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Author Topic: A quick question regarding wallets  (Read 1892 times)
duffmanhb
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May 26, 2011, 03:13:55 AM
 #1

Okay, I think I have most of Bitcoin down. There is really no solid guide any where on the web, so I hope you don't mind me asking a few silly sounding questions:

How does one PC know "me"? Is it just my wallet? So say if I want to load my personal account, all I do is move the current wallet and put mine in there and bam, I will now have access to "my" account? Is that how it works? Then should I be using the same wallet on multiple computers? For example, miners allow for only one address but allow multiple computers to mine with. So I am guessing it is normal to just use one wallet along all the computers mining right?

Also, Whenever I click, "Get new address" it really doesn't matter right? As in, my old addresses will still work but this is just another one generated off my unique ID. And my unique ID is somehow my wallet?

If you happen to be feeling precariously generous:  13b4JkLAx1iBTNn8PW1oq9gxA1x3shdu5k
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Garrett Burgwardt
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May 26, 2011, 03:17:16 AM
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Your wallet stores all of your keypairs, one of which is displayed as your bitcoin address.

Your computer knows you because of that file, and it is not recommended to use it on multiple computers (they can desync as new addresses are made, which is a hassle).

Your wallet can have any number of keypairs, and all of them always work.
duffmanhb
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May 26, 2011, 03:21:13 AM
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So as long as I have my wallet my BCs are safe? So if I am in Prague, I could just throw my wallet in the windows appdata directory and boom, there I go, I'm back into my account to send and receive coins? Sorry, just double clarifying.

What would you recommend for mining on separate computers? Multiple accounts?

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matt.collier
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May 26, 2011, 03:47:23 AM
 #4

Welcome to the forum!

Re: your wallet.  Think of your bitcoin wallet file like a physical wallet containing cash.  That cash only exists in one place, and trying to run two clients based on the same wallet file will lead to problems.

Re: mining.  If you're really interested in mining, I recommend that you investigate joining a mining pool.  https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Pooled_mining.  The days of profitiably operating small individual mining operations are over.
Jason Keith
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May 26, 2011, 03:59:11 AM
 #5

Shit. I hadn't thought of that. I've been running Bitcoin on 2 laptops side by side from the one wallet backed up and synced with SpiderOak. I haven't had any problems yet although I was anticipating one when I initiated the sync. The second wallet was the newer one but didn't as yet have any transactions. I half expected it to become the new wallet and I would lose the old one with the transaction record and .01BTC balance. Instead, the old one got transferred to the second machine which was more than I'd hoped for. The strange thing is that on the first restart, while watching all the blocks download again with the second client, I noticed they they both had the same Bitcoin addresses on the main screen. However, since then, they have remained different but still show the same transaction records and Address Books with the exception that the newer client has 1 extra Address in its Address Book.

https://secure.bitcoinid.com?i=b595fe5a22bfd11ca49758f96b54998fed300820d43534ed84b22042 (https://secure.bitcoinid.com?i=b595fe5a22bfd11ca49758f96b54998fed300820d43534ed84b22042)
duffmanhb
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May 26, 2011, 04:02:49 AM
 #6

Hey, thanks for the friendly welcome! I am actually trying to get my mining going for the BTCmine using the GUIminer but, like everything related to BTC, there isn't really any guides on getting set up. For example: GUI asks for my Username and Pass for BTCmine but it always says wrong UN/PW. It also has no fields to specify which miner to use and it's pass. Ive tried every combo and just cant get it.

Any way some one could point me to an area that could help?

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kjj
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May 26, 2011, 04:18:07 AM
 #7

No, please don't think of the wallet as a physical wallet.

No one owns any bitcoins.  What they own are private keys that control bitcoins that exist in the block chain.  That is the important part of your wallet.

If you toss your wallet files around carelessly, your node will get confused.  The good news is that this usually only means that it'll show the balance wrong, and there are ways to fix that if it happens.  The bad news is that your node can try to double spend if the confusion is in the wrong direction.

If you are curious, the displayed balance is the sum of the bitcoins in the block chain that have been assigned to keys that are in your wallet, and haven't been redeemed (assigned to another key).  The node doesn't rescan the whole chain every time it starts, it keeps a running balance, and the id of the last block it read.  If you grab the wallet files from a node that last saw block # 1000, and put those files on a node that has seen up to block # 2000, any transactions in nodes 1001 to 2000 that correspond to keys in your wallet won't be counted, and it will show you either too many coins, or too few.

p2pcoin: a USB/CD/PXE p2pool miner - 1N8ZXx2cuMzqBYSK72X4DAy1UdDbZQNPLf - todo
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Jason Keith
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May 26, 2011, 04:34:11 AM
 #8

Thanks man. Thank you all for setting me straight actually. I'll cancel the sync and go back to using them as separate wallets. I hope cloud backups aren't as ill advised at least.

https://secure.bitcoinid.com?i=b595fe5a22bfd11ca49758f96b54998fed300820d43534ed84b22042 (https://secure.bitcoinid.com?i=b595fe5a22bfd11ca49758f96b54998fed300820d43534ed84b22042)
kjj
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May 26, 2011, 04:43:17 AM
 #9

Here is the procedure to make sure that your wallet never gets out of sync with the block chain:

1) Shut down node on computer A
2) Copy wallet data from computer A to computer B
3) Start node on computer B

In general, you never want both nodes running at the same time, and you never want a block cache on a node that is newer than the wallet files.

