What .dat files are safe to be accessed while the Bitcoin client is running?

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This is unfortunately fairly complicated when you consider every detail of how a wallet works. I'll try to answer your questions accurately without getting into a bunch of details.

1) The .dat file stores all of your "keys" for your bitcoin addresses, both public and private keys. Private keys are what are used to prove ownership of the public address and should be protected and/or secured.

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Does it contain access to your current wallet or just to your wallet (and BTC) at the time of the backup?

Well, that gets tricky because there are "invisible" addresses/keys stored in your wallet too (I believe the number is of these phantom addresses/keys is 100). These become visible when you click to create a new address and are also used to send "change" back into your wallet when you send coins to an address that is of an amount less than a single input to one of your addresses. Some invisible/future addresses are stored in the .dat file, but if the .dat file...

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Please visit this post for the most recent information

This is a guide to making a completely secure Bitcoin Wallet wallet you keep on a thumb drive. The reason it is so secure is that we will be using Ubuntu to create a boot-able operating system to avoid any malware, spyware, or viruses. We are doing it this way because there are programs out there that try to steal your Bitcoin Wallet. There are online wallets that you can use but I highly suggest you only use those for day to day transactions and you keep a separate wallet for your savings account.

Before we get started you will need 1 or 2 Thumb Drives (will go into detail on why you may need 2 later). They don’t have to be big. I bought my 2 Gb drives for 5 dollars each. Once you have that, we can get started.

The Operating system for your Secure Bitcoin Wallet will be Ubuntu. Don’t be scared if you’ve only used Windows your whole life. I will be walking you through this step-by-step.

Go to the...

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"That is a good point. Encryption is done in your browser, and their servers only keep your encrypted keys"

I doubt deeply that encryption is done in the browser, except if you mean https.

My interpretation for what you are trying to tell me is that you use a simple username and password and that only blockchain.info can see your password. On their side they may encrypt it, use https and do whatever they can to to try to keep your Bitcoins safe, but in the end you are trusting blockchain.info and if that site goes down or anything happens to it, then you won't have access to your money.

I urge everyone to stay away from webwallets and use your own software on your OWN computer. If Bitcoin-qt is too heavy for you(you know, it stores the whole blockchain ~8GB of data) then you could try Multibit about ~50MB in data storage. There are more choices of Bitcoin software. Bitcoin is designed for P2P. Why would you trust somebody else to hold the money for...

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How to create a secure Bitcoin wallet

You have probably heard of Bitcoin to have found your way here. So i’m not going into the technicalities. To keep it simple, Bitcoin is a peer-to-peer open source digital currency and payment network with no central authority.

Bitcoins are stored in a Bitcoin wallet which consists of either an online wallet or offline wallet. It is fine to store your Bitcoins in an online wallet for day-to-day trading. But for your savings account, it is safer to store it in an offline wallet. We will guide you through on how to completely secure your Bitcoin wallet and stored in a thumb drive.

Guide to create a secure Bitcoin wallet

Since you will be storing your offline wallet in a thumb drive, you will need a thumb drive before getting started with this tutorial. I will recommend that you have more than one thumb drive as a backup just in case something happens to your main.

Step 1 : Ubuntu Operating System

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In this post I want to talk about 2 options for trading your Bitcoins.
#1 – Blockchain
#2 – Electrum

By now, hopefully you know how to use BlockChain. If not, you simply go to http://blockchain.info and press the button “Wallet” and you can open up your existing wallet or create a new account. Very straight forward and can be done all from your web browser.

But what about Electrum? Electrum is an easy to use Bitcoin client. It protects you from losing coins in a backup mistake or computer failure, because your wallet can be recovered from a secret phrase that you can write on paper or learn by heart. There is no waiting time when you start the client, because it does not download the Bitcoin blockchain. If you use the normal Bitcoin client from https://bitcoin.org then you would need to download the entire blockchain, which is several GB of data. In Tails, we are trying not to download too much to our computers. Downloading the entire BlockChain can take...

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Introduction

Unless you are using a hardware wallet it is strongly recommended to read this page.

Wallet security can be broken down into two independent goals:

Protecting your wallet against loss. Protecting your wallet against theft.

In the case that your current wallet hasn't been protected adequately (e.g. put online with a weaker password):

Making a new secure wallet, using appropriate long-term protection.

For a brief overview see also: Wallet Security Dos and Don'ts

Paper Wallets

Main page: Paper wallet

Paper wallets can be used to store bitcoins offline in non-digital format. Using securely generated paper wallets significantly decreases the chances of your bitcoins being stolen by hackers or computer viruses. Fundamentally, a paper wallet is merely a physical record of a HD wallet private seed.

Hardware wallets

Hardware wallets are a major step to enhanced security and usability.

See the...

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The dat file extension is also associated with the Bitcoin P2P payment service used to operate with no central authority or banks, managing transactions and the issuing of bitcoins is carried out collectively by the network.

This specific wallet.dat file stores transaction data and all other related information (keys, metadata, options) about your Bitcoin activity. It contains:

keypairs for each of your addresses transactions done from/to your addresses user preferences default key reserve keys accounts a version number Key pool

By default, the Bitcoin wallet.dat file and other related data are stored in:

C:\Users\"user"\AppData\Roaming\Bitcoin\

At first start of Bitcoin app you will be prompted to set the place of Bitcoin data folder. Bitcon data folder can take about 20 GB of storage space.

If you need to create new Bitcoin data folder later: create a new folder on your hard drive, open command line, go to...

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Exercise caution.

