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Author Topic: Isn't wallet a bad name for your bitcoin keys?  (Read 2065 times)
cyberzac
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December 27, 2011, 05:42:11 PM
 #1

I think that the word wallet is a bad choice? My reasons are:

  • Your bit coins are not stored in your wallet.
  • A copy of your wallet is the same as the original

A much better name is bitcoin-keyring, you have a bitcoin-address and a corresponding bitcoin-key stored in your keyring.
It's easy to understand that if you lose your key you can't access your bitcoins. If somebody get a copy of your key, they can take your coins.


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n2liquid
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December 27, 2011, 06:16:03 PM
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I agree the name "wallet" is misleading, but I think the idea is to make it more friendly to the average user. Not to mention, Bitcoin wallets aren't that far from normal wallets... I mean, somebody steals your wallet, somebody steals your money. You lose your wallet, you lose the money in it.

The only thing off is wallet clones, but people are used to that from credit card and cellphone frauds, which are equally hard to explain if you think about it. So I dunno.

In any case, the name wallet is already out in the wild, and, unfortunately, we could hardly change it if we had to, I think.
kokjo
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December 27, 2011, 06:23:45 PM
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  • Your bit coins are not stored in your wallet.

yes they are. Tongue the recviving transaction are, and they are having a merkletree into the blockchain.

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DeathAndTaxes
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December 27, 2011, 07:44:38 PM
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I agree the name "wallet" is misleading, but I think the idea is to make it more friendly to the average user. Not to mention, Bitcoin wallets aren't that far from normal wallets... I mean, somebody steals your wallet, somebody steals your money. You lose your wallet, you lose the money in it.

The only thing off is wallet clones, but people are used to that from credit card and cellphone frauds, which are equally hard to explain if you think about it. So I dunno.

In any case, the name wallet is already out in the wild, and, unfortunately, we could hardly change it if we had to, I think.

Yup.  If you find a lost wallet you find the funds.
If someone sneaks into your wallet and moves the money out you are still broke.
SpontaneousDisorder
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December 27, 2011, 08:58:00 PM
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Maybe its more like a bank account card.
kokjo
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December 27, 2011, 09:59:35 PM
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I just <3 the newbie forum. Smiley

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December 28, 2011, 01:30:25 AM
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I guess this is more of a complaint against the FAQs than the wallet file name, but having it named "keyring" or "keys" would have helped me out at least a little.  I can see where the OP is coming from, but I know why the developers chose that name.

When I was first learning about bitcoin, I had trouble understanding what the wallet file exactly was and how it was tied to my bitcoin addresses.  I had to do way too much hunting just to figure out that your bitcoin addresses are tied to your public keys and the wallet contains these and the private keys.  The other thing that I think needs to be explained better and placed up front is "change."
Peter.C
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December 28, 2011, 05:48:10 AM
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You make a good point, but on the other hand, I feel like someone should be putting that onto a t-shirt...
Queelis
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December 28, 2011, 07:40:58 AM
 #9

Never had an issue. 'tis yer wallit, ye keep yer monies in it.

Why on earth would I have a keyring for money?
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December 28, 2011, 01:37:54 PM
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Never had an issue. 'tis yer wallit, ye keep yer monies in it.

Why on earth would I have a keyring for money?

Exactly.  Most users are never going to understand or care about how keypairs, transaction signing, and block hashing work.

They have a wallet.  It has money.  You need to protect the wallet like you would your physical wallet.  You spend money and you have less in your wallet.  You get paid and you have more in your wallet.

It doesn't need to be any more complicated than that.  Satoshi intentionally chose to abstract away the concept of keys which is why the wallet simply shows your "balance" not a list of dozens or hundreds of keys with current balance and transactions associated with each key.
DmanX
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December 29, 2011, 06:33:03 AM
 #11

What about purse then? A more universal word than wallet.
kokjo
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December 29, 2011, 10:25:12 AM
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What about purse then? A more universal word than wallet.
because wallet was the word chosen by Satoshi. are you are about to go against Satoshi? do you want to fight?

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December 29, 2011, 07:04:06 PM
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What about purse then? A more universal word than wallet.
it's too girly

It is pitch black. You are likely to be eaten by a grue.

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netrin
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December 30, 2011, 04:48:39 AM
 #14

I think that the word wallet is a bad choice? My reasons are:

  • Your bit coins are not stored in your wallet.
  • A copy of your wallet is the same as the original

A much better name is bitcoin-keyring, you have a bitcoin-address and a corresponding bitcoin-key stored in your keyring.
It's easy to understand that if you lose your key you can't access your bitcoins. If somebody get a copy of your key, they can take your coins.

