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Author Topic: What is the Best Safest Easiest Most Trustworthy Web-based Wallet for Non-Techie  (Read 3672 times)
Trader Steve
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July 29, 2011, 12:56:10 PM
 #21

For now, keeping a small balance on InstaWallet.org as described below works well for me:

Nice and easy wallet solution for iPhone:

 (Source: http://bitcointraining.wordpress.com/2011/07/05/simple-wallet-solution-for-iphone/)

I’ve put together a simple tutorial for iPhone users where you can have quick and easy access to an online wallet where you can keep bitcoin “pocket change” – (enough for meals, taxi fares, small payments, etc.).  This would be the equivalent of what you would carry in your regular wallet for your daily needs.

Here’s how I did it:

I opened my iPhone browser and navigated to the link:  http://www.instawallet.org

This url creates an instant URL unique to your browsing session and it assigns you a bitcoin payment address that is visible right on the screen. The first thing you want to do is bookmark this unique URL. Next, double click and copy the bitcoin payment address that is generated for you on the page. Paste it into a new “Notes” page on your iPhone notepad. Make yourself a note that this is your “InstaWallet payment address” for receiving payments. This is the address you will give to others when you want to receive a small payment.  Here is what my Note now looks like:

    My InstaWallet payment address:

    1ME6HTc8aYtzkb43HfpmzGBtdGb7bfJMKz

I also emailed to my iPhone my bitcoin “savings” payment address (this is my separate and secure bitcoin wallet address to where I keep my savings at home) and then I copied and pasted this savings address to my same “Notes” page so it now looks like this:

    My InstaWallet payment address:

    1ME6HTc8aYtzkb43HfpmzGBtdGb7bfJMKz

    My Savings payment Address:

    1ME6HTc8aYtzkb43HfpmzGBtdGb7bfJMKz

[Note: in this example I've used the same payment address for both but in reality I have a separate payment address for my "savings" address]

With my unique InstaWallet URL now saved as a bookmark in my iPhone, and my “sending” and “receiving” addresses in my Notes page, I am now almost ready to do business.

First I send a small amount of funds from my “savings” account over to my InstaWallet payment address. My first transfer was a few of bitcoin (about $50 worth). In my bitcoin “savings” client I save and label my InstaWallet payment address so I’ll have it quickly available for the next time I want to “top up” my iPhone wallet.

Now I am fully prepared to engage in small transactions quickly and easily from my iPhone. If I want to stop on over to Mezze Grill for lunch I simply scan their QR code for the bitcoin payment address, open up my bookmarked InstaWallet page, and paste the payment address into the payment field and press “send payment”.  If my buddy wants to reimburse me for drinks I simply open my Notes page, copy my InstaWallet payment address, paste it into a text and send it over to him so he can pay me. If I end up receiving several small payments that add up to more than I feel comfortable keeping in my mobile wallet I simply send a payment over to my “savings” address.

My iPhone is password protected and I don’t carry around any more money in this wallet than I can afford to lose without too much heartburn. If I wanted, I could also securely write down my unique InstaWallet URL and keep it in a safe place in case my iPhone is lost or stolen. In the event my iPhone is lost or stolen I could simply enter the URL in my home browser and spend out the funds to my savings account.

There you have it – a simple and easy mobile wallet for your iPhone! If you found this info valuable please send a tip to my payment address above and help buy me a drink!

Enjoy!
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July 29, 2011, 02:33:48 PM
 #22

Creating a bootable USB system is not easy.

Even booting from a USB is not easy.

Do we really expect Fred and Marge from Toledo, the barely can work a mouse crowd, to be able to do that?



THUD!!!
             ... fail
                         Roll Eyes

Maybe we need some Ubuntu-like initiative to get bitcoin for the masses.
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July 29, 2011, 04:21:51 PM
 #23

Creating a bootable USB system is not easy.

Even booting from a USB is not easy.

Do we really expect Fred and Marge from Toledo, the barely can work a mouse crowd, to be able to do that?

Using a computer is not easy but Fred and Marge are having a go.

I am currently gearing up to have ongoing seminars where people come in with their laptops and three hours later walk out with a bootable USB that has a secure wallet with bitcoins in it and a system for managing it.

So far my test students are thrilled. I am also working on developing a self-help package which includes a bootable usb with mature coins already in it, a manual and video for how to use it and back it up.

The biggest fly in the ointment right now is the Dwolla Debacle.

Actually I'm nt considering Fred and Marge as my target audience. I'm looking at bankers, lawyers and other astute inevstors.

Feel like investing in a Miner?:
http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=30044.msg377773#msg377773
A soup to nuts newbee system for a secure, portable USB wallet (free instructions):
NoobHowTo: http://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=27088.msg341387#msg341387
seeARMS @ Bit-Bank
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July 29, 2011, 05:43:53 PM
 #24

I created https://bit-bank.org a few weeks ago with the sole intention of becoming a safe, easy-to-use web-based wallet. I wanted a viable alternative to MyBitcoin (due in part to the 'lost bitcoin' problem which seemed to plague some users), so I set to create Bit-Bank.