Bitcoin is innovative and full of possibilities. It's also experimental and volatile. Realize that Bitcoin payments are irreversible. So if you get scammed by someone exploiting double-payment loopholes, for example, it will be impossible to get your money back. Accordingly, work a series of safeguard protocols into every Bitcoin transaction. Keep in mind the following concerns if you're going to start accepting Bitcoin at your place of business, especially in terms of what platform to use for transactions:

How are the funds converted? How are they received? How is the exchange rate calculated? How fast are payments approved? What risk is associated with the exchange? Are there any fees...
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Once you start getting involved with Bitcoin, it is paramount to take proper security precautions to ensure your funds are safe at all times. Computer users, who run any Bitcoin wallet software on their machine, are the most vulnerable targets for hackers trying to steal Bitcoins. Luckily for all of us, there are some basic steps users can take to create a far more secure environment.

Securing The Bitcoin Software Client

One of the first security measures to take is creating a passphrase for your Bitcoin software client. Every Bitcoin address is protected with a private key, which is stored in the wallet.dat file on your computer. However, this wallet.dat file can be copied by hackers to another computer, and then imported, including your Bitcoin balance and associated private keys.

What a passphrase does, is add an additional layer of protection on top of the Bitcoin software client itself. You could compare a passphrase to a password, which will need...

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HOW TO CASH OUT YOUR NEWLY ACQUIRED WALLET

You will receive the WALLET.DAT file and the password to the wallet,

You need to backup your own wallet.dat file in the computer where you are running your bitcoin client Locate the file either by searching for it or if you already know the location. One good method is to use the Backup Wallet feature on the Bitcoin client. Once you have safely backed up your wallet.dat file, shutdown the client and go to the original file location and erase it Once erased, copy the file we sent to you in the same location Restart your Bitcoin client and let it update itself When you see the balance in your Bitcoin client, the operation is ready and you can do what you want with the coins

RECOMMENDATIONS

Once you have completed the operation ACT QUICKLY! this are live wallets and...
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As of Bitcoin Core version 0.10.0 and later, the block chain bootstrap torrent hosted here takes more time to download and import than it would to simply start Bitcoin Core and let it sync itself. Forum thread on BitcoinTalk: https://bitcointalk.org/index.php?topic=145386.0 Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind version 0.7.1 and later supports a special import feature: If the file "bootstrap.dat" is found in the bitcoin data directory, it will validate and import all blockchain data found in that file. The following torrent presents a bootstrap.dat file for that feature. ---------------------- What is bootstrap.dat? It is a flat, binary file containing bitcoin blockchain data, from the genesis block through a recent height. Versions 0.7.1+ automatically validates and imports a file in the data directory named "bootstrap.dat". Special note: Version prior to 0.8.0 have a bug which will only import 2G of data from a file. This is fixed in 0.8.0. ------------------------ Who wants bootstrap.dat? Anyone...

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I don't see any problem with obfuscation, either. XOR'ing data likely already to be in a cache, even in the case of the larger block files, is likely to be cheap. It seems likely to be lost in the noise, even on an underpowered VPS. It is nothing compared to the disk traffic going on in the same code region.

No, the police aren't stupid. Yes, this obfuscation will be obvious to anyone -- and easily transformable by software that reads bitcoin data.

Nevertheless, obfuscation may help in a non-technical sense. It potentially provides plausible deniability, because anyone who wishes to read the data, en masse or in small bites, must take a proactive, conscious, intent-ful action to un-obfuscate the data in question. Standard caveat: IANAL

Obfuscation seems useful general protection against stupid software. Stupid software exists on Linux, just as it does on Windows. A Windows virus scanner is simply an illustrative example of a larger pattern.

Never forget...

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Indeed, you can consider transactions to be 'patches' against the set of unspent outputs (the UTXO set): they consume some outputs, and they create some new outputs. Blocks are aggregated patches.

And indeed, to be able to undo the effects of a block on the UTXO set, a record with the reverse patch is written to the rev*.dat files (corresponding to the blocks in the same blk*.dat file).

The format is custom and very compact. For every transaction input (excluding the coinbase's, which does not spend anything) it contains the script and amount of the output being spent and whether it was created by a coinbase. If the output was the last of a particular transaction being spent, the transaction version and height in the chain it was created at are also...

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In general, it's important to understand that bitcoins are not stored in your wallet. They are stored in the blockchain at public addresses. You can only spend bitcoins from a public address where you know the private key. Every private key unlocks a specific public address.

A wallet is just a collection of private keys. When you first generate a wallet.dat, it creates a limited number of those keys. After a certain number of transactions, the wallet.dat on your pc may contain more keys than the one stored on your flash drive. This is because sometimes new "change" addresses need to be created and used, even though they may not be obvious to you, when you send bitcoins.

For this reason, you would be wise to back up your pc wallet.dat regularly if you use it often.

Make sure that you encrypt your wallet.dat, and destroy any unencrypted copies. This file is easily accessible to anybody who gains access to your computer. Don't forget your encryption password. I...

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By the time you finish reading this article, you may have already lost all your money because you don't know the simple steps to securing your BitCoin wallet.

BitCoin is an incredible invention. It is a decentralized currency system, which is the freest of all currency and trade systems conceived to date. Send and receive money with anyone in the world right from your computer without the need of any special subscription service or bank account.

But there's a problem: your money can be easily stolen.

The BitCoin application stores your BitCoins in a file called wallet.dat. The file, under normal circumstances and when it is in use, is unencrypted and vulnerable to theft.

And so comes the classic dichotomy between security and usability. If you're savvy enough to be using BitCoin, then you don't need to be told that ease of use and security are at odds with one another. Further, you also know that the more valuable something is, the more it...

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