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Author Topic: Using 1 bitcoin address on website as merchant  (Read 490 times)
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October 25, 2011, 12:30:34 AM

What is the harm in just using one bitcoin address on my site as a merchant?

I know transaction is public, but if I just have user notify me beforehand that they are sending coins to my address will that solve the problem?
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Mike Caldwell
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The Casascius 1oz 10BTC Silver Round (w/ Gold B)

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October 25, 2011, 12:38:05 AM

The harm is that you cannot identify who is paying you (everyone can see your incoming transactions and can try to claim them as their own) and that everyone else can identify activity to you.

Better: generate a big file of addresses (try the "bulk wallet" utility at which can generate thousands of addresses in your web browser in CSV format) and dispense one to each customer.  The private key (the field with a number starting with "5") is the code you need to respend the incoming payments and should be kept secure, preferably offline, definitely off the web server if you can help it, because this is the part any hackers will be after.

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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