(1) Is it true that encrypting an *existing* bitcoin-qt wallet.dat file will "invalidate" any existing backups? (2) Can I use unicode characters - eg ♥ - in the bitcoin-qt wallet passphrase?
I have an existing bitcoin-qt wallet.dat file which I want to encrypt - using the command in the bitcoin-qt Settings menu, involving creating a passphrase. I have 2 (possibly somewhat related) questions: TL;DR (1) If you encrypt an existing wallet.dat file, will the backups of the old wallet.dat file still work? (2) Can you include unicode characters - eg ♥ - in the passphrase used to encrypt a bitcoin-qt wallet.dat file? Worst-case scenario: The answers to (1) and (2) are both "no" - and I attempt to encrypt an existing wallet using unicode, and my backups no longer work (due to a new pool of addresses somehow being created?) and the passphrase isn't what I think it is (due to the unicode characters somehow being misinterpreted?) - and then I could lose all my coins?? Details (1) The following (old, short) thread claims that after you encrypt an existing wallet, any previous backups of that wallet will no longer work: https://pay.reddit.com/Bitcoin/comments/1ccfdk/encrypting_walletdat_in_bitcoinqt/ Obviously, the the first response in that thread was slightly wrong, for saying that the "server" creates a new pool of 100 addresses to draw on. So using word "server" here was certainly incorrect - but maybe the gist of what they were saying might still be correct? (if you simply change "server" to "client"). I can actually understand that there might be reasons why encrypting a wallet.dat file could cause a new pool of 100 addresses to be generated. But it does not make sense to me that this would make any older (unencrypted) backups instantly useless. It seems to me that these older, unencrypted backups would still have their private keys intact, and could thus be used in certain (perhaps limited?) ways - such as:
"sweeping" the funds from the private keys of the old, unencrypted wallet into another wallet, or
doing a normal "spend" from the private keys of the old, unencrypted wallet (However, if the old unencrypted and the new encrypted wallets now contain different pools of addresses, then I imagine that this spend would invalidate the new, encrypted wallet - because any change from the spend would be sent to a "change address" from among those in the old, unencrypted wallet - and so this amount of change would be missing from the new encrypted wallet, right?).
(2) It seems that including a few unicode characters in the bitcoin-qt wallet passphrase would make it a lot stronger (since unicode is a much larger set of characters than ascii), so I would like to include a few. But it would be more reassuring if it could be explicitly stated that this is indeed supported. Possible catastrophic interaction between (1) and (2)? If the answers to (1) and (2) were both "no" (ie, if you encrypt an existing bitcoin-qt wallet.dat file then any existing backups will not work, and unicode characters do not work in bitcoin-qt passphrases), then I'm worried there could be some kind of catastrophic interaction between (1) and (2) where I lose all my coins, as follows: (1) I encrypt my existing wallet - making my old, unencrypted wallet.dat file now invalidated (due to something involving a new pool of addresses being generated?) and (2) I use a passphrase which includes unicode characters which bitcoin-qt appears to accept at the time of creation, but which doesn't work at the time of trying to decrypt the wallet.dat file (due to something going wring with how the supposed unicode characters are actually interpreted while being entered or copied-and-pasted?). In this possible worst-case scenario, my old backups of wallet.dat no longer work, and my newly encrypted wallet.dat has some password which I'm not able to correctly enter anymore. Sorry to be so paranoid about this! Other remarks: (a) I did do a (limited) test of unicode capability for bitcoin-qt wallet.dat passphrases: simply by creating a new (empty) wallet.dat file, and creating a passphrase for it involving unicode characters, and then attempting to change the passphrase (which requires entering the old passphrase that contained unicode characters). This did seem to work ok: it let me re-enter the old passphrase (which included unicode characters) to create a new passphrase. However, since this is an empty wallet (and since bitcoin-qt would ask for the passphrase only when attempting to actually spend from an encrypted wallet), I did not see a way to fully test whether the passphrase actually worked to decrypt a unicode-passphrase-encrypted wallet for the purpose of spending from it. (I'm still downloading the rest of the blockchain and it's going to take at least another week on my slow connection, so don't see how I could send a small amount to the new wallet to test it either. My existing wallet.dat file was originally created on an internet-connected machine a long time ago, but it's been offline ever since, so in some sense it's kinda-sorta been in somewhat "cold" storage all this time, and I would prefer to avoid putting it online on a "hot" internet-connected machine until absolutely necessary.) (b) Long-term, I am actually also in the process of setting up a proper cold storage system based on Armory, which I have installed on 2 Ubuntu machines (one offline and one online). But I have a slow internet connection, and the backups of this old wallet.dat file have been sitting around unencrypted for ages (I've been relying simply on then being physically inaccessible). Now some "things" are coming up over the next few days where I some better security right away, and it's probably going to take over a week for Armory/bitcoind to update my local copy of the blockchain. So in the meantime, I also need some basic additional security right now - so encrypting the existing bitcoin-qt wallet.dat file using a strong passphrase (and making some new backups) seems like it could be a reasonable initial approach. Thanks for any help!
