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Author Topic: Bitcoin Wallet for Android  (Read 115082 times)
Dabs
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November 22, 2013, 02:38:53 PM
 #441

I import private keys all the time. But I use bitcoin-qt when I do that.

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November 25, 2013, 06:28:29 PM
 #442

You can import private keys using Mycelium for Android, but it's not a true P2P app.

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November 25, 2013, 10:20:49 PM
 #443

You can import private keys using Mycelium for Android, but it's not a true P2P app.

This statement needs a bit more qualification. While it is formally true, Mycelium uses central servers only to obtain blockchain information. Everything that is critical to its security is done in peer-to-peer fashion. Private keys are kept in Mycelium's local, private data storage, so in terms of security it is no different from a peer-to-peer app.

To me this looks like an interesting compromise. The app is lightweight and functions without any delay, yet it retains as much security as is possible on Android, which is more than any program could have on a Windows computer, for example.

The downside is that it depends on its servers. If they all went down, Mycelium would cease to function. Take your pick.
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November 25, 2013, 10:50:04 PM
 #444

You can import private keys using Mycelium for Android, but it's not a true P2P app.

While it is formally true, Mycelium uses central servers only to obtain blockchain information. Everything that is critical to its security is done in peer-to-peer fashion. Private keys are kept in Mycelium's local, private data storage, so in terms of security it is no different from a peer-to-peer app.

The blockchain is very security critical. By relying on a centralized server for that you lose quite some security and reliability compared to a true p2p app imho.

Bitcoin Wallet for Android: Your own Bitcoins, in your own pocket!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.schildbach.wallet
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November 26, 2013, 12:41:32 AM
 #445

The downside is that it depends on its servers. If they all went down, Mycelium would cease to function. Take your pick.

Right now, if the Mycelium servers would go down, you can import a key into any other client easily. The quickest way would be to export a single key in SIPA format (as qr code, or via clipboard) and import it into bitcoin-qt or any other client. so your money is not "locked" like with a web-wallet or a wallet where an encrypted wallet is stored in the cloud. it is all on YOUR phone and in YOUR backups.

Also, if you need to decrypt the 2-factor backup key without a Smartphone, the code is Apache Licensed at https://raw.github.com/mycelium-com/wallet/master/public/bitlib/src/main/java/com/mrd/bitlib/crypto/MrdExport.java and a textual decription of the algorithm is in the pdf.
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November 26, 2013, 09:09:04 AM
 #446

Both models have their pros and cons. Some prefer one, some prefer the other.  We need as much diversity in bitcoinland as we can get. Not everyone wants the chicken to taste the same.

Mycelium let's you hold your private keys private.
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November 26, 2013, 09:30:59 AM
 #447

Both models have their pros and cons.

What's the pro of relying on a proprietary centralized service? The only pro I can think of is support for importing private keys, but that's a dangerous operation anyway.

Bitcoin Wallet for Android: Your own Bitcoins, in your own pocket!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.schildbach.wallet
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November 26, 2013, 09:50:47 AM
 #448

Both models have their pros and cons.

What's the pro of relying on a proprietary centralized service? The only pro I can think of is support for importing private keys, but that's a dangerous operation anyway.
Andreas, I am really not trying to pick a fight here. But let me answer your questions.
Importing/exporting private keys is crucial for giving people the freedom to choose another wallet and doing backup/restore. Importing to memory is crucial for cold storage spending, which is quite handy for secure offline storage and swiping a paper slip from a Bitcoin ATM.
We are both relying on proprietary centralized servers to get exchange rates. Mycelium also relies on that to get unspent outputs and transaction history

Mycelium let's you hold your private keys private.
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November 26, 2013, 10:05:17 AM
 #449

Andreas, I am really not trying to pick a fight here. But let me answer your questions.

I just wanted to know the pros. I think the question isn't answered. What's the pro of relying on a centralized service for getting unspent outputs and transaction history?

