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Author Topic: Validate Paper Wallet  (Read 1188 times)
Frosten
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September 08, 2016, 01:56:52 PM
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Hello everyone,

I have generated a couple of Paper Wallets with Bitaddress and encrypted them with BIP38. But I'm new to this and want to make sure that I have done everything I can to not loose coins. I have taken other precautions (Air-gapped live usb)

My question is, is it possible to do a "sanity check" on a Paper Wallet, test the bip38 password without importing it to the blockchain? Anything other I should think about before sending funds to the paper wallet?

My other question, do I need to protect the public address and can I do multiple deposits to the public address?


Thank you in advance!
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There are several different types of Bitcoin clients. EWallets are like banks -- a central organization has complete control over your money. You shouldn't put much money in EWallets.
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OmegaStarScream
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September 08, 2016, 02:08:34 PM
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If you used Bitaddress.org , Go to "wallet details" and type the private keys and the BIP38 passphrase and It should give you the decrypted private keys however If you really want to check if PK matches the address then you will have to import them somewhere.
If you need to import then I'd suggest importing to Mycelium instead of Blockchain.info (as there is no way to delete your account from Blockchain), once you check , you could go to the App settings and delete the cache and everything.

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September 08, 2016, 02:25:30 PM
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If you used Bitaddress.org , Go to "wallet details" and type the private keys and the BIP38 passphrase and It should give you the decrypted private keys however If you really want to check if PK matches the address then you will have to import them somewhere.
If you need to import then I'd suggest importing to Mycelium instead of Blockchain.info (as there is no way to delete your account from Blockchain), once you check , you could go to the App settings and delete the cache and everything.

this is not a good suggestion as any wallet that is connected to internet will be considered bad, and you should consider those private keys that you imported as contaminated.

to check the private keys you can import them in any wallet application from bitcoin core, armory, electrum, ... to open source codes on github to check the base58checksum and convert to bitcoin address.

and as i can see OP is already familiar with an air gape live USB so he can install any of those wallets he likes and do the check offline

My question is, is it possible to do a "sanity check" on a Paper Wallet, test the bip38 password without importing it to the blockchain?

i don't know what "sanity check" means but as i said above the wallet (code or whatever) you check the private keys with should also be created in the same safe manner and also remain offline.

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Anything other I should think about before sending funds to the paper wallet?

just keep a multiple back ups in case one failed and remember to create a new wallet if you imported those private keys in an online wallet or spent from them.

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My other question, do I need to protect the public address and can I do multiple deposits to the public address?
Thank you in advance!

the public key is for showing to public so it is ok, and you need to give it to others so they can send you bitcoin. and yes you can make multiple deposits.

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Frosten
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September 08, 2016, 04:33:26 PM
 #4

Thank you for your help!
DannyHamilton
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September 08, 2016, 04:38:58 PM
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My question is, is it possible to do a "sanity check" on a Paper Wallet, test the bip38 password without importing it to the blockchain?

You can use bitaddress offline to decrypt the private key with your password.

Then you can run some trusted software (such as Bitcoin Core) offline.  It doesn't need to talk to the internet or have access to the blockchain to be able to verify that your private key generates the expected bitcoin address.  Import the private key into the offline software and compare the resulting bitcoin address to the address that bitaddress gave you.  If they match, then bitaddress didn't do anything screwy and your private key is good.

Remember not to put that offline computer back online unless you are absolutely certain that you've cleared out any private keys that are on it.

Anything other I should think about before sending funds to the paper wallet?

You'll want to be very careful when/if you decide to use the bitcoins from the paper wallet some day.  You'll want to understand completely what the software does when you import the private key and create a transaction.  People in the past have lost a LOT of bitcoins because they didn't realize that the software they imported their paper wallet into generated a brand new address and sent all the unused bitcoins to that new address when they created a transaction.  They then deleted the software and data, mistakenly thinking that the remaining bitcoins were still securely stored with the paper wallet.

My other question, do I need to protect the public address

That depends.  It's called a "public" address, because if you share it nobody can use that information to access, take, or spend your bitcoins.

However, if you care about your privacy, you'll want to limit who knows that you are in control of that address.  Anybody that knows that you control the address will be able to see exactly how many bitcoins you receive at that address as well as when you receive them.  They can also see exactly how many of those bitcoins you spend as well as when you spend them. If the address you send them to is publicly known, then they will know who you sent the bitcoins to.  If the owner of the outputs that were spent to send the bitcoins you you is publicly known, then they will know who you got the bitcoins from.

can I do multiple deposits to the public address?

Technically, you can if you want to.

It is generally a better idea not to.

Using a separate address for each transaction received will increase privacy and anonymity, and will slightly increase security.

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September 08, 2016, 10:14:47 PM
 #6

Can i ask real quick, for the average person who has a fully updated virus product running and checks for malware before using bitaddress is there really a need for so much security?
Frosten
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September 09, 2016, 03:02:50 PM
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Can i ask real quick, for the average person who has a fully updated virus product running and checks for malware before using bitaddress is there really a need for so much security?

I don't know if you are joking, but I will take your question seriously.

Yes there is a need because new malware's aren't always detected by a anti virus program. Run the generator on a live Linux OS and never connect it to the internet, in other words use a Air Gapped machine.

When you run any binary on top of a proprietary OS (Windows) you have less control. It's hard enough to audit a open source operating system.



And thank you all for all the input, I have checked that the BIP38 decryption works and the keys seems legit.
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