key from the hash of a long phrase you memorize. Transfer the bitcoin to this key then destroy the wallet.  Your wealth is in your head now!
Later recreate the key from the memorized phrase and recreate the wallet.

Smiley
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June 09, 2011, 08:47:38 PM
 #7

Am I correct in saying I can have several copies of this file but as soon as I use one all will be void?

Sorry for the newb question but the other thing I'm wondering is do you guys keep many copies of your wallet, I'm sure of the avobe is the case having several copies also makes it easier for someone to steal you coins too.

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June 09, 2011, 08:50:38 PM
 #8

The other's wont be void - but they could be in different "states" if your client (.dat) has been updated and the other files are out dated.

I suggest keeping an encrypted backup (see TrueCrypt mentioned above) and then stick that encrypted volume in a free sharing (that's reliable) like DropBox.


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wareen
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June 09, 2011, 08:57:04 PM
 #9

Am I correct in saying I can have several copies of this file but as soon as I use one all will be void?
They are not automatically void but spent coins from one copy are automatically "gone" from all wallets and cannot be spent again from another copy (obviously).

It is a good idea to have many backup copies of your wallet but they should just be restored in case you lose your primary working copy of the file.

Keep in mind that depending on how many new addresses you generated in your working copy, you should make new backup copies from your primary wallet from time to time.
defxor
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June 09, 2011, 09:08:14 PM
 #10

I'm sure there's already some cloud-based solution for this, but how can you trust them? I'm sure they could disappear without a trace with the coins if they wanted to right?

Secure cloud backup solutions exist: https://forum.wuala.com/viewtopic.php?f=11&t=1546

(Your wallet is encrypted on your computer before being transfered, Wuala never has the technical possibility to decrypt it)

AaronM
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June 09, 2011, 11:17:54 PM
 #11

You may find my thread helpful: http://forum.bitcoin.org/index.php?topic=13273.0

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