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Please excuse me if I use the wrong vocab - as I am unfamiliar with this and so will probably explain myself like a foot. Here goes. I am on a Mac and I think I have downloaded the block chain and I now have a window called Bitcoin - Wallet showing Balance: 0.00 BTC and Unconfirmed: 0.00 BTC and Number of transactions: 0.

Now what? 1) I thought I should be getting an address or something that I need to copy and keep safe - and 2) I should create a Password.

I don't want to close the Bitcoin-Wallet window in case I make it disappear for ever .. 3) Should I be getting a little picture of a wallet on my desktop?

Thank you

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A few answers to your questions...

You will likely want to encrypt your wallet by going to Settings/Encrypt Wallet

You will want to make sure that your password is secure by using numbers and both lower and uppercase letters at the very least. You MUST MUST MUST remember this password or your funds will be GONE GONE GONE!

I'm not sure I understand what you mean about closing your wallet and making it disappear forever. It's generally okay to quit your wallet at anytime even if it is not completely thru syncing. When you re-open your Bitcoin-QT client it will just pick up where it left off in downloading the blockchain. Your Bitcoin-QT wallet app should be located in your apps folder...

Applications/Bitcoin-QT

You can create new addresses in your address book. Once you click your address book you will see a New Address button on the bottom left which you can use to create new addresses. You can also create new addresses by going to Receive Coins.

I hope this helps! :)

  • This does help but I need somebody to show me. How would I access my wallet from another computer if I wanted a one off 'help' session? – user1536883 May 29 '13 at 7:55
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Addresses are not private information. If you ever want to receive bitcoins you will have to give one of your addresses to the sender.

The information that you keep private is what is known as the "private key". Each addresses has its own private key. The private key is what allows you to spend the coins sent to the corresponding address.

Usually you don't see the private key in your bitcoin-qt window. The private key is stored in a file called wallet.dat in your bitcoin-qt folder. If you decide to encrypt your wallet by setting a password it is the wallet.dat that is encrypted. So the best way to keep it safe is to a) set a password and b) routinely backup the wallet.dat file.

  • Thank you but I find it very difficult to understand. Is there any way you know of how I could get a one off 'help' session like a private lesson? Also, how would I access my wallet from another computer? – user1536883 May 29 '13 at 7:59
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The Bitcoin-QT software presents you with a user-friendly interface with which to view your Bitcoin transactions. I don't use it, but I imagine that the public address will be displayed somewhere on the screen (it will be of the form 1xxxxxxxxxxxxxx).

Your private key is stored in a wallet.dat file by the software, and it handles all signing and transactions for you, if you ever wanted to send coins. You can obtain both the public and private keys by exporting:

How do I export my private keys from my Bitcoin-Qt client?

And if you close the program and reopen it, your coin balance will not be lost. All of your keys are stored permanently in a wallet.dat file.

  • Thank you gsp92.I have now found the address in 'Received coins' tab in the Bitcoin-Wallet window. – user1536883 Apr 28 '13 at 20:52

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