We've worked on an API, and I've been publishing updates consistently in an attempt to make the backend process as transparent as possible to avoid problems which my competitors encountered.

The next step is to create a shopping cart interface so merchants are able to easily accept BitCoin as a form of payment - hopefully allowing it to become more mainstream as we see more and more merchants begin to accept it.

Like what I have to say? Send me a few BitCoins if you feel so inclined: http://bit-bank.org/user/seeARMS
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August 04, 2011, 08:27:33 AM
 #25

Bruce, it's unfortunate that you didn't move your money out sooner.

I would second the recommendation to use something like vanitygen to generate your own key and put that key in a safe place. Since it sounds like you plan to have a savings account where you just put money in and don't take it out. I would suggest you do this:

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August 04, 2011, 08:45:28 AM
 #26

Creating a bootable USB system is not easy.

Even booting from a USB is not easy.

Do we really expect Fred and Marge from Toledo, the barely can work a mouse crowd, to be able to do that?


All valid points. I'd venture to say that we should not trust any e-wallet service AT ALL with ANY amount of BTC if:

a) The owners/principals do not expose their true identify (verified by third party)
b) They do no expose their business address or do not have a physical address
c) Do not have an insurance scheme against possible theft/fraud
d) Do not have two factor authentication available
e) Do not store the majority of non active funds offline
f) <insert any other crazy paranoid "feel safe" idea here>

Btw, Bruce, my condolences for your loss Sad I wish you the best of luck with all your current and future ventures; be they BTC related or not.


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August 04, 2011, 12:53:29 PM
 #27

No web wallet can ever be as safe as a properly administered private one. On the other hand, a poorly administered private wallet can easily be far less secure than a good web wallet. The problem is, how do you know if a wallet service is good and trustworthy or not...

IMO such a service does not, and almost can not exist now. It's too early. No-one in the on-line wallet business has enough of a track record to be considered trustworthy. Maybe if some existing company started offering wallet services they could be trusted, but as things are, I for one will not be using a web wallet for at least a few years, simply because it takes time to build trust.

Ease of use is a big issue for Bitcoin adoption, but I'm not sure trusted third parties are the way to go in the immediate short term. Some issues with Bitcoin are technical, and these can be fixed by throwing resources at them. Others are social, and these can only be worked out with time.

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the founder
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August 04, 2011, 01:28:18 PM
 #28

Bruce Flexcoin is going live today at on or about 1pm est ...   test it with a small amount of coins...   it's currently live now as invite only.. invites will be dropped today and open to general registration... so you most likely want to get a good username...

For the record I put my company on the line for it... and it's funded by Yooter InterActive.. we make a living by servicing fortune 500 firms and have been in business for nearly a decade.

Our credentials are not questionable in terms of being legitimate,  our honest fears (and why we have been in invite only for the past month) is because there are enough headlines screaming "Goxed" ,  Polish Exchange gone, 25,000 bitcoins stolen from guys desktop,  and now mybitcoin vanishing (most likely theft)

We went though multiple security audits by multiple people...   but to be honest I've never seen such level of hacking...  we service large banks and they don't get this level of problems...

So test it with a small number of coins... and then you can decide if you want to suggest it or not...   my guess is that you'll find the service amazing.. but that's your call.

Best Regards,
Roger

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August 04, 2011, 01:53:50 PM
 #29

FFS...  Here we go again.

Until Webcoin (part of bitcoinjs) is ready, please don't recommend these things again, Bruce.  And if Webcoin's requirement that you safely store one single, printable key that you rarely ever use is too much to ask of some people, then maybe Bitcoin is not for them...

Always store large amounts offline, and only access them from sparkly clean computers.  Want to use a bank to store these large amounts?  Get a safe deposit box.

Maybe we should all face the fact that Bitcoin can be used securely or conveniently, but currently not both.  I'd even argue neither, since local key management has a long way to go yet with the main client.  It'll get there, but the "safety" you get by handing over your keys to "trusted members of the community" is clearly an illusion.

Until recently I would have thought I'm just overly paranoid and would've kept my mouth shut...
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August 04, 2011, 02:00:40 PM
 #30

I would say... none.

If you want to store considerable amounts of Bitcoins.... do a bit of research (use the forum search feature or use google) to find out how to make a secure wallet. It really isn't *that* hard if you just follow the instructions in the guides. There will always be a trade-off between security and convenience and I believe that in the case of considerable amounts, security is the more important factor.

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August 04, 2011, 03:30:25 PM
 #31

What is the best safest easiest most trustworthy browsing-appliance for non-techie?

Are those routers that include an entire website right in the router as hackable as Windows?

Or does the requirement that non-techies find an appliance easy to use automatically mean that appliance is not secure?

Why is it that windows and macs are claimed to be wonderful for non techies, being so easy to use with all that lovely eye candy GUI and so on, yet somehow seem not to be secure?

