I saw your post regarding your wallet storage and had a few noob questions if you don't mind.From: SanderMarechal
My plan is similar to yours but I was unsure whether to use armory or electrum (electrum's seed creation scares me a bit).
You mentioned you have a bootable LINUX (ubuntu?) USB stick that you keep your wallet on....do you only boot this onto an always offline computer?
Do you use something like Truecrypt to further protect your wallet.dats?
Thanks for your time!
From: Anonymous RedditorMy plan is similar to yours but I was unsure whether to use armory or electrum (electrum's seed creation scares me a bit).For me it is the other way around. Armory (and bitcoin-qt) scare me. Armory is just a wallet. It still needs bitcoin-qt running in the background. For me the problem is two-fold:
bitcoin-qt (and armory) need to download the entire blockchain. That 13+ GB that takes hours to download and days to verify. And if you ever lose it, you need to do it again.
2) Random keys
armory and bitcoin-qt generate random private keys. You get 100. If you use a few (you use them when you send coins for example) then new ones are created. So, if you create an armory wallet and make a backup, that backup will have 100 keys. Then, if you make 33(!) transactions, your 100 keys are used up and you will have 100 different random keys. If someone then steals your computer (or your house burns down) then you cannot use your backup anymore. It only has the 100 old keys and none of the new keys. So you have lost all your bitcoins.
Why 33 transactions and not 100? Because of change addresses. If you have 10 BTC and send me 2 BTC then most wallets will create 2 transactions. 2 BTC from your old addres to me, and 8 BTC from your old address to a new (random) address. This process costs 3 private keys. 2 keys for the transactions and 1 key to create a new address.
This means that after every few dozen transactions you need to refresh your backup so it has the newer keys. For me that is impractical. It means that I need to keep my backup close by because I often need it.
Electrum does not have this problem. The seed solves this. Private keys are not random but are created from the seed. If you have the seed then you have, by definition, all the private keys you will ever need. Your backup can never be out-of-date. This is easy for me. I save the seed in a file, encrypt it, put it on an USB stick and give copies to a few family members who have safes in their homes.
If my computer is ever stolen, or my house burns down, I can go to a family member, decrypt the seed file and use the seed to restore my electrum wallet. Even if that USB stick is 10 years old.
You mentioned you have a bootable LINUX (ubuntu?) USB stick that you keep your wallet on....do you only boot this onto an always offline computer?It depends on how secure you want to be. For maximum security, keep the computer always offline. But if you want to spend the bitcoins from your wallet, you will need to be online.
I use the USB stick for my savings account. It only receives coins and I do not send. So I do not need to boot up my USB stick. I have created a second wallet on blockchain.info that I use for day-to-day transactions. All BTC I receive goes to my blockchain account. Then I transfer a part of that to my savings account and only keep a bit of change that I need in the blockchain account.
Do you use something like Truecrypt to further protect your wallet.dats?No. Electrum does not have a wallet.dat. It has the seed. I simply copy the seed to a TXT file and encrypt it using GPG and symmetric encryption. Example:
gpg --armor --symmetric --cipher-algo AES256 seed.txtMake sure you use a password that is strong and that you cannot forget! If you need to write the password down on paper and your house burns down, then you cannot decrypt the seed anymore!
Forgive the naivety here: Correct me if I'm wrong - The safest way to generate your wallet seed is on an offline computer correct? So, theoretically, generate the seed on an offline-only computer, copy to txt...encrypt. back up on multiple USB's. Then on your online computer, load electrum and import Seed?From: SanderMarechal
Thanks so much for the thorough explanation! I'm a potato when it comes to reddit's bitcoin tip bot. Send me an address - would like to send some internet magic money your way.
From: Anonymous RedditorThe safest way to generate your wallet seed is on an offline computer correct? So, theoretically, generate the seed on an offline-only computer, copy to txt...encrypt. back up on multiple USB's. Then on your online computer, load electrum and import Seed?Not quite. The risk with an online computer is malware and people breaking in. If you generate the seed on an offline computer and then move it to an online computer, you don't really take that risk away. You still have your wallet on an online computer which you use for day-to-day work and which is exposed to hackers and malware.
I suggest you make two wallets. One wallet is your "savings" wallet. You can use the USB stick Linux for this. Generate the wallet offline, backup and encrypt the seed onto multiple USB sticks and note down the bitcoin address somewhere so you can transfer funds to it. The only time you should use the USB stick to go online is when you want to transfer funds out of your savings wallet.
The, on your normal computer (or your smartphone if you prefer), create a second wallet using a different password. This is the wallet you keep only a little money in for your day-to-day transactions. Note down the seen, encrypt (with a different password than you used to encrypt the seed from your savings wallet) and add it to the USB keys. You can use Electrun for this second wallet as well, but you can also use something different. I use a blockchain.info wallet for my day-to-day expenses.
Whenever you have a larger amount of bitcoins in your day-to-day wallet, transfer some to the wallet on the USB stick. You don't need to boot up the USB stick for this. You only need the address you wrote down.
When you want to spend a large amount of money, boot up from the USB stick and transfer coins from your savings wallet to your day-to-day wallet. Reboot into your normal computer and use the day-to-day wallet to pay for what you wanted to buy.
The core of the issue is simple: Don't store a lot of money in a wallet on a computer that you use a lot. Computers that are used a lot get attacked a lot. Simple :-)
Thanks so much for the thorough explanation! I'm a potato when it comes to reddit's bitcoin tip bot. Send me an address - would like to send some internet magic money your way.That is very kind! My address is: 1PAXiscvKoGRJ5XxMZvri3CMNeKYYb8wMQ
You are awesome:) Thank you again for the insight! Sent some your way.From: SanderMarechal*
Your welcome. And thanks for the coin!From: Anonymous Redditor
Last question(s) (I promise)...From: SanderMarechal
Would a netbook like this be appropriate to 1)dban 2) boot up via USB ubuntu and 3) create the electrum seed?
This would of course never go online, be backed up and encrypted, etc.
I don't know. You would be better off asking this on www.ubuntuforums.org for example. I don't know if that computer's hardware is compatible with Ubuntu. Speed-wise the bottleneck will be the USB stick and not the CPU or memory. USB sticks are much slower than hard drives.From: Anonymous Redditor
Note that you don't have to buy a computer for this. You can use the computer you already have and still run Ubuntu off an USB stick for your Electrum wallet.
What I said in my previous post about not using your day-to-day computer for your wallet, with that I mean the operating system and software. Not the hardware. Unless you're afraid someone put a hardware keylogger inside your computer :-)
My tin foil hat is in full effect:) Thanks again for your time and patience.
Your welcome. Have fun with bitcoin!From: Anonymous Redditor
Oh, I have a question for you now. Would you mind if I repost our entire private conversation here to /BitcoinBeginners? I think other redditors there would also be interested. And if I can repost it, do you want your username in there or should I replace it with "Anonymous Redditor" or something?
You can certainly repost it! And yes, if you wouldn't mind removing the username I would very much appreciate it.Anyway, I hope this is useful for some people out here.
Thanks for asking btw!
Buy BTC in local currency bank accountThe edits below will document each step until I finally get my doge love!
Deposit BTC to prelude.io
Exchange BTC to doge at prelude.io (preferably at 100 Satoshi, yummy!)
Withdraw doge from prelude.io to my wallet-qt
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