If you can do that, your file sync should never screw up your balance.

Cloud backup should be fine.  Just make sure it is encrypted.

p2pcoin: a USB/CD/PXE p2pool miner - 1N8ZXx2cuMzqBYSK72X4DAy1UdDbZQNPLf - todo
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Jason Keith
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May 26, 2011, 05:28:10 AM
 #10

Great. I wasn't encrypting uploads to Dropbox because I never had a reason to but since I started using Bitcoin, I figured switching to SpiderOak would make encryption unnecessary. Is encryption still essential with SpiderOak? They have no access to unencrypted customer data.

https://secure.bitcoinid.com?i=b595fe5a22bfd11ca49758f96b54998fed300820d43534ed84b22042 (https://secure.bitcoinid.com?i=b595fe5a22bfd11ca49758f96b54998fed300820d43534ed84b22042)
duffmanhb
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May 26, 2011, 05:33:57 AM
 #11

Hey, I also use spider oak but never figured out how to get it to back up my wallet automatically. Since my wallet is in AppData it simply just wont let me add any files from there.

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Jason Keith
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May 26, 2011, 11:34:37 AM
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Don't use the web GUI. Go to the BACK UP tab in the standalone application interface. Just below the SHARE tab there should be a button that says Advanced. Press that and it will bring up a file browser that allows you to select whatever parts of your filesystem (eg AppData) that you want to back up. If you want to sync a particular folder between computers, you have to make sure it is getting backed up first. Just don't sync your wallet like I did. Grin

https://secure.bitcoinid.com?i=b595fe5a22bfd11ca49758f96b54998fed300820d43534ed84b22042 (https://secure.bitcoinid.com?i=b595fe5a22bfd11ca49758f96b54998fed300820d43534ed84b22042)
Maged
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May 27, 2011, 03:22:42 AM
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If you are curious, the displayed balance is the sum of the bitcoins in the block chain that have been assigned to keys that are in your wallet, and haven't been redeemed (assigned to another key).  The node doesn't rescan the whole chain every time it starts, it keeps a running balance, and the id of the last block it read.  If you grab the wallet files from a node that last saw block # 1000, and put those files on a node that has seen up to block # 2000, any transactions in nodes 1001 to 2000 that correspond to keys in your wallet won't be counted, and it will show you either too many coins, or too few.
As of 0.3.21, this issue has been mostly resolved.

The client now saves the last block number in the wallet. When you start your client, it will re-scan the blocks between the last time the wallet was used and now. However, it is still not safe to run two clients at the same time, unless you're careful. You'll be fine as long as you wait one confirmation after your last spend and ensure that the blockchains are current on both clients. Further advances are being made to make this safer even in that shorter time-frame.

In a future version, double-spends will be detected and reversed, making it impossible to actually lose bitcoins by sharing a wallet between clients. However, it should still be avoided.

airdata
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May 28, 2011, 12:17:35 AM
 #14



Your wallet can have any number of keypairs, and all of them always work.

I was going to start a thread about this.  I received my first bitcoins from a transaction today.  Then, the address in my bitcoin ap changed.  Is this ok?  I had the old one plugged into my slush pool acct. 

Thank you in advance to whoever verifies this for me.
Dude65535
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May 28, 2011, 12:23:25 AM
 #15

As long as you don't lose your wallet.dat file you will always have access to all your old addresses. The address book in the bitcoin software stores a list of all previous receiving addresses.

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MoonShadow
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May 28, 2011, 12:23:34 AM
 #16



Your wallet can have any number of keypairs, and all of them always work.

I was going to start a thread about this.  I received my first bitcoins from a transaction today.  Then, the address in my bitcoin ap changed.  Is this ok?  I had the old one plugged into my slush pool acct. 

Thank you in advance to whoever verifies this for me.

Yes, it's fine.  The default behavior of the standard client is to change your receiving address with each transaction that you send.  Your old addresses remain valid forever, however, so long as the keypairs that relate to them remain in your wallet.dat file.  You can safely continue to use the same address for as long as you like, but giving that same address out to too many people undermines the anonimity of the system.  A good standard is to give a different address to each friend or family member, but keep a record of which address was given to whom.  The client doesn't do this very well, yet.  So if you receive a payment from out of the blue, you can tell who sent it by looking at the address that it was sent to.

"The powers of financial capitalism had another far-reaching aim, nothing less than to create a world system of financial control in private hands able to dominate the political system of each country and the economy of the world as a whole. This system was to be controlled in a feudalist fashion by the central banks of the world acting in concert, by secret agreements arrived at in frequent meetings and conferences. The apex of the systems was to be the Bank for International Settlements in Basel, Switzerland, a private bank owned and controlled by the world's central banks which were themselves private corporations. Each central bank...sought to dominate its government by its ability to control Treasury loans, to manipulate foreign exchanges, to influence the level of economic activity in the country, and to influence cooperative politicians by subsequent economic rewards in the business world."

- Carroll Quigley, CFR member, mentor to Bill Clinton, from 'Tragedy And Hope'
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