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Author Topic: Any trustable e-wallet services?  (Read 2909 times)
mroth7684
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May 15, 2012, 10:35:48 AM
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Are there any trustable e-wallet services? I'm looking for one that allows multiple wallets in one account.
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May 15, 2012, 10:58:51 AM
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Don't know what you mean by multiple accounts on one wallets, but my service easywallet.org allows multiple addresses for one wallet. It auto-generates addresses as you use them, while all the previous bitocin addresses are connected to that wallet as well.

This makes payment processing easier (different address for different payer) etc., also adds privacy.

Easywallet.org is obviously meant only for light use, since it relies on the URL key.

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May 15, 2012, 11:06:41 AM
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blockchain.info? Best part is you don't even need to trust them Smiley
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May 15, 2012, 11:48:44 AM
 #4

Definitely instawallet: create as many wallets and name them as you would like.
No signup. Mobile versions: android (instawallet) or iOS (friendlypay).

This service was started by jav and is now operated by Paymium, a company legally registered in France since june 2011. Paymium is privately held and has completed a first round of financing last year.
Other services operated by Paymium: paytunia and bitcoin-central.

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May 15, 2012, 12:57:55 PM
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Paymium also owns Paytunia?
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May 15, 2012, 01:01:41 PM
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Paymium also owns Paytunia?
Yes

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May 15, 2012, 01:50:32 PM
 #7

I would use Easywallet or Instawallet if it's light usage. For heavy usage I'd recommend Blockchain.info wallet, which doesn't require that much trust and a backup of the private key can always be imported in other wallets if the service happens to be offline.

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May 15, 2012, 09:54:37 PM
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+1 for blockchain.info. Works great online and/or with smartphone. And the fact that you are in control of your private keys is extra bonus.
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May 15, 2012, 09:58:52 PM
 #9

blockchain.info or strongcoin.com.  Key decryption is done in browser using javacript.  There is nothing for them to steal, lose, or have stolen.
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May 15, 2012, 11:57:16 PM
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blockchain.info or strongcoin.com.  Key decryption is done in browser using javacript.  There is nothing for them to steal, lose, or have stolen.

Specifically, if the service goes offline (and you've sent yourself a recent backup) you still can use that wallet (offline mode, import into Multibit, for example).

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May 16, 2012, 01:47:20 AM
 #11

just have some diffcult for you" Are there any trustable e-wallet services? "

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May 16, 2012, 07:41:12 AM
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The full list of EWallets -- hosted (e.g., what you get at an exchange or a wallet provider like Paytunia) and hybrid EWallets:
 
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Category:EWallets
 - http://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Category:HybridEWallets

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May 16, 2012, 11:55:36 AM
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For heavy usage I'd recommend Blockchain.info wallet, which doesn't require that much trust and a backup of the private key can always be imported in other wallets if the service happens to be offline.

Paytunia can be just as well considered a safer option because the user can recover a forgotten password through KYC procedure.
With a client-side encrypted wallet, if the user forgets/loses his/her strong password, he/she is done.
That's why I would stay away from being judgmental about one or the other options: they are just different but none can be said "better" or "safer".

As far as "requiring more or less trust" (you have to trust your memory or your service provider), I would find it remarkable that some people would not trust a fully registered bitcoin service provider like Paymium for say 100 BTC yet leave their lifetime savings money in their bank account.

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May 16, 2012, 02:02:48 PM
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For heavy usage I'd recommend Blockchain.info wallet, which doesn't require that much trust and a backup of the private key can always be imported in other wallets if the service happens to be offline.

Paytunia can be just as well considered a safer option because the user can recover a forgotten password through KYC procedure.
With a client-side encrypted wallet, if the user forgets/loses his/her strong password, he/she is done.
That's why I would stay away from being judgmental about one or the other options: they are just different but none can be said "better" or "safer".

As far as "requiring more or less trust" (you have to trust your memory or your service provider), I would find it remarkable that some people would not trust a fully registered bitcoin service provider like Paymium for say 100 BTC yet leave their lifetime savings money in their bank account.

I'm not sure you've understood how blockchain.info and strongcoin work.  You literally don't trust them.  Your wallet is held encrypted on their server, so they never see the private keys and hence cannot steal the contents.

