Satoshi Nakamoto is a name synonymous with the bitcoin community, yet no one knows who he is. On the 31st of October 2009 he published his invention. 7 years later the bitcoin is gradually taking over the world, with value as high as $2800, the bitcoin is the world’s leading cryptocurrency. And as such the bitcoin has always faced adversary and come out on top. The bitcoin community has been in an agitated state of late, with many people moving for the implementation of an update to the bitcoin open source software. The update, (called SegWit) if implemented will establish a higher data cap as well as create side chains to make data processing faster. But still others oppose the implementation of this update and therefore camps have been split and sides drawn.
Come 1st August, many would be implementers of SegWit intend to make it a reality. And as we know establishing the another set of implementation rules without universal acceptance basically creates a new currency. All this talk of new currency seems very queer and unsafe so You might be wondering “how do I keep my cryptocurrency safe?”
Normally, Bitcoin wallet providers keep the Private Keys you need to access your account as well as use your funds in transactions. These wallet providers then utilizes your private keys to help you execute the transactions. Given the recent volatility in the fate of the bitcoin, security has never been more important. With the possibility of the existence of a hard fork come 1st of August, it is very advisable for all wallet owners to find ways to back up their wallets and Private Keys. This is to prevent theft or loss of data in any case during the split of Bitcoin and Bitcoin Cash.
How to Backup Bitcoin Private Key on Web Wallets.
Method 1 ( For Coinapult, Coinbase, Xapo, BitGo, Green Address, Coin.space)
Many Web wallet providers do not offer the opportunity to backup your account as well as it’s private key. They manage the accounts and the Private Keys and then execute the transaction for the clients. Like I like to put it, you don’s actually own the wallet, but it is lent to you. Does that mean you can’t backup and keep your funds safe? Absolutely not. Almost all the above mentioned have made statements ensuring the security of bitcoins and wallets on their platforms. They have also made it clear they will not deal in the new currency (Bitcoin Cash) and have advised that anyone not comfortable with their policy move the funds out to a new wallet.
How to use Paper wallet to keep your bitcoins off the web.
One of the best ways to keep your wallet in your own hands and keep all account details with you is to use a Paper wallet. Here is how to create one.
- Visit the web address bitaddress.org
- When the interface opens type in some random address in the bar or move your mouse randomly around the screen.
- The Opensource Wallet Generator now generates and displays your new wallet(s).
- You can now select “Paper Wallet” from the available options.
- Select the number of addresses you need.
- Hit the “Print” button.
Congratulations. You have your paper wallet, you can now make or send payments from your Web wallet to the paper wallet by scanning the bar codes. Above all you have your bitcoins safe and offline.
Method 2 (for BTC.com)
BTC.com offers you the chance of immediate backup when you get your account online. The backup is sent as a PDF download. You have to encrypt it and store it in the clouds (not literally).
If you have misplaced the backup, have no fear, you could move all your savings to a paper wallet and keep it safe along with your address and Private Key.
How to Backup Bitcoin Private Key on Desktop Wallet Providers (Bitcoin knots, Bitcoin Core, Bither, Electrum, mSIGN, ArcBit, BitGo, Green Address)
Desktop wallets are simply wallets you download and operate from your desktop. These wallets store the private key associated with your bitcoin account on your computer’s hard drive. They all operate in basically the same way and store files in similar folders.
So how do I backup my desktop wallet as well as its private key?
- Launch your wallet application.
- Locate the backup button (on some wallets it is the export button) and select it.
- For some wallets, you have to specify the parameters, that is, where to store the back up and if to export your Private Key.
- Name your file as a .dat file. This ensures that the file is stored with generic data information that only your wallet vendor can read.
- When your file is done exporting, you can now encrypt it and save it on a data stick or in the cloud.
How to Backup Bitcoin Private Key from Hardware Wallet Providers (CryptoSteel, Trezor, Ledger Nano, Ledger Nano S, Digital Bitbox, KeepKey).
Hardware wallets are a bitcoin marvel that is truly your own personal safe. This device allows you to keep the bitcoins with you at all times. Therefore your bitcoins are kept offline, and with the recent use of second screen technology, even if the device was hacked from another location, the hacker wouldn’t have access to your funds because the device verifies all transactions. The only true problem is how to protect your 12, 24 or 48 digit mnemonic (Note, all users of this devices have the mnemonics pulled up from the device and all accounts restoration is done with these.) Now how do you keep those precious bitcoins safe by protecting your private key? Wondering how to back up your hardware wallet? Do not fret we have something for you too.
Meet Cryptosteel, currently the best and most secure way of backing up private keys and mnemonics for those of you that have wallets with hardware wallet providers.
How do I use Cryptosteel?
Cryptosteel comes in 2 parts: a stainless steel casing that is almost impenetrable, fire Proof, water proof and highly durable, as well as a small plastic bag filled with metal tabs each with a letter inscribed on it. Using it is also a very simple process. So how do I use Cryptosteel to backup Private Key.
- Firstly you open then casing, by sliding the lid of the casing counter clockwise. This may take some time but patience is key.
- When the you get the case open, you just slide in the tabs to create your mnemonic key or save your private key.
- Finally you slide the steel lid back in place.
- Extra holes are made on the sides of the casing for padlocks and other security devices. So lock it in place.