Is it more like asking what is a secure lunchmoney purse for preschoolers to take to preschool to buy their lunch with, that is more about the user than the tool?

Or have windows and mac simply failed to actually produce the use-ability they tried to promote themselves as having?

"Presumably" someone should be able to simply click on an install things icon, click on a servers section, select webservices, and pick a home finances app to run on their home webserver, maybe being prompted to dock their portable device so it and their webserver can co-ordinate their certificates to be able to recognise each other?

That not happening I used to think in the old days was because ISPs didn't want people to actually be on the internet so tried as hard as possible to keep home servers from being the norm. But maybe people truly do not want home internet-appliances / ability to access their home systems remotely over the net?

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August 04, 2011, 03:43:22 PM
 #32

That not happening I used to think in the old days was because ISPs didn't want people to actually be on the internet so tried as hard as possible to keep home servers being the norm. But maybe people truly do not want home internet-appliances / ability to access their home systems remotely over the net?

-MarkM-

No, thanks. Especially now that laptops and even smartphones can do most of what I'd imagine most would want, I just don't see the need for that sort of technology to be commonplace. Really, besides bitcoins, what could you have on your home computer that would be THAT important to access from anywhere, that you can't/won't carry with you, or just store in the cloud?

Bitcoin is the ultimate freedom test. It tells you who is giving lip service and who genuinely believes in it.
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August 04, 2011, 03:58:15 PM
 #33

Use mtgox.com and a yubikey.

Do you still trust mt. gox after they acted like paypal and reversed all transactions done for a certain amount of time for nothing.

They didn't steal anyone's money like PayPal, and only reversed transactions due to people receiving "fake" money. Very much unlike PayPal.

That said, I would second either MtGox, or even that Flexcoin thing, since the guy running it is public (though flexcoin may still have security issues).

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August 04, 2011, 05:45:39 PM
 #34

Use mtgox.com and a yubikey.

Do you still trust mt. gox after they acted like paypal and reversed all transactions done for a certain amount of time for nothing.

Yes I still trust MtGox, and I would go so far as to say the "reversed all transactions done for a certain amount of time for nothing" was THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

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August 04, 2011, 05:54:09 PM
 #35

Use mtgox.com and a yubikey.

Do you still trust mt. gox after they acted like paypal and reversed all transactions done for a certain amount of time for nothing.

Yes I still trust MtGox, and I would go so far as to say the "reversed all transactions done for a certain amount of time for nothing" was THE RIGHT THING TO DO.

It should be obvious by now that it was the proper course of action. The bitcoins weren't real and not reversing the trades would have just been perpetuating the fraud.

Still around.
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August 04, 2011, 05:57:25 PM
 #36

Quote
Do we really expect Fred and Marge from Toledo, the barely can work a mouse crowd, to be able to do that?

Bruce, do you really think that bitcoin is ready for Fred an Marge from Toledo?

It's not even close.  You just learned that the hard way.

Trying to force it on your friends and family is just greedy.

I haven't told any friends/family yet, because its not ready.  I haven't even told a family member that makes $hitloads of money off the stock market all day long(up  $xxx,xxx this year) because there is no way he could understand ALL of the risks.  He's probably the "riskiest" guy I know.

Please, do the bitcoin community a favor and stop talking about things you don't understand.


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August 04, 2011, 09:52:52 PM
 #37

That not happening I used to think in the old days was because ISPs didn't want people to actually be on the internet so tried as hard as possible to keep home servers being the norm. But maybe people truly do not want home internet-appliances / ability to access their home systems remotely over the net?

-MarkM-

No, thanks. Especially now that laptops and even smartphones can do most of what I'd imagine most would want, I just don't see the need for that sort of technology to be commonplace. Really, besides bitcoins, what could you have on your home computer that would be THAT important to access from anywhere, that you can't/won't carry with you, or just store in the cloud?

tl;dr ok but the cloud must not be able to spend or transfer your coins.

Okay, fine, for that then we need basically cash certificates you can fit on your handheld portable device or some other means of preventing the cloud from ever being able to spend your money or transfer it to anyone who does not have your private keys.

Maybe some kind of deterministic wallet might work, a means of taking just one private key, the one associated with that specific device while that specific device is in your possession not someone else's possession, and from that re-generating any portion of the set of private keys your identity plus that device's identity when combine can generate.

That way the device need not actually remember any of the keys it comes up with except as a matter of convenience to save the trouble of re-generating the first [however many in total you+it have actually used] of the keys it+you can result in.

It could maybe use your fingerprint or retina or a passphrase or whatever plus some extra data you put in the device plus any unique to each device data a manufacturer might have already provided (like the codes ethernet cards have for example).

Give it only the means to sign, so the cloud never gets to know the private keys the device uses to sign.

Hmm I wonder if something along these lines might be what the physical key thing MtGox now issued does?

-MarkM-

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August 04, 2011, 10:27:03 PM
 #38

Britcoin (or the US version)
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