You're right about the exchange rates. To my knowledge, atm its not possible to get them in a decentralized way.

Bitcoin Wallet for Android: Your own Bitcoins, in your own pocket!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.schildbach.wallet
Jan
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November 26, 2013, 10:24:41 AM
 #450

Andreas, I am really not trying to pick a fight here. But let me answer your questions.

I just wanted to know the pros. I think the question isn't answered. What's the pro of relying on a centralized service for getting unspent outputs and transaction history?

You're right about the exchange rates. To my knowledge, atm its not possible to get them in a decentralized way.


hmm.. I believe I wrote that in my last answer:

Both models have their pros and cons.

What's the pro of relying on a proprietary centralized service? The only pro I can think of is support for importing private keys, but that's a dangerous operation anyway.
Andreas, I am really not trying to pick a fight here. But let me answer your questions.
Importing/exporting private keys is crucial for giving people the freedom to choose another wallet and doing backup/restore. Importing to memory is crucial for cold storage spending, which is quite handy for secure offline storage and swiping a paper slip from a Bitcoin ATM.
We are both relying on proprietary centralized servers to get exchange rates. Mycelium also relies on that to get unspent outputs and transaction history

So to rephrase:
1. Restoring your device and BAM, you are good to go
2. Cold storage spending from a paper backup.
3. Cold storage spending from a Bitcoin ATM paper slip.

Bitcoin Wallet for Android has other benefits, and I really really believe that we need as much diversity as we can get. One size does not fit all.

Mycelium let's you hold your private keys private.
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November 26, 2013, 10:25:57 AM
 #451

I just wanted to know the pros. I think the question isn't answered. What's the pro of relying on a centralized service for getting unspent outputs and transaction history?
This is your thread so i really hate to turn this into an advertisement for our software, but since you insist i cannot refuse Smiley

Well, syncing is much faster, basically instant, if you don't need to scan the blockchain. It would be nice if we could get that from P2P nodes, but since this is not possible we have to be pragmatic.

Also, the amount of possible error states is simpler. In our code, we can assume cooperating peers (so no half-open tcp connections, stalling connections, etc). Syncing once and closing the connection immediately afterwards is much friendlier to the battery than maintaining a background process.

That said, i think it is possible that we can achieve "best of both worlds" by implementing a P2P network where you can efficiently query an UTXO-set in near-constant time, with POW, as outlined here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=88208.0. But since this is not implemented yet, it is not an option so far.
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November 26, 2013, 10:31:57 AM
 #452

so mycelium would, theoretically, be able to provide a simple "enter and swipe" import function for casascius coins?
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November 26, 2013, 10:34:50 AM
 #453

so mycelium would, theoretically, be able to provide a simple "enter and swipe" import function for casascius coins?
It is already there. I would prefer not to clutter this thread with Mycelium stuff. You have to put the string into the clipboard for this to work. (This means trusting the other apps on your device) and then go to Cold Storage and click the "Clipboard" button, and so forth.

Mycelium let's you hold your private keys private.
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November 26, 2013, 10:42:03 AM
 #454

Requesting UTXOs from the P2P network would not require any complicated new protocols because it doesn't need to be authenticated. A remote node can already lie-through-omission due to the Bloom filtering and make you think an output is unspent when really it isn't. A simple query/response protocol would thus not have any different security to today. The complicated part is that not every node operator will want to provide this service, as it's expensive and not needed for normal operation, so we'd need addr handling/peer discovery to work better first.
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November 26, 2013, 10:57:55 AM
 #455

Well, syncing is much faster, basically instant, if you don't need to scan the blockchain. It would be nice if we could get that from P2P nodes, but since this is not possible we have to be pragmatic.

Well, you can get that from the p2p network. Use checkpoints and bloom filters. Both MultiBit and Bitcoin Wallet have proven that this allows for "basically instant" startup.

