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Author Topic: Most people are not capable of keeping their wallets safe?  (Read 5453 times)
theboos
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June 10, 2011, 03:05:14 PM
 #41

We don't ask anyone to take that risk.

This is the price of ultimately controlling your own money. Bitcoin makes it possible to store money in a single file; anyone who does not like this should not be using Bitcoin. If you are likely to forget a password, don't encrypt the file, but risk theft. If you don't want to back up a file, try your luck with the longevity of a hard drive. This entire thread is debating a security "threat" that is inherent in any system which gives you direct possession of anything.

That's fine, if you want bitcoin to only be used by libertarian nerds.


I'd be interested to hear your ideas for how we might make Bitcoin secure for those who won't back up their wallet and won't remember their password without losing the decentralized aspect of Bitcoin. Bitcoin appeals to "libertarian nerds" because it gives users control over their own money. Would you give up control in exchange for security despite laziness? Use a USD bank.

Quote from: phatsphere
exactly what i think. my "dream" is some kind of banking or credit card, that has an intrinsic unique key and a passphrase -- just like EC cards today have. your actual wallet is stored at a central bank and thats where the real transaction happens.
the device where you put the card in just get's a token for verification and that also enables instant payouts. especially, the "bank", where your wallet actually is, pays for you and also manages your wallet to get the confirmations later.

Bitcoin banking of this type would be an excellent business for anyone who wants to build it. It would allow some people to give up control in exchange for security/convenience, but not force it upon all users. Though you'd still have to rely on a user remembering his or her password.
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newguy05
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June 10, 2011, 03:34:09 PM
 #42

It simply isn't reasonable to ask people to take the risk that their money can disappear because of an unbacked-up file.

It simply isn't reasonable to ask people tot ake the risk that their paper dollar can disappear because of losing their wallet.  oh wait..but it is reasonable...
lemonginger
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June 10, 2011, 04:10:37 PM
 #43

It simply isn't reasonable to ask people to take the risk that their money can disappear because of an unbacked-up file.

It simply isn't reasonable to ask people tot ake the risk that their paper dollar can disappear because of losing their wallet.  oh wait..but it is reasonable...

The average person if much more comfortable with keeping track of a physical wallet than a file that can be corrupted/deleted/etc (yes I know its crazy. the file can be copied and backed up in 72 different places and the physical wallet only exists in one place! but its also true. Only a very small percentage of the population is comfortable with assets that exist only in intangible form)

Here are suggestions
- Ability for automatic offsite encrypted backups that occur after every transaction (storing bitcoins in the cloud) and "password recovery" features in those cloud services
- Ability to easily use multiple wallets and transfer between wallets (I'm talking large buttons in the client that are like "Checking Wallet" "Savings Wallet" etc)
- Ability to have a physical card that bitcoins can be transferred to
- Easier ability to store bitcoins in a bitcoin bank
- Bitcoin banks with legally binding guarantees (ie; you can store up to 10000 BTC with us and if we get hacked or detrayo your btc somehow, we are on the hook)
- More services like My Bitcoin

There are no alterations that destroy the ability of BTC to be used exactly as they are now, just modifications that allow some users to forgo some decentralization or some pseudonymity for ease of use/greater security/whatever.
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June 10, 2011, 04:25:59 PM
 #44

Would it be possible to have some kind of program running that checks if any process other than the Bitcoin program is acessing the wallet.dat file, and if so, then pop-up a warning?

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theboos
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June 10, 2011, 06:21:21 PM
 #45

Ability for automatic offsite encrypted backups that occur after every transaction (storing bitcoins in the cloud) and "password recovery" features in those cloud services

Someone could sell a "cloud client" that does this. However, you have to trust the provider that they won't use your Bitcoins.

Ability to easily use multiple wallets and transfer between wallets (I'm talking large buttons in the client that are like "Checking Wallet" "Savings Wallet" etc)

Wallets should be easily importable and exportable from the GUI. However, simultaneous usage of multiple wallets would be more confusing, don't you think? The whole point of the "savings" wallet idea is that you generate an address and then send money to it periodically, but you don't need to open the wallet unless you want to send from it.

Ability to have a physical card that bitcoins can be transferred to

If we're assuming that people can't back up or remember a password, the current QR code implementation in Bitbills probably won't be useful. I suppose someone could just encrypt and distribute their wallet and then write their password on a piece of paper and use it as a "Bitcoin card", but then the security of all of your money is dependent on a single piece of paper.

Easier ability to store bitcoins in a bitcoin bank

Bitcoin banks might be an excellent business but the market doesn't exist yet. Right now most people are content to control their own money.

Bitcoin banks with legally binding guarantees (ie; you can store up to 10000 BTC with us and if we get hacked or detrayo your btc somehow, we are on the hook)

Who would enforce this? The US? Bitcoin is not legally considered a currency anywhere to my knowledge. The bank could in fact just take your bitcoins and not return them. There would be zero legal repercussions.

More services like My Bitcoin

Sure, the market will decide, but this would be an easy way to steal people's bitcoins.


It seems like you're describing Paypal. It has a worldwide network, an easy to use interface, option of physical card, legal liability, and an online banking system. Apart from fees, there's no reason for anyone who can't back up or remember a password to use Bitcoin at all instead of Paypal.
lemonginger
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June 10, 2011, 06:46:38 PM
 #46

Who would enforce this? The US? Bitcoin is not legally considered a currency anywhere to my knowledge. The bank could in fact just take your bitcoins and not return them. There would be zero legal repercussions.

So we can't have binding contracts in a bitcoin world? That would kinda suck.

Quote
More services like My Bitcoin
Quote
Sure, the market will decide, but this would be an easy way to steal people's bitcoins.

For a short period of time anyway. Presumably there is more money to be made in offering a service without scamming than with scamming. And whether or not bitcoins are recognized as a currency, there is nothing saying they aren't of any value, so that if you steal them from me and I know who you are, and my philosophy/politics do not go against getting the police involved, that I can't attempt to have you arrested for theft. Presumably a "trusted bitcoin bank" would be transparent as to who they were and seek something like voluntary regulation/certification.

If I have a choice between depositing with a bitcoin bank that tells me they are doing business as such and such in such and such a country and here are the regulations they are operating under versus a bitcoin bank that has none of that, it's not a really hard decision where to park some money.

Quote
It seems like you're describing Paypal. It has a worldwide network, an easy to use interface, option of physical card, legal liability, and an online banking system. Apart from fees, there's no reason for anyone who can't back up or remember a password to use Bitcoin at all instead of Paypal.

You're kidding, right? I can think of about 50 reasons why people might want to use BTC rather than paypal that have absolutely nothing to do with passwords, backups, or wallet.dat files.
lonestranger
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June 11, 2011, 02:23:28 AM
 #47

I like to keep three copies of my wallet file. One I encrypt and leave in the /.bitcoin (in linux) folder then delete the original, not just move to trash. Then I make two copies of the encrypted file and store one on a remote server, the other on a USB stick well hidden. That is a lot of hassle, but what else can i do?

So you leave an encrypted version of wallet.dat in your .bitcoin folder. What does your client do when it sniffs around and finds no wallet.dat file?
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