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Author Topic: How can I be sure a private key is working correctly?  (Read 654 times)
maxmint
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April 02, 2013, 07:16:21 PM
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I'm currently trying to come up with a secure cold storage wallet. I have Armory running on an offline USB Stick that never touched the internet. I can create addresses there and send my funds to them. In case I need them I can get the private keys from Armory and import them into bitcoin-qt on my online system (I'm on a Mac and currently can't run Armory there).

So far so good, but how can I make sure the private keys are really working once I need them?
It might sound a little paranoid, but think of this scenario: I have 100 bitcoins in one of my offline addresses and wanna touch them a couple of months later. I try to import the private key and bitcoin-qt tells me "invalid private key" or something similar. It turns out that there was a bug in Armory and my coins are gone forever.

Of course, I could just import the key once into my online client to make sure it is working and then immediately sweep it. But that could expose it to a screenlogger.

Any solution for this?

My PGP-Key: 462D02D8
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DannyHamilton
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April 02, 2013, 07:19:54 PM
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I'm currently trying to come up with a secure cold storage wallet. I have Armory running on an offline USB Stick that never touched the internet. I can create addresses there and send my funds to them. In case I need them I can get the private keys from Armory and import them into bitcoin-qt on my online system (I'm on a Mac and currently can't run Armory there).

So far so good, but how can I make sure the private keys are really working once I need them?
It might sound a little paranoid, but think of this scenario: I have 100 bitcoins in one of my offline addresses and wanna touch them a couple of months later. I try to import the private key and bitcoin-qt tells me "invalid private key" or something similar. It turns out that there was a bug in Armory and my coins are gone forever.

Of course, I could just import the key once into my online client to make sure it is working and then immediately sweep it. But that could expose it to a screenlogger.

Any solution for this?

Run Bitcoin-Qt in an offline computer and try importing the private key there?  If it generates the same bitcoin address as Armory did, then you can be pretty confident that they private/public keypair and address are all correct?

maxmint
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April 02, 2013, 07:20:53 PM
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I'm currently trying to come up with a secure cold storage wallet. I have Armory running on an offline USB Stick that never touched the internet. I can create addresses there and send my funds to them. In case I need them I can get the private keys from Armory and import them into bitcoin-qt on my online system (I'm on a Mac and currently can't run Armory there).

So far so good, but how can I make sure the private keys are really working once I need them?
It might sound a little paranoid, but think of this scenario: I have 100 bitcoins in one of my offline addresses and wanna touch them a couple of months later. I try to import the private key and bitcoin-qt tells me "invalid private key" or something similar. It turns out that there was a bug in Armory and my coins are gone forever.

Of course, I could just import the key once into my online client to make sure it is working and then immediately sweep it. But that could expose it to a screenlogger.

Any solution for this?

Run Bitcoin-Qt in an offline computer and try importing the private key there?  If it generates the same bitcoin address as Armory did, then you can be pretty confident that they private/public keypair and address are all correct?
Sometimes the answer is just too easy (or I'm just too dumb). Thanks.

My PGP-Key: 462D02D8
Verify my messages using keybase: https://keybase.io/maxmint
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