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Author Topic: Questions about Bitcoin, USB, and encryption  (Read 856 times)
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February 20, 2012, 09:01:06 PM

Hello all. This is my first time posting and I am interested into getting into bitcoins. I have a question and I hope someone can help me answer it. So here goes...

First, I have been reading the forums and like the idea of having a wallet for spending and a wallet for saving. So I would like to set that up. I have a small 8gb usb that I will carry around and a external hard drive with encrypted partitions for my savings wallet and where I will back up both wallets.

Setting up the savings wallet first:

1. Should I use linux or windows or does it matter?
2. Can I save these wallets and their respective backups in a truecrypt volume?
3. Should I make a hard copy of the wallet(s) (cd, or another USB, or in another partition on the external hard drive)?
4. The external hdd has four partitions (3NTFS, 1Ext4) with two of them encrypted with truecrypt. Any suggestions on how I should store the savings wallet and backups?

Now the spending wallet:

What I would like to do is make the usb a general purpose carry around stick. I want it to have an unencrypted area for truecrypt to run and normal files. Then using truecrypt, I want to have an outer volume for my important documents and portable apps. Then inside this, a hidden volume carrying my bitcoin wallet/client. I want to use bitcoins but have an enormous need for privacy and need to know if this kind of setup is possible. I saw the bootable solution for usb stick, but I don't want to boot a computer, just plug my stick in, open the encrypted volume, do my thing, and move on. More often it will be on a personal computer, but in case I am traveling, I want to be able to use it. Which brings the question again, linux or windows?

Thanks in advance for thoughts and considerations.
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February 20, 2012, 09:27:46 PM

What I do is this. My "savings" wallet is encrypted and stored on more than one USB stick. Both hidden at my property and a copy is with a trusted friend. My spending wallet is encrypted using the client and a backup is stored encrypted and hidden online, I don't keep much there.

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February 21, 2012, 02:18:14 AM

Well Ubuntu can be booted from a USB and as such you would be able to use it anywhere - even on computers with no bitcoin client and which do not normally allow the installation of one.

Theoretically this would allow you to use restricted library or university or weird internet bar computers with IPs that can't be tied to you at anytime.

But if you just want to load and go windows is more widespread.
It should be possible to keep a linux BTC client and windows both on the same stick though, although I only think Ubuntu could RUN from the stick.

As for encrypting the wallet and backup this is my plan (only setup one wallet yet, I'll make another soon):
1. Using 0.52 client choose "encrypt wallet".
2. Create NEW keys/addresses during LOCKED mode and use only these henceforth. (Long pass I don't use often of course)
3. Copy wallet and compress it with RAR and choose encrypt with another different password.
4. Put this double secured wallet in email, sugarsync, phone and harddisk.
5. There can apparently be leaks between addresses in a wallet due to optimizations by the client - keep public addresses in one wallet and your private savings addresses in another wallet.

1. Tor sounds nice, but I would not trust it, not alone anyway.
2. Instead ONLY sign with the private keys from IP addresses that cannot be easily tied to you.
3. Some of your addresses will be publicly tied to you as your mtgox account or what not, do not send directly from these to your savings addresses.
4. The only truly anonymous pattern would be, for example: Mt.Gox BTC -> Pub. addr. -> 1 NEW addr. -> Many new address -> -||- -> STOP.
The money now looks like it was spent, re-spent and got stuck/saved up by someone in the natural market though the "tree branches" should be a bit more irregular/longer in length than this.
(Perhaps have a receive/spend wallet, an intermediary wallet and a secret store wallet for this).
5. Also think about timing here, imagine: X, Y and Z amounts of BTC separately leave your public account J2 on day 1-3 and EXACTLY amounts X, Y and Z end up in accounts A2-G2 the SAME separate days 1-3 without delay.

Many transactions -> some fees.
Complicated -> a few hours.
Getting away with tax frauding a bad government -> Priceless.

Eh obfuscator services rerouting/mixing coins a lot also exist, might be better, though I don't know much about them.

Hope that helps anyway; IP, transaction path and transaction timing.

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