Quote
Also, the amount of possible error states is simpler. In our code, we can assume cooperating peers (so no half-open tcp connections, stalling connections, etc). Syncing once and closing the connection immediately afterwards is much friendlier to the battery than maintaining a background process.

Agreed. A single request/response is simpler than maintaining a node in a p2p network. However, that problem has been solved.

I believe if there is any significant difference in battery drain its mainly because Bitcoin Wallet can also receive coins (and notify you) in the background, while afaik Mycelium doesn't do that yet (why?).

Quote
That said, i think it is possible that we can achieve "best of both worlds" by implementing a P2P network where you can efficiently query an UTXO-set in near-constant time, with POW, as outlined here: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=88208.0.

I agree. Improving the p2p protocol is exactly the path I'm striving for. See bloom filters, which were designed and implemented as a non-proprietary extension to the p2p protocol in early 2013.

And don't take me wrong. This is not a question of Mycelium vs. Bitcoin Wallet. This is a conflict between centralized and de-centralized. Bitcoin's main benefit is de-centralization, and I want to stick to this idea whereever possible. I agree with Jan that diversity is good for Bitcoin.

Bitcoin Wallet for Android: Your own Bitcoins, in your own pocket!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.schildbach.wallet
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December 02, 2013, 03:38:25 PM
 #456

Just had a weird thought:

Since this wallet can sign and transmit transactions over Bluetooth, doesn't this mean that you can essentially use it as a very secure cold-storage wallet, by disabling all data and internet connection on a separate phone running it, and leaving only Bluetooth powered up?

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December 02, 2013, 04:27:56 PM
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Just had a weird thought:

Since this wallet can sign and transmit transactions over Bluetooth, doesn't this mean that you can essentially use it as a very secure cold-storage wallet, by disabling all data and internet connection on a separate phone running it, and leaving only Bluetooth powered up?

Not so weird, actually a good idea.

I personally would prefer a data connection that is thinner than Bluetooth and one which the user can check. One possibility would be QR codes.

But perhaps Bluetooth is secure enough. I cannot tell.
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December 02, 2013, 04:36:57 PM
 #458

Just had a weird thought:

Since this wallet can sign and transmit transactions over Bluetooth, doesn't this mean that you can essentially use it as a very secure cold-storage wallet, by disabling all data and internet connection on a separate phone running it, and leaving only Bluetooth powered up?

Not so weird, actually a good idea.

I personally would prefer a data connection that is thinner than Bluetooth and one which the user can check. One possibility would be QR codes.

But perhaps Bluetooth is secure enough. I cannot tell.

Hey, that would be neat, add the option to display the signed transaction as one, or a series, of QR codes, in case Bluetooth isn't an option. With used phones becoming so cheap, this might even give Armory and Trezzor some competition.

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December 06, 2013, 07:18:58 PM
 #459

I personally would prefer a data connection that is thinner than Bluetooth and one which the user can check. One possibility would be QR codes.

Hey, that would be neat, add the option to display the signed transaction as one, or a series, of QR codes, in case Bluetooth isn't an option. With used phones becoming so cheap, this might even give Armory and Trezzor some competition.

Sending payments via QR code was implemented a few years ago. Tap a transaction and then the QR button.

Bitcoin Wallet for Android: Your own Bitcoins, in your own pocket!
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=de.schildbach.wallet
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December 06, 2013, 10:27:31 PM
 #460

I personally would prefer a data connection that is thinner than Bluetooth and one which the user can check. One possibility would be QR codes.

Hey, that would be neat, add the option to display the signed transaction as one, or a series, of QR codes, in case Bluetooth isn't an option. With used phones becoming so cheap, this might even give Armory and Trezzor some competition.

Sending payments via QR code was implemented a few years ago. Tap a transaction and then the QR button.

Wait, that's what the little QR thing up there is? HOLY CRAP!!!  Shocked
Question, can you create a transaction, or a series of transactions, without the prior transactions being confirmed yet? Just wondering about using a phone as cold storage options.

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