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Author Topic: Private Keys?  (Read 641 times)
btcmemberships
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October 17, 2013, 02:50:46 AM
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Ummm so I know my public key is my payment address but in Coinbase how the hell does one see their private key? The most important aspect of Bitcoin.
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October 17, 2013, 03:59:15 AM
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Coinbase does not let you see your private keys, and only allows you to import the balance of the private key, so they do not support vanity addresses either... Sad if you really need complete access to your account, and need it to be online, use blockchain.info

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October 17, 2013, 04:13:31 AM
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private key is for login to wallet ?
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October 17, 2013, 04:21:40 AM
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Coinbase does not let you see your private keys, and only allows you to import the balance of the private key, so they do not support vanity addresses either... Sad if you really need complete access to your account, and need it to be online, use blockchain.info

wow, had no idea. That is disturbing.
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October 17, 2013, 04:31:51 AM
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Send your money to your own wallet where you control the private key. I use bitcoin-qt.

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October 17, 2013, 04:38:31 AM
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private key is for login to wallet ?
No it's for signing transaction for a particular address on the Bitcoin network. If you don't hold the private key then you don't really have control on the bitcoins.

https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Private_key
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October 17, 2013, 05:00:32 AM
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Coinbase does not let you see your private keys, and only allows you to import the balance of the private key, so they do not support vanity addresses either... Sad if you really need complete access to your account, and need it to be online, use blockchain.info

wow, had no idea. That is disturbing.

To add on to this: Coinbase is like Google... For Google they give you free storage, but in return they go through all of your files... For coinbase they host a free wallet for you and pay your transaction fees for you and in return they keep everything... That is a really stupid analogy but I hope you get the point Smiley Personally I trust and like coinbase but use what suits you best!

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October 17, 2013, 05:30:35 AM
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As far as I know, blockchain.info is the only online wallet in which you actually own the bitcoins.

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MAbtc
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October 17, 2013, 05:36:38 AM
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They are just a shared wallet. The address you have for payment isn't in a wallet that you control, as others have pointed out. Hence, no private keys for you. Blockchain.info provides such a wallet, though. In general, shared wallets like Coinbase and Inputs.io don't give you access to the wallets that contain your addresses.

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October 17, 2013, 05:52:45 AM
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private key is for login to wallet ?

private key is the most important aspect of Bitcoin it lets you spend your Bitcoins  Shocked
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October 17, 2013, 07:38:33 AM
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private key is for login to wallet ?

private key is the most important aspect of Bitcoin it lets you spend your Bitcoins  Shocked


But for most, private key is not important because all Bitcoin clients use it and dont bother you with such technical aspects of Bitcoin
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October 17, 2013, 08:59:53 AM
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private key is for login to wallet ?
private key is the most important aspect of Bitcoin it lets you spend your Bitcoins  Shocked
I don't actually use private keys very often. Remembering the strong password into my encrypted wallets -- that's what lets me spend my bitcoins.  Smiley

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October 17, 2013, 09:01:49 AM
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True, you will only deal with private key when working with paper wallets
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October 17, 2013, 05:36:46 PM
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private key is for login to wallet ?

private key is the most important aspect of Bitcoin it lets you spend your Bitcoins  Shocked


But for most, private key is not important because all Bitcoin clients use it and dont bother you with such technical aspects of Bitcoin

Let's be clear.

Sure, you don't need to memorize or write down your private keys -- the wallet handles that.

But, if you don't control the private keys, you don't own the bitcoins.

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October 17, 2013, 05:54:15 PM
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private key is for login to wallet ?

private key is the most important aspect of Bitcoin it lets you spend your Bitcoins  Shocked


But for most, private key is not important because all Bitcoin clients use it and dont bother you with such technical aspects of Bitcoin

Let's be clear.

Sure, you don't need to memorize or write down your private keys -- the wallet handles that.

But, if you don't control the private keys, you don't own the bitcoins.


Yep, this is something I think many newbies don't understand, specifically because of things like Coinbase. There should be a sticky somewhere, if there isn't already.

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October 17, 2013, 06:02:15 PM
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But, if you don't control the private keys, you don't own the bitcoins.
Yep, this is something I think many newbies don't understand, specifically because of things like Coinbase. There should be a sticky somewhere, if there isn't already.

I've posted the following many times, but I don't think there is anything equivalent as a sticky:

That's not a wallet.  That's a shady bank account.  Don't let anyone tell you differently.

If you don't have the private key, then you don't have the bitcoins.  It's as simple as that.  You have generously given away your bitcoins to a complete stranger based on a promise that they've given you that they will send those bitcoins anywhere you like anytime you like whenever you ask them to.

Imagine.  You're walking down the street with $1000 in your pocket.  You come to a corner where someone has set up a folding table and put out a sign printed on a piece of cardboard.  You're curious so you ask them what they're doing. They explain to you that they are operating a corner bank.  They tell you that if you give them all the cash in your pocket, they will hold on to it for you.  Then at any time in the future, you can just ask them to spend it for you and they will deliver the cash wherever you like.  They are not insured by the FDIC (or anyone else). They do not go through any sort of audit or submit to any oversight. You are not allowed to know how much total cash they are holding right now.

Do you hand them your $1000 and walk away, hoping that they'll still be there with their folding table tomorrow when you come back to ask for some of that cash to be sent somewhere?  If not, why would you do the same with your bitcoins?

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