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Author Topic: Necessary steps for a backup of Bitcoin  (Read 1410 times)
Trade101
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October 28, 2013, 07:10:47 PM
 #1

I own a rather large amount of bitcoins currently and am looking to protect me from
losing them by a default of my hard-drive.

What steps are necessary in order to be as safe as possible?
Just copy the wallet.dat file and store it somewhere in the cloud and
additionally on a usb-stick?

Is there a guide around there what steps are necessary in order to be able
to restore access to all your bitcoin addresses / coins if your computer defaults?


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Mitchell
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October 28, 2013, 07:11:41 PM
 #2

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

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unthy
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October 28, 2013, 07:38:43 PM
 #3

I own a rather large amount of bitcoins currently and am looking to protect me from
losing them by a default of my hard-drive.

What steps are necessary in order to be as safe as possible?
Just copy the wallet.dat file and store it somewhere in the cloud and
additionally on a usb-stick?

Is there a guide around there what steps are necessary in order to be able
to restore access to all your bitcoin addresses / coins if your computer defaults?




I may not have the best possible mechanism but this is what I did just now to make a paper wallet:

1) use a free image on the internet if you wish to make something decorative...otherwise skip this and go to step 2.  ex: http://i.imgur.com/NYKX2fN.png

2) use something like brainwallet.org it will generate random wallets for you.  DO NOT USE THE WALLET LISTED!!!!!!! Press Random next to "secret exponent" on the right.  Press it something random like 16 times or 31 times...just press it a bunch for a little while to make sure you got something that wouldnt generate first (it should be truly random I just like to be paranoid about it.)

If you didn't decide to make a paper wallet, instead you could create a txt file on a thumbdrive that has the public and private keys listed...be sure to encrypt this file within an encrypted folder..if you can encrypt it twice...encrypt it twice. Keep it on the thumbdrive within the bank or firesafe...etc.  If you are using a physical paper wallet then please proceed:

3) now write down the private key and the public key.  I used something like MS paint to literally erase the public keys that are printed as well as the qr code. I copied and pasted my new public qr code and key and generated a private qr code from the provided key shown just two fields lower.  YOU NEED THE PRIVATE KEY to  restore your coins!!!!!

4) using a block explorer such as blockchain.info check this newly created bitcoin address and confirm for certain that no other transactions exist.  If they do, congradulations you are one of the 1st people in the entire universe to create a "collision"!  Congradulate yourself by taking their coins for yourself (akin to stealing them)  There is an almost 100 percent chance of certainty this doesnt happen so if it does happen...make the most of it and celebrate!

5) now print and laminate if possible the newly created paper wallet. Using your current wallet, scan or enter the qr code for your paper wallet and transfer your coins...that are meant for cold storage.  be sure to use a transaction fee so that they can be delivered quickly.  

6) sit on them, forever, if possible. Keep them someplace hypersafe like inside a fireproof safe or inside a bank vault.  BE SURE TO USE SOMETHING like electrical tape to fold the private key backup flap over the private key area...you don't want someone taking a picture of your private key because at that point its as good as stolen!



I did this today for a friend I wanted to send bitcoin to that just wanted a way to sit on it/hold it.  Was never planning to spend it but wanted to hold onto it.  This is the free and easiest method to do this.

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October 28, 2013, 07:41:54 PM
 #4

The link on the above post is excellent advise. Ie https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Securing_your_wallet

FYI I encript the wallet.dat with a high strenght password ie over 16 characters, then copy it twice to three separate usb sticks. Giving me six files on three devices all with high encryption. These are cold wallets, ie not connected to the Internet.

Then rename the wallet.dat, wallet-org.dat and reload one at a time one copy of each of the USB sticks, after decrypting, run qt to make sure you know the password and the file isn't corrupted. You should see your correct balance. If you have any problems recover the wall-org.dat file, and start again.

If all works as it should shred (not just delete) all wallet.dat files including the wall-org.dat file.

Re run qt it will make a new empty wallet.dat ie if zero value.

Always use a hot wallet with an amount if BTC to reduce the times you need to access your cold wallet.

I hope this makes some sense. It didn't seem to write out as easy as I can do it.

Being your own bank isn't always easy.....

Ps don't store online wallet files unless high encryption is used.
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October 31, 2013, 01:17:55 PM
 #5

Don't encrypt your cold storage, you are going to forget the key

LiteCoinGuy
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October 31, 2013, 06:22:42 PM
 #6

Don't encrypt your cold storage, you are going to forget the key


that can happen if you are stupid yes  Roll Eyes

Mitchell
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October 31, 2013, 06:25:03 PM
 #7

Don't encrypt your cold storage, you are going to forget the key


that can happen if you are stupid yes  Roll Eyes
It has happened more often then I would like to admit. Not because I am stupid, but because I have so many passwords that I keep forgetting them.

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unthy
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November 03, 2013, 02:27:33 AM
 #8

have a really long password (make sure you remember it), rename your backup files send make many copies....

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November 03, 2013, 06:53:37 PM
 #9

It may be a good idea to look into cold storage, it's usually a lot easier to secure a piece of paper than it is to secure a computer.  Grin

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November 03, 2013, 11:40:46 PM
 #10

To answer the actual question that is being asked:

Bitcoin-qt: File->Backup Wallet. Save the file to a removable backup media such as flash drive or burn to CD.

Don't forget an encrypted wallet's password, if needed you can write it down with the wallet if it is going to be secured in a safe. Forgetting the password used to encrypt a wallet will lose you your bitcoins too, so even if you think it memorable, a backup of the password will protect against brain failure.

To restore the wallet on a new computer, the wallet.dat file simply needs to be placed in the Bitcoin data directory before running Bitcoin.

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