Are bitcoin-qt encrypted wallet private keys BIP38 enabled?
Does an encrypted bitcoin-qt wallet generates BIP38 private keys? I saw that bitcoin private keys starting with 5, i.e. unencrypted / no-BIP38 PKs, can be imported on several bitcoin wallets, e.g. blockchain.info, electrum, etc., and everyone with access to these unencrypted PKs can spent the bitcoins associated to them without entering a password to validate the transaction. While BIP38's private keys, i.e. those starting with 6, can be imported on several bitcoin wallets, but they ask the associated password in order to move the coins associated with them. So let's say that someone guess my bitcoin-qt's encrypted private key, and he import it on blockchain.info or electrum. Does he will need to enter my password to spent the coins associated to my PK? in other others, does my encrypted bitcoin-qt private keys works like any BIP38 PK? Thanks
If you have an encrypted hard disk on Linux, you may expect TERRIBLE performance with the Bitcoin-qt wallet
It was taking my machine almost completely down. I tracked it down to the fact that bitcoin-qt makes thousands upon thousands of 8-byte writes to the disk when it is downloading transaction updates, which require re-reading re-encrypting entire 4k to 128k clusters of data, only to have them be written back to disk again. It is probably a misuse or a poor use of the libdb backend (libdb already being garbage as it is). F--- would not buy again.
My bitcoin-qt wallet encryption passphrase is not recognized: "The passphrase entered for the wallet decryption was incorrect"
I have an older backup when the wallet was not yet entcrypted. Can I just exchange the current wallet.dat with the non encrypted back-up and use my wallet as before? Edit: Sorry could open the wallet now. I used a passphrase, where I was sure I can never forget - BUT - for additional security I put a few hyphens between the syllables of that word. AND I FORGOT THAT I DID THAT. - Maybe that can serve as an example for others to not rely too much on ones memory.
How secure is the Bitcoin QT client wallet encryption?
Is it perfectly safe to distribute your wallet.dat after it has been encrypted using the official bitcoin client? I keep reading about people using TrueCrypt / WinRar / you-name-it, to further secure their wallet before publicly distributing it for safekeeping. Is this necessary? If so, then why doesn't Bitcoin QT use a stronger algorithm... And if not, then why do people bother?
I've got Armory running on Bitcoin-qt with the full blockchain synced. I've encrypted my Armory wallets (plural) with one very long password. I've got a separate wallet for savings and cash. I'm good right?
I don't have another computer and don't fully trust my computer's won't get stolen, so don't want to go cold storage. But besides that I should be pretty solid on security right? That whole "change" thing kind of freaked me out where people were losing bitcoins, but Armory states it's paper wallets only need to be back-up once and only once. I'm done trying to comprehend it all for now, so can I rest assured that Armory has it all figured out and as long as I follow their UI prompts I'm safe?
When importing a wallet.dat file from an encrypted Bitcoin-QT to blockchain, does the password of bitcoin-qt become the password on the blockchain wallet?
What I'm trying to do is move my coins from bitcoin-qt to my Electrum wallet because the block database got corrupted and I'm tired of having to always rebuild it when this happens. I'm quite nervous about moving my coins around like this without knowing exactly what I'm getting into. Is there a better way of doing this?
Bitcoin Core developers enabled a feature inside the bitcoin client that lets you “encrypt” your wallet by protecting it with a passphrase. By using a passphrase, you “lock” your coins from being spent. Even if an attacker were to gain access to the device on which your bitcoin wallet is running, they would not be […] A Bitcoin wallet is not a wallet. It's a keychain. Bitcoin wallets have no coins. The coins are on the blockchain on the network. The wallet has keys in it, which is why calling it a wallet was a monumentally stupid decision that will come to haunt us because it's not a wallet because it doesn't have coins it. It only has keys. Supported cryptocurrencies: Bitcoin, Ethereum, Ethereum Classic, Litecoin, Bitcoin Cash, Dogecoin, and over 50 others. Jaxx is another popular secure Bitcoin wallet. Part of Jaxx’s popularity stems from the vast range of cryptocurrency token support found in a single software wallet, allowing users to manage large portfolios from a single location. A paper wallet is ultimately the best Bitcoin wallet option due to its safety. Trezor/Ledger, Electrum, Blockchain.info and Coinbase round out the top five. This page describes the algorithm used for encrypting the wallet.dat file used in the original Bitcoin client.. Wallet encryption uses AES-256-CBC to encrypt only the private keys that are held in a wallet. The keys are encrypted with a master key which is entirely random.
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