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Author Topic: E-Wallet better or not?  (Read 2798 times)
worldinacoin
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October 05, 2011, 10:51:07 AM
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I am thinking of getting an E-Wallet as it helps me consolidate all the bitcoins together.  Is there any you can recommend that can allow me to store as well as change to other coins or USD etc?  Also any pros and cons of doing such?
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October 05, 2011, 11:13:34 AM
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When storing your bitcoins with a browser-based wallet on a third-party website, you are trusting that the operator will not abscond with your bitcoins, and that the bitcoins will not be stolen by a hacker or the operator's employee or agent, beyond the website operator's control.
- http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Browser-based_wallet

Here's the list.
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Category:EWallets

One of the factors that might be important is for the service to have multi-factor authenticaton.  Some of the exchanges can be used as an ewallet and support multi-factor auth, but others do not.

WalletBit has a paper-based multifactor authentication method.

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October 05, 2011, 11:16:16 AM
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https://vibanko.com/
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October 05, 2011, 03:13:32 PM
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I own the largest one... but of course do your research and decide what you want.  There are a few of them out there...  mt.gox has one,  tradehill is building one,  there are a handful of others...    instawallet is one for small amounts of bitcoins...  

I would just research and talk to people and see what you believe is the best one....






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October 05, 2011, 03:45:29 PM
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The lesson I learned from the Mybitcoin scam was to never use another online wallet again.  It doesn't matter how secure the wallet is, there is nothing preventing the owner from walking away with all your money.  Remember, Bitcoin has absolutely no property rights. This is a huge downfall that will have to be addressed before widespread adoption can take place. Until then, secure your coins yourself.  The client isn't that hard to use and now has encrypted wallets.  And this forum is full of ways to securely back up wallets.

Losing hundreds of Bitcoins with the best scammers in the business - BFL, Avalon, KNC, HashFast.
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October 05, 2011, 04:07:59 PM
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The lesson I learned from the Mybitcoin scam was to never use another online wallet again.  It doesn't matter how secure the wallet is, there is nothing preventing the owner from walking away with all your money.  Remember, Bitcoin has absolutely no property rights. This is a huge downfall that will have to be addressed before widespread adoption can take place. Until then, secure your coins yourself.  The client isn't that hard to use and now has encrypted wallets.  And this forum is full of ways to securely back up wallets.

The client is the problem.    You can't access it easily from your mobile phone,  your work computer if you have it installed at home,  etc.

MyBitCoin was a complete scam...    but just because you had that doesn't mean that every freaking bitcoin company out there is a scam...   Is Mt.Gox a scam?  Tradehill a scam? 




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October 05, 2011, 04:52:39 PM
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The lesson I learned from the Mybitcoin scam was to never use another online wallet again.  It doesn't matter how secure the wallet is, there is nothing preventing the owner from walking away with all your money.  Remember, Bitcoin has absolutely no property rights. This is a huge downfall that will have to be addressed before widespread adoption can take place. Until then, secure your coins yourself.  The client isn't that hard to use and now has encrypted wallets.  And this forum is full of ways to securely back up wallets.


That's the wrong lesson to learn. The correct lesson is, "be careful." And another good lesson is, "don't store lots of money with someone you don't fully trust."

ewallets are fantastic for small amounts of bitcoins, but large piles of savings should be properly stored on your own backed up wallet.dat in multiple secure places.

It's important to remember that every place you store bitcoins has risk. Holding a wallet.dat has risk of user error/negligence, which can be worse than the risk of an ewallet provider running off with your money. And there are things preventing ewallet owners from stealing everyone's money, 1) long-term profit motive and 2) genuine good character (which is the majority of business owners).
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October 05, 2011, 04:57:01 PM
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The lesson I learned from the Mybitcoin scam was to never use another online wallet again.  It doesn't matter how secure the wallet is, there is nothing preventing the owner from walking away with all your money.  Remember, Bitcoin has absolutely no property rights. This is a huge downfall that will have to be addressed before widespread adoption can take place. Until then, secure your coins yourself.  The client isn't that hard to use and now has encrypted wallets.  And this forum is full of ways to securely back up wallets.

The client is the problem.    You can't access it easily from your mobile phone,  your work computer if you have it installed at home,  etc.

MyBitCoin was a complete scam...    but just because you had that doesn't mean that every freaking bitcoin company out there is a scam...   Is Mt.Gox a scam?  Tradehill a scam? 