How to Backup Bitcoin Private Key from Mobile Wallet Providers.
Mobile wallets offer you much more flexibility and ability to make transactions on the go. While some are pretty straight forward to use, many of them can be hard to understand. Below here we have listed the best of the best. We have also listed the ways you can protect your bitcoins by backing up the wallet and its private key
AirBitz bitcoin wallet is one of the modest direct to use wallets out there. This handy app creates and automatically backs up your wallet, its transactions as well as your private key. So now all that is left is to figure out how to retrieve it.
How can I retrieve my Bitcoin Private Key on AirBitz?
This is divided into a 2 step process. Firstly you have to retrieve your Wallet Private seed, then you can now retrieve your Private Key. To retrieve your Private seed, please follow the steps below.
- First of all you login to your AirBitz account and look for “Wallets” screen.
- In the top right of the Wallets screen, you have to select the 3 dots.
- Tap export.
- Tap Wallet Private seed (advanced)
- Enter your password and then you will be able to Print, Save to SD Card, and/or view it.
- Go to https://airbitz.com/recovery/
- Enter your wallet Private Seed
- A list of all your public addresses as well as private keys and balances will be displayed.
- You will be able to now sweep any of the addresses that have funds in them.
Mycelium is a bitcoin wallet that is really trending in the market right now. It is easy to use and with a very friendly mobile interface, is the go to for new wallet owners.
So how do I backup my Mycelium account and Private Key?
- Download and Install the Mycelium Wallet app.
- Create new account. (No verification is required, your account is up and running with the click of the button)
- Once your account is up and running, check the top right corner for 3 vertical dots.
- Select it and choose back up.
The Green Address app just recently got an update supporting SegWit. Attractive service but almost none existent customer service. Backing up on this Wallet is pretty simple. You create wallet and a 24 word mnemonic is automatically created and you can then verify and be done. Pretty simple right? Right.
This android wallet is portable, easy to use and above all charge no fees. They also do not view your account balance or see your dealings and additionally it also supports lite coin.
Unfortunately the vendor holds and operates the Private Keys of the wallets. Therefore it does not really make room for backup. On the upside, all data stored on the mobile app is safe and protected from any potential dangers to your bitcoins and there is always the option of paper wallet to fall back to.
Simple Bitcoin Wallet
This Wallet is so simple to use you would probably introduce your grandma to bitcoins using this app. The name says it all, it is simple efficient and user friendly. Security wise it is also a tough nut to crack like most other wallets. It is easy to back up as all accounts are protected using a 12 word mnemonic generated when you create your account, therefore it is easy to backup and protect.
So how do I backup my Simple Wallet as well as Private key?
- Download the app via Google Play store or F-Droid
- Open up or initialize the application you should see a screen like this.
- Select “Create New Wallet”
- The next screen to show will require you to select a password.
- After you select your 6 digit character password, input it and select “Create New Wallet”
- A message telling you your wallet is ready shows, you can now select the “View Mnemonic Code”. With this you can recover your bitcoin wallet as well as all its transactions and contacts.
This wallet is so good it has been described as one of the most popular iOS wallets. Breadwallet for android was launched exactly one year ago in July, 2016. This app is functionally exceptional as it gives the user a very simple interface and ensure you need just the barest understanding of bitcoins to operate. It is however not advisable to keep large amounts of bitcoins on Breadwallet or any mobile wallet at all (try paper or hardware wallets). Unfortunately or maybe fortunately for some, the user is given access to the control of his or her Private Key, so to protect your wallet, you have to back-up the whole wallet
So how do I backup my Breadwallet as well as Private Key?
- Download the and launch the Breadwallet app.
- On the interface that appears, you have to “Generate recovery phrase” (Please write down the phrase in a file, encrypt it and keep it in multiple locations, locked and secure with password buried under the sea 😉 When it comes to bitcoins, there is nothing like too much protection )
- You may now be asked to input your android phone password after selecting the button to generate the recovery phrase.
- You will now receive your recovery phrase, remember to keep it safe as anyone who has access to it can use your bitcoins even without your phone.
This app is so aesthetically pleasing and functional you can’t help but want to use it (I certainly did). Built for efficiency Copay is very easy to use, interactive and straight forward. Therefore backing up your wallet is pretty simple and straight forward and can be done from the start or at a much later time.
So how do I backup my Copay wallet along with my Private Key?
- Install and open the Copay Wallet.
- Follow the tutorial and info tit bits (or you can skip it if you want).
- Select “Create Bitcoin Wallet”.
- You would then be required to input your email so as to receive notifications of payments.
- The next screen requires you back up the account then or do it at a much later date.
- A 12 word phrase is now generated. This phrase is to be kept safe and secret as it is the only way to recover your wallet in case of theft or damage to the phone.
To back up your wallet at a much later date, you can bypass steps 5 and 6. After you create the wallet, you now select the wallet account like so.
It then shows a message saying your Wallet is not backed up. Select the thin orange bar it then redirects you to a warning window, select “Got it” Follow steps 5 and 6 to back up your account.
So that’s how you back up accounts on the major wallets. Green Address, BTC.com and some other important mobile wallets have been left out. That’s largely because they are similar to the ones listed above. If in any case you need help concerning other wallets, feel free to comment below. Need help understanding anything bitcoin related? Or you have a better opinion or correction to what is posted above? Feel free to comment here.