(The above isn't entirely true, since it wouldn't be hard for them to inject javascript that stole them when you opened your wallet -- but it's certainly a number of steps more secure than a hosted wallet like instawallet or easywallet)

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May 16, 2012, 02:18:30 PM
 #15

I'm not sure you've understood how blockchain.info and strongcoin work.  You literally don't trust them.  Your wallet is held encrypted on their server, so they never see the private keys and hence cannot steal the contents.

(The above isn't entirely true, since it wouldn't be hard for them to inject javascript that stole them when you opened your wallet -- but it's certainly a number of steps more secure than a hosted wallet like instawallet or easywallet)
He understands perfectly well.
He's just saying that blockchain.info is a really really good wallet, but it just isn't a one-size-fits-all solution.

The point is that non-hosted wallets rely entirely on the user backing everything up properly, not forgetting their passwords, not getting a virus infection on their device etc. If that's what a user requires it's perfectly respectable, but that comes at the price of some convenience.

(Oh, and if you were planning on mentioning e-mail backups remember that e-mail accounts are most of the time... hosted Cheesy)

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May 16, 2012, 02:36:57 PM
 #16

As far as "requiring more or less trust" (you have to trust your memory or your service provider), I would find it remarkable that some people would not trust a fully registered bitcoin service provider like Paymium for say 100 BTC yet leave their lifetime savings money in their bank account.

Client side ewallets allow making offline backups and paper backups.  The e-wallet provider is simply "hosting" the wallet.  The wallet, keys, and funds are not tied to the wallet provider.  

Trust is very hard to quantify.

Say you can 100% trust the owner of Paymium?  My guess is you likely can.

Can you also trust every employee of theirs?  
Can you trust they have no flaws which can be hacked?
Can you trust they have made no mistakes which would result in the keys being lost/destroyed?  
Can you trust their govt won't seize the funds through use of court order?
Can you trust those with access to the keys will never in the future be tempted to steal (say owner loses his job and risks foreclosure)?
Can you trust the owners (or those w/ access to the keys) can't be coerced/threatened/forced into revealing the keys?

If some criminals broke into the home of the owner of Paymium and threatened to start cutting off his/her children's fingers can you trust that his "oath" to depositors is strong enough to see his child get tortured instead of revealing the keys?

Trust goes deep, very deep.  It isn't just trusting the owner isn't a scammer.  BTW most people don't trust banks they trust the fact that the funds are insured.  Take away FDIC and all private insurance of bank accounts and I would imagine the amount of funds on deposit would be reduced significantly.  

By keeping the keys client side it simply eliminates the entire question.  Maybe (unlikely but maybe) the answer to all those questions above are "yes" but even if they are it is impossible to prove (and may change in the future) and if they are "No" you likely aren't going to find out until the funds are gone.
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May 16, 2012, 03:08:34 PM
 #17

As far as "requiring more or less trust" (you have to trust your memory or your service provider), I would find it remarkable that some people would not trust a fully registered bitcoin service provider like Paymium for say 100 BTC yet leave their lifetime savings money in their bank account.

Client side ewallets allow making offline backups and paper backups.  The e-wallet provider is simply "hosting" the wallet.  The wallet, keys, and funds are not tied to the wallet provider.  

You sound like you belong to the group "I 'd rather trust my memory" and this is a large, healthy group.

Another group of people might decide to trust us with whatever bitcoin amount they feel comfortable with.
Unlike traditional banks, a bitcoin bank like paytunia does not impose high entry/exit costs.
With instawallet even, we are only one click away from our competition and that's fine.
We believe that is the kind of freedom we want our customers to enjoy, that they did not have before bitcoin.


You could be coerced into revealing your keys, just like the owners of paymium or anybody else.
A paper wallet can be compromised without its owner knowing it until the coins are gone.
That's also why we believe we provide a useful service.
We have thought and we keep thinking about security.

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May 17, 2012, 09:11:01 AM
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I'm not sure you've understood how blockchain.info and strongcoin work.  You literally don't trust them.  Your wallet is held encrypted on their server, so they never see the private keys and hence cannot steal the contents.

