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Author Topic: I still dont understand the concept of keeping your coins?  (Read 705 times)
bigstevo
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April 01, 2013, 07:21:48 PM
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Ok I have read a few guides online including the ones recommended on this forum.

One thing I still dont understand is:-

If I want to receive coins i can use either a client e.g. Bitcoin-Qt or use a online wallet like blockchain. Either of these will give me a public key so people can send me money.

If I use a client on my computer and receive coins how does the client know its me when I log onto my computer?

If you are using several services that generate various keys to receive money how would you consolidate all your coins? is just a case of paying yourself from your different clients or online wallets?
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kokjo
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April 01, 2013, 07:23:42 PM
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the keys would be kept on the computer, and the holder up the computer would also hold your btc.

"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
bigstevo
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April 01, 2013, 07:30:55 PM
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Thanks, so thats why you should store it on a flash drive or something like that?

And if you are using both a client and an online wallet is it the case that in order to consolidate your coins you would just pay them into the key of your chosen account?

btbrae
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April 01, 2013, 07:32:59 PM
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For Bitcoin-Qt:

The wallet.dat file is used by the client on startup, that tells it all it needs to know.

Your wallet.dat contains multiple addresses, you can use one address for all services or separate addresses, maybe one for each service. You have one total balance per wallet.

Hope that helps.
Acesbomb
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April 01, 2013, 07:38:44 PM
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If I was to have the dat file on a usb and installed the wallet on a different PC, how would or where would I put the .dat file so it loaded my details?
bigstevo
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April 01, 2013, 07:42:52 PM
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I use a mac - cant seem to find the dat file?

If you remove the contents of the dat file and put it somewhere safe and then lose your laptop, are your coins still safe?
btbrae
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April 01, 2013, 07:46:47 PM
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See here
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Data_directory

You need the wallet, don't lose it, you might want more than one copy of it incase a drive or USB fails. As long as you have it stored, you can drag and drop the wallet.dat into the Bitcoin data directory and you're set.
bigstevo
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April 01, 2013, 07:52:20 PM
 #8

Thanks for your help,

If you are using an online wallet are you just relying on the site securing your money, or is there a way to extract the wallet from an online wallet or is it just a case of transferring your money to a client and then severing the wallet?

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April 01, 2013, 08:31:08 PM
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You're welcome, unfortunately I can't help you in terms of advising on online wallet services, but I believe they all involve some level of trust which personally is a risk I prefer not to take. I encrypt my wallet and e-mail it to myself so I have offsite backups, I use 2-step verification for my email account so I'm feeling pretty safe with this, but that's just me.
Acesbomb
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April 01, 2013, 08:36:23 PM
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Yes, thank you sir!
bigstevo
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April 01, 2013, 09:22:30 PM
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Ok cool, i eventually found my wallet.dat file on the mac Smiley

So just to test my understanding, when I am finished with my bitcoin client for the day I could save a copy of the wallet.dat file, delete the copy that is in the folder. At this point if i lost my laptop I am safe?  assuming I dont lose my laptop i can load place the saved wallet.dat file back in the correct folder and it will be good to go?
bigstevo
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April 01, 2013, 10:33:48 PM
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Can anyone confirm if my understanding above is correct - sorry for being impatient, however super excited to get started with this Smiley
Stephen Gornick
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April 01, 2013, 10:41:03 PM
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Ok cool, i eventually found my wallet.dat file on the mac Smiley

So just to test my understanding, when I am finished with my bitcoin client for the day I could save a copy of the wallet.dat file, delete the copy that is in the folder. At this point if i lost my laptop I am safe?  assuming I dont lose my laptop i can load place the saved wallet.dat file back in the correct folder and it will be good to go?

Unless you use an encrypted filesystem, there are traces of the wallet.dat left on the hard drive.  There are tools available to scan a hard drive looking for private keys. 

Instead you want to use the passphrase encryption feature available in the Bitcoin-Qt client to protect your wallet.dat so you don't need to worry about losing your bitcoins if you happen to lose your laptop.   Either way, you do want to keep a backup (or preferably set of backups) of the wallet.dat in case you lose access to the laptop or the data stored on it.

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