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Author Topic: Questions regarding wallets and backing them up  (Read 888 times)
SargeR33 (OP)
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December 24, 2014, 02:08:31 PM
 #1

Hi all,

I hope I do not get flamed for this.

This is all regarding backing up my wallet and such.

Now how does this work? From what I gathered, bitcoins are stored on an address(if you googled my address for example, it would show you all the ins and outs and you could come to a conclusion of the amount of money in that address). Is 1 backup sufficient in this case? Or is my whole thinking wrong and that you need to make a backup every single time your wallet value changes.

I use bitcoin qt wallet. I have my wallet encrypted with a random password stored as a print out in my safe. Is this as safe as I could be? Some suggest using a paper wallet. I used bitaddress.org to generate 3 addresses. How do I use these? Do I simply my send my btc to the addresses on these print outs? How do I then spend it or get the btc out of the account?  Is this a multistep process where you load the address into bitcoin qt then use the private key to unlock the wallet and access the coin? How can I trust that no one else has these numbers?

I really should be good at this but even I am a little confused.

I'm paranoid and you can understand why. An electronic backup of your BTC is never enough. I really would like it down on paper so long I can grasp the methods of storing and accessing my btc.

I did some searching prior to posting this. If these are answered else where please link the relevant sources.

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December 24, 2014, 02:50:22 PM
 #2

the best would be that you buy a cheap hardware-wallet. your coins are very secure with this device and its easy to handle:

https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=899253.0

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December 24, 2014, 03:03:18 PM
 #3

If you use Bitcoin QT/Core, it's definitely recommended that you backup your wallet.dat to a newly formatted USB thumb drive.

If you decide you'd like a paper wallet backup, you can use the following links to do so:

https://bitcoinpaperwallet.com/

https://www.bitaddress.org

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December 24, 2014, 03:04:55 PM
 #4

That's a reasonable basic question. No one should flame you for it. Read the info in the link below. It has some good basic information about backing up/protecting your btc and it's easier to read than the wiki. The only thing I don't agree with is the Cloud Storage part. I've always believed it's better to store my offline coins in a local wallet.

https://nakedsecurity.sophos.com/2014/01/23/bitcoin-wallets-how-to-protect-your-digital-currency/

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December 24, 2014, 03:18:14 PM
 #5

Your money is on the "blockchain". A simple explanation is:

All you need is 2 character strings:
1. Your public key (or your address) - here you can always send money
2. Your private key - you need this to prove to the "blockchain" that the address from point [1] is yours. And you need to do this only if you want to send money away from that address.

The conclusion is that if you make a paper wallet and transfer your money there, they will be safe, but not accessible for every day use.
If you want to keep some bitcoins safe, make a few copies, transfer money on them and .. there you are. Cheap and safe.


The QT wallet is more safe, more complicated, contains internally more (temporary?) addresses and their keys... a much bigger story.
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December 24, 2014, 03:52:01 PM
 #6

As far as paper wallets go, you definitely want to generate them offline if security is a concern. The https://bitcoinpaperwallet.com/#security page does list some good things to keep in mind about paper wallets and security.
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December 24, 2014, 03:59:58 PM
 #7

As far as paper wallets go, you definitely want to generate them offline if security is a concern. The https://bitcoinpaperwallet.com/#security page does list some good things to keep in mind about paper wallets and security.

And print them off on paper, store them safely. Then sweep all coins once you need them.
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December 24, 2014, 05:32:41 PM
 #8


Different wallets are for different use cases. Bitcoin Core is more something you'd use everyday. Paper wallets are for longer term storage (even though apps like Mycelium make spending from them easy). You have to decide what your case and paranoia level is.


Some more reading:
https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Backup

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SargeR33 (OP)
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December 24, 2014, 11:15:59 PM
Last edit: December 25, 2014, 05:25:05 AM by SargeR33
 #9

Just woke up and found some good replies here. I like the look of the hardware gear but I believe I can secure my data at home in my safe. I looked at that website bitcoin paper wallet and they suggest there is a bootable ubuntu cd where you can generate public and private keys offline which seems like its as secure as it would be.

I also found a way to get the private key out of bitcoin qt so I can generate a new key, print both out and use that as a paper wallet. Something else I need to get a grasp of, is the total btc in my wallet the cumulative total of all btc on the addresses I have in my wallet? How do I get them all onto the same address as there are key there I don't use but have received funds.


I just did a little test with some Litecoins I had. I printed a paper wallet. Sent coins to that address. I then importprivkey into litecoin qt and after about 5 minutes those funds are in the wallet and the address is now part of my receive addresses. Is it safe to reuse this same address for paper backups or is it advisable you use a paper address once only.

Another qn I need answered regarding backups. If my wallet.dat is backed up today with all of my addresses and total balance at 0.1btc and tomorrow someone sends me 0.1btc and my hard drive fails, will my backup of my address be linked to the 0.2btc across the ledger on the network or is that 0.1btc lost?

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