(The above isn't entirely true, since it wouldn't be hard for them to inject javascript that stole them when you opened your wallet -- but it's certainly a number of steps more secure than a hosted wallet like instawallet or easywallet)
He understands perfectly well.
He's just saying that blockchain.info is a really really good wallet, but it just isn't a one-size-fits-all solution.

I'm certainly not arguing that it is.  But the debate is about e-wallets; limiting ourselves to those only, then wallet-in-browser gives you more flexibility than hosted-bitcoind.

The point is that non-hosted wallets rely entirely on the user backing everything up properly, not forgetting their passwords, not getting a virus infection on their device etc. If that's what a user requires it's perfectly respectable, but that comes at the price of some convenience.

I'm not sure I've understood what you're saying here (there is ambiguity) because non-hosted could refer to multiple categories.  To my mind there are three key types of wallet:

  • Hosted bitcoind -- the private key is entirely accessibly by the provider, and the web page is merely an interface to a few bitcoind command line/rpc commands.  Instawallet, easywallet, Mt.Gox, pretty much every website that uses bitcoin-funded accounts are all in this category.
  • Proxied bitcoind -- the signing and management of the wallet is done entirely in the browser (or I suppose in a customised app), the web service is simply providing an online interface to the blockchain to allow querying of balances, etc.  As a convenience these services also provide the ability to store your encrypted wallet with them too, but that is entirely orthogonal to the point -- you could keep that encrypted block entirely on your own device and this principle would still work.  One might reasonably refer to this as a "non-hosted" service.  I believe electrum is working on making such a service easily deployable, so that you would have a choice of servers, and each would be as good as another provided you have your keys locally.
  • A self-hosted bitcoind -- run your own client.  This might also reasonably described as non-hosted.  We're ignoring this class in this discussion, since we're talking online-wallets.

Lumping blockchain/strongcoin/electrum into the "hosted wallet" category does them a disservice.

(Oh, and if you were planning on mentioning e-mail backups remember that e-mail accounts are most of the time... hosted Cheesy)

More importantly they are hosted separately from the wallet service.  It's not very likely that your wallet website and your email service go down at the same time.  Plus, there is nothing to stop you saving that emailed backup anywhere you like while you do have access.  Personally, I have all my email forwarded from gmail as well so there is a copy on my own IMAP server, which is then cached by kmail to every computer I use.  That setup might not be typical, but it isn't even possible with a hosted-wallet.  (Blockchain also offers dropbox backup, so you could in principle have your backup available from blockchain, email and dropbox -- all three would then have to fail for you to lose access to your funds; unlike instawallet/easywallet)

I'm not trying to argue that one of these is better or worse than any of the others, it's horses for courses here.  I'm arguing that there is more to "online wallet" than just picking among basically-identical services, and people should be aware of the danger of services that don't leave you in control of your own keys.

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May 17, 2012, 12:03:50 PM
 #19

I think that it's good that we have different types of e-wallets. The e-wallets that hold private keys might actually be more safe for some people, Mt. Gox for example takes security really seriously these days and is also a real company. Same goes for Paytunia I guess.

I think that there are three types of e-wallets, we have Blockchain.info/Strongcoin where you basically have to rely on your own memory. Then we have robust e-wallets with real companies behind them like Mt. Gox and Paytunia, these are probably very safe also but you're relying on them. Then we have wallets like Easywallet and Instawallet that are super easy to use and rely on URL-addresses, not the safest wallets out there but clearly the most convenient for light usage.

I don't know about you guys, but services like Mt. Gox and Paytunia fall in the middle for me when I recommend people to use Bitcoin. I primarily recommend Easywallet for new users because it's just the best for someone just trying Bitcoin out. Then when a person starts using Bitcoin more and really gets it, he should take care of his own coins in the spirit of Bitcoin, not hand them out to 3rd parties. That's where Blockchain.info comes in.

Not that I have anything against Gox or Paytunia, definitely not. I hold some coins at Gox myself, in fact I wouldn't put all my eggs in one basket whatever that basket happens to be. It might be healthy to have some coins taken care by yourself and some by a reputable e-wallet, especially if you have a lot of them.

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May 17, 2012, 12:54:47 PM
 #20

Don't forget Strongcoin.
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