Skip to content

Bitcoin Basic

by nosper on April 17th, 2013

How To Get Bitcoin

Currently the fastest ways to buy bitcoin are difficult, costly, and are often fraudulent.

Buy Bitcoin and transfer it back to your wallet ( the official client on your computer)


How To Protect Your Bitcoin

Bitcoin is just like cash. If you hide a bunch under a floor board and forget about it you can very easily have it stolen or lose it. Most importantly since bitcoin is digital if you have a computer malfunction your bitcoin can be lost forever.

It is VERY important that you back up your bitcoin to protect it from loss.

First let’s cover:

How to backup your bitcoin to prevent loss

When you decide to use the official client on your computer you are responsible for maintaining backups and protecting your bitcoin.

I would reccomend before you ever have a large amount of bitcoin in your wallet to practice these steps with only a small amount in your wallet to be sure you understand the process.

1. EXIT/CLOSE your bitcoin wallet program. That includes clicking exit on the bitcoin icon on any of your taskbars.

If you by accident try to backup while the client is running it can cause major problems and corruption of the file that holds your bitcoin.

2. LOCATE the file wallet.dat

Windows Users:

C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Application data\BitCoin (XP)

C:\Users\YourUserName\Appdata\Roaming\BitCoin (Vista and 7)

Mac Users:

/Library/Application Support/Bitcoin/

3. COPY the file

The easiest is to right click the file and select Copy, or Duplicate. Do not drag and drop the file as that usually moves the file. Rename the copied file and make several duplicates of that file.

4. Put a copy of the wallet.dat file “in the cloud” on Wuala or DropBox

5. Save a copy of the wallet.dat file on a separate hard drive (preferably in an encrypted folder)

6. Put a copy on a password protected USB drive.

7. Back up your wallet.dat file every month if you are doing any transactions with the client.

How to protect your bitcoin against theft

Protecting against theft is a lot more complicated. Start with the basics of computer safety. I can’t emphasize this enough. If you have never had anything on your computer worth stealing you may not be used to keeping your information secure. Here are some beginning tips:

-Use an antivirus program, update and run it before storing bitcoin on your computer.

-Make sure you have strong passwords (preferably ones that you can’t remember)

-Don’t use unsecured wireless connections

-Use a firewall on your computer

-Be sure to keep up to date with security updates, especially if you use Windows!

If you are not starting with a clean 100% Virus/Spyware free computer you are risking losing all your bitcoin. There are BITCOIN STEALING VIRUSES confirmed by symantec

The easiest way to protect against theft is to establish two bitcoin wallets. To do that you will need to backup your wallet.dat file as explained above.


1. Make sure your bitcoin client is CLOSED (and you have exited out of the program completely, including on the taskbar)

2 .Then move your current wallet.dat file out of the folder it is in or rename it something else.

3. Run the bitcoin client.

4. Create a new bitcoin address and label it as SAVINGS and copy it to your clipboard or a text document.

5. Back up the new wallet.dat file and indicate it is your new savings wallet

6. Follow the instructions below to restore your previous wallet.

7. Send what you want to put in your savings to the new SAVINGS bitcoin address and wait for the status to be confirmed on that transaction.

8. Wait until the confirmation of your sent savings transfer shows up. (about 10min – 4 hours)

9. Swap wallet files to your savings wallet.dat (preferably making a few more backups along the way)

10. Run the bitcoin client

11. Wait until the confirmation of your received savings transfer shows up. (about 10min – 4 hours)

Re-backup this wallet.dat file, label it so you know it is your savings wallet and put it in several secure locations preferably encrypted. Delete all instances of your savings wallet on your main computer once you are sure you have backed it up in multiple secure locations (Wuala, USB drives, External Drive). Also be sure to empty your trash! For good measure take a moment to defrag your harddrive to further obscure unauthorized recovery of the file.


Restore Your Bitcoin

1. CLOSE your bitcoin client and make sure to exit out of it on your taskbar.

2. Rename your working wallet.dat file that you found in the location above to something like walletreplaced.dat

3. Copy your backup wallet.dat file from one of your backup sources and rename it to “wallet.dat”

4. Start your bitcoin client and wait until all of the blocks have been scanned again ( may take a long time if the client has to scan the network again)

5. Enjoy using your bitcoin again!



From → Geek