I agree with the OP 100%. I've been advocating 'portfolio', but 'keyring' is good as well. DeathAndTaxes I've read many of your responses to newbies who are thoroughly confused by keys. Why add an unnecessary extra layer of abstraction? People may not understand public key cryptography nor transactions, but 'wallet' goes a long way to hide the truth and keeps people stupid.

Why must one backup a wallet periodically? Why is the cash in my wallet not like real cash? How do I make anonymous transactions? If someone has a copy of my wallet, can I just send and receive all the coins to a new address in my wallet? Why are funds sent to and from my wallet associated and traceable? If someone sends me a wallet, is it mine, can it be trusted, why not? Why do I need to be connected to the internet to confirm my wallet balance? Why does my wallet file get bigger even if my balance gets smaller? Can I delete my old wallet if I create a new one? How can someone have stolen my money if I still have my wallet? What is an address, why don't I just use the same one?

All of these questions are asked - or perhaps should be asked. And the answer invariably contains the notion of keys. Why not call things what they are?: A private local keyring. Keys can be copied and deleted, wallets can not. People generally have multiple keys but one wallet, we can not hide addresses. Addresses are like safe deposit boxes. The analogy of address boxes and keys is easy to understand and very close to the digital reality.

If it looks like a duck and quacks like a duck, maybe it really is a


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ZedZedNova
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December 30, 2011, 05:36:04 AM
 #15

All of these questions are asked - or perhaps should be asked. And the answer invariably contains the notion of keys. Why not call things what they are?: A private local keyring. Keys can be copied and deleted, wallets can not. People generally have multiple keys but one wallet, we can not hide addresses. Addresses are like safe deposit boxes. The analogy of address boxes and keys is easy to understand and very close to the digital reality.

The reason for using existing terminology for new concepts or paradigms is to ease the transition for the masses who are not on the bleeding edge, nor do they care to be.

Think about it in terms of when the automobile was first being produced. They called it a horseless carriage. Some of the early models even had fake horses heads on the front. Why? to ease the transition, to make people feel comfortable with the "new" thing.

Wallet is a convenient, if not entirely accurate, description for the thing that keeps track of you newly acquired crypto currency.

- Zed

netrin
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December 30, 2011, 05:42:43 AM
 #16

A 'wallet' is entirely inaccurate and leads to confusion and money loss. Why is a wallet metaphor which I carry in my right pocket easier to understand than a keyring which I carry in my left pocket? The fact that a keyring more closely resembles the model means that it is the superior metaphor.



The reason for using existing terminology for new concepts or paradigms is to ease the transition for the masses who are not on the bleeding edge, nor do they care to be.

Both wallet and keyring are already in the common English lexicon. A keyring is also commonly used within the digital lexicon while wallet is not. A keyring is exactly the correct terminology as a real world metaphor and an established digital term.

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payb.tc
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December 30, 2011, 06:15:26 AM
 #17

keys = access my house, my car, my post box, my office, my gym locker
wallet = access my money
netrin
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December 30, 2011, 07:23:35 AM
 #18

How does the address metaphor fit in with a wallet?

Oh, that's right. It doesn't.






keys = ... my post box

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kokjo
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December 30, 2011, 10:48:24 AM
 #19

How does the address metaphor fit in with a wallet?

Oh, that's right. It doesn't.






keys = ... my post box
why can't we just not keep is as it is?

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"The whole problem with the world is that fools and fanatics are always so certain of themselves and wiser people so full of doubts." -Bertrand Russell
netrin
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December 30, 2011, 05:11:46 PM
 #20

Because unlike a bike shed, the term 'wallet' is confusing and leads to unfounded assumptions and more importantly, does not lead to important critical assumptions. A metaphor should not just lead to an immediate association (wallet=money) but imply features, extending the users understanding. The wallet metaphor is a dead end. Yes, it's money, but the entire metaphor stops and nothing further can be correctly implied.

Copy wallet = two unique unrelated money vessels
Copy keys = two similar devices granting access to the same vessels

Delete wallet = money falls on the floor
Delete keys = access to money lost

Wallet addresses = makes no sense
Key addresses = similar to postal address, or safe deposit box number

Import keys to wallet = makes no sense
Import keys to keyring = perfectly logical

Backup wallet after receiving change = makes no sense
Backup keyring after generating new keys = perfectly logical

Explaining how bitcoin works with wallet = metaphor is unhelpful, need to describe keys
Explaining how bitcoin works with keyring = useful metaphor that can extend user understanding

Greenlandic tupilak. Hand carved, traditional cursed bone figures. Sorry, polar bear, walrus and human remains not available for export.
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