Oh, i've read that SO many times in the market forum of EVE Online.

And everytime a new scam appeared. Not only that, but each time they scammed more and more money. And yet they are "yes but not everything is a scam", and people keep investing...erh...getting scammed.
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October 05, 2011, 05:04:14 PM
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MyBitCoin was a complete scam...    but just because you had that doesn't mean that every freaking bitcoin company out there is a scam...   Is Mt.Gox a scam?  Tradehill a scam? 

Of course not every company is a scam but the problem is if the wallet you chose turns out to be a scam it is little compensation to know there are other companies which aren't a scam.  

Also not everything starts as a scam.  IMHO MyBitCoin was started as a legitimate service at some point the greed and ease of theft was too much.  I mean with bitcoin it is too easy.  The "money" is under the wallet owners control.  They can simply walk away and it is theirs.

I wouldn't trust an online wallet.  Nothing against Flexcoin but are you a publicly registered company?  In DUNS?  Do you/your company have any assets?  If I needed to could I find you to file a lawsuit in civil court?  Are you willing to sign any contract or terms of service making you personally liable for any wallet funds stolen as a result of your negligence? Do you have sufficient assets to make such a contract worth anything?  Willing to make those assets public or post a bond so depositors have some reassurance of being repaid?

With the current state of bitcoin economy and operators essentially an online wallet is trust.  The user is handing irrevocable funds to another person backed up only by trust that they will do (and continue to do) the right thing.

The "real world equivalent" would be thinking it is a good idea to send large amounts of cash via mail to an anonymous entity not regulated by any government so they can keep your money safe and pay bills for you. Would you do that?  Maybe it isn't a scam but the risk is significant.  Yet somehow because it is bitcoin the exact same idea (except using even easier to steal & get away with it) is seen as legitimate.
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October 05, 2011, 05:09:38 PM
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.

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October 05, 2011, 05:16:44 PM
 #11

I would cheerfully use an online wallet for small amounts I expect to spend soon, but would prefer a paper wallet for keeping longer term amounts.

Now that MtGox has a paper wallet redeemer, there's no reason not to.

Companies claiming they got hacked and lost your coins sounds like fraud so perfect it could be called fashionable.  I never believe them.  If I ever experience the misfortune of a real intrusion, I declare I have been honest about the way I have managed the keys in Casascius Coins.  I maintain no ability to recover or reproduce the keys, not even under limitless duress or total intrusion.  Remember that trusting strangers with your coins without any recourse is, as a matter of principle, not a best practice.  Don't keep coins online. Use paper or hardware wallets instead.
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October 05, 2011, 05:47:05 PM
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Well I didn't mean to start a war here.  I didn't say every Bitcoin company is a scam.  And I didn't say I lost money with Mybitcoin.  My statement is still accurate.  Bitcoin holders have no legally enforceable property rights.  Don't confuse possession with property rights.  I have possession of my car, but if I don't make my payments the bank can take it away - because they have property rights.  So if any e-wallet or exchange holder wants to, they can walk away with everything and face no legal action.  It's in all the disclaimers.  I'm not saying they will, I'm saying they can - and that is a huge issue for Bitcoin.  We need property rights.  If I steal your computer, or hack into it and send all your coins to me, I can be prosecuted for computer theft or hacking, but not for the theft of the coins.  And you have no legal recourse to get those coins back.  Unfortunately we have to rely on government agencies to enforce any property rights.  I think the community and especially the large exchanges and e-wallets need to get more involved and pressure these agencies for rights.  A theft from from an exchange or e-wallet affects the owners as much as the customers, and each one is a huge blow the community at large.

And evoorhees, you are one of the most well spoken in libertarian philosophy I've seen on this forum. I would hope someone with your knowledge would understand the importance of property rights as related to Bitcoins success, and help move the community forward with this.  Bitcoin will not become widely accepted without property rights.

Losing hundreds of Bitcoins with the best scammers in the business - BFL, Avalon, KNC, HashFast.
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October 05, 2011, 06:00:02 PM
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Are you willing to sign any contract or terms of service making you personally liable for any wallet funds stolen as a result of your negligence?

No, Bitcoins do not have FDIC insurance. as noted in the TOS Sad

I believe you answered the question "Are you FDIC insured?" and not the original question asked.  This seems like a red flag that if because of something you/your company did wrong and bitcoins were stolen you would not repay them.

I personally will not use an ewallet where my bitcoins are not guaranteed to be there.
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October 05, 2011, 06:49:36 PM
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Are you willing to sign any contract or terms of service making you personally liable for any wallet funds stolen as a result of your negligence?

No, Bitcoins do not have FDIC insurance. as noted in the TOS Sad

I believe you answered the question "Are you FDIC insured?" and not the original question asked.  This seems like a red flag that if because of something you/your company did wrong and bitcoins were stolen you would not repay them.

I personally will not use an ewallet where my bitcoins are not guaranteed to be there.

I wouldn't use your desktop either for the same reason.   Because honestly "something we did"  can be widely interpreted as "allowed yourself to get hacked"  or even more likely "allowed someone to impersonate me and use my username and password and e-mail to steal my bitcoins"

Hence it was the users fault,  but I would be liable.

It's a topic that I don't think any single organization,  from US to Mt. Gox to Tradehill can fix,  including the end users desktop client..  who knows what malware is sending crap out...   you get the point.





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October 05, 2011, 06:52:54 PM
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Are you willing to sign any contract or terms of service making you personally liable for any wallet funds stolen as a result of your negligence?

No, Bitcoins do not have FDIC insurance. as noted in the TOS Sad

I believe you answered the question "Are you FDIC insured?" and not the original question asked.  This seems like a red flag that if because of something you/your company did wrong and bitcoins were stolen you would not repay them.

I personally will not use an ewallet where my bitcoins are not guaranteed to be there.

I wouldn't use your desktop either for the same reason.   Because honestly "something we did"  can be widely interpreted as "allowed yourself to get hacked"  or even more likely "allowed someone to impersonate me and use my username and password and e-mail to steal my bitcoins"

Hence it was the users fault,  but I would be liable.

If it's the users fault, then you shouldn't be liable (such as them having an easy to guess username/pw combo).  But if your system is setup in such a way that someone is able to exploit a security hole and steal bitcoins because of it you should be liable.

There are some good guides out there that tell you how to setup a secure wallet on your computer, so I consider keeping my coins on my computer pretty safe.  A hacker is much more likely to go for one place where a lot of bitcoins are stored (such as an ewallet service).
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October 05, 2011, 06:56:43 PM
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I think the guy that had 25,000 coins vanish from his compromised desktop might disagree... but I do cede to you that there are still structural problems with bitcoins that will take time to fix.


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October 06, 2011, 01:43:38 AM
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.

Just curious why that post was cleared.

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October 06, 2011, 03:28:03 AM
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For savings long term I'd go with the P-Wallet... paper wallet. Just as easy to use for receiving money and only a minor inconvenience for spending.  

Print a page of address/keys using bitaddress.org (offline from a livecd boot if you prefer) and send coin to addresses on your page. Maybe spread it over a few addresses so that you can redeem some portion independently of the total. Make copies and store in your safe/deposit box.

MtGox now lets you dump a key into your account and I expect in the future there will be more options for importing keys. Hopefully pywallet will someday support importing a key into an encrypted wallet, or even better the client itself.

Given that another exchange was hacked today, and the history of this occurring, I just can't see trusting money to unproven startups as a good idea.

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October 06, 2011, 08:15:44 AM
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I have a better idea

Why don't you find someone who is capable of re-writing the official Bitcoin client in PHP, with a small addition like built-in authentication having the password scrambled with one of your keys (256-bit PKI authentication). Make sure you trust him not to embed a trojan horse in the code though.

Then find a reputable and well established web-hosting service company and rent a single page php only account (<$10/year), where you run your PHP script Bitcoin client.

That way you can have your wallet in the cloud, accessible from any device you may have, regularly backed-up by the cloud service, but still keep it private and secure and sleep peacefully knowing that no stammer can steel your BTC.



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October 06, 2011, 08:37:47 AM
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I have a better idea

Why don't you find someone who is capable of re-writing the official Bitcoin client in PHP, with a small addition like built-in authentication having the password scrambled with one of your keys (256-bit PKI authentication). Make sure you trust him not to embed a trojan horse in the code though.

Then find a reputable and well established web-hosting service company and rent a single page php only account (<$10/year), where you run your PHP script Bitcoin client.

That way you can have your wallet in the cloud, accessible from any device you may have, regularly backed-up by the cloud service, but still keep it private and secure and sleep peacefully knowing that no stammer can steel your BTC.

The Vibanko.com sourcecode is open:
https://gitorious.org/vibanko

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