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Once MyBitcoin was thought to be a "solid bitcoin bank". Then it was hacked and a lot of people lost a lot of money there.

Is there another, secure alternative for storing Bitcoins except storing them on your own computer?

(Obviously correctly storing Bitcoin on your computer, with proper encryption and backup, will always be more secure because you don't have to trust anyone. Still, for a lot of people, an online Bitcoin bank is a must.)

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    I don't think it was ever "thought" to be solid, it was pretty plainly dumb/scammy actually. – o0'. Oct 5 '12 at 8:40
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    Also, storing them in your computer you have to trust someone: yourself, and whoever accesses to your computer. Encryption doesn't help if you got a keylogger. – o0'. Oct 5 '12 at 8:41
8

Currently, the most secure place to store bitcoins online appears to be the exchanges. There is some evidence that Mt. Gox is also hoping to become the default bitcoin bank as they are developing mobile payment applications for instant payment.

http://mtgoxlive.com/mobile/

They have also reimbursed the losses of another bitcoin exchange.

https://www.mtgox.com/press_release_20110811.html

It is worth pointing out that while Mt Gox was hacked, no one lost any bitcoins that were not reimbursed.

  • Is there a public record that all funds were really reimbursed? bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/163/… – ripper234 Aug 30 '11 at 23:59
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    On the semi-official forums, there are three people who claim to not have been reimbursed. I find two of their claims plausible and one of them absurd. So certainly at the very least the vast majority of people were reimbursed. It seems odd they would reimburse everyone except two people, and the amounts weren't particularly large. So I believe Mt. Gox. – David Schwartz Aug 31 '11 at 0:18
  • It's also worth noting that Mt Gox offers two-factor authentication in the form of a Yubikey hardware token, putting them a step ahead of most online wallets in their resistance to keylogging and compromised sessions. – eMansipater Sep 6 '11 at 18:18
  • This answer is not quite outdated, since we have javascript clients like mywallet or strongcoin. Moreover, it doesn't take into account the fact that any bank-like site (including exchanges) might operate at a fractional reserve. Related: bitcoin.stackexchange.com/questions/2743/… – o0'. Feb 13 '12 at 8:36
  • I meant "is now quite outdated". – o0'. Mar 1 '12 at 22:32
6

There are a lot of online services where you can keep your bitcoins. You just need to choose what is more convenient for you, depending on what features do you need.

All Bitcoin Exchanges can hold bitcoins and some of them allow you to instantaneously transfer bitcoins between users, which can be a big plus if you want to accept payments.

Other popular ewallets include instawallet, walletbit and flexcoin. Flexcoin acts more like a real bank because it pays "discounts" (interest) to users. Tradehill is also preparing an ewallet at bitcoin.com. blockchain.info offers an ewallet with the unusual feature that they don't have access to your private keys.

As for security, it is hard to know what is going on from the outside. Some exchanges keep part of their coins offline, which is good. Flexcoin is also planning to introduce a cold storage feature.

New services appear every day, so it is hard to point out a single big "bitcoin bank" right now. Check a few and choose one that suits your needs.

  • Mt. Gox is the most trusted exchange by its sheer volume, I guess that makes it also the most trusted bank. – ripper234 Aug 31 '11 at 0:12
  • @ripper234 Bigger sites are a much more interesting target for hackers. And MtGox has already been hacked in the past... You can't just state they are the most secure bank without knowing anything about their security measures. – nmat Aug 31 '11 at 0:21
  • Well, I'm assuming that they at least they are perceived by the public to be the most secure and trustworthy, otherwise people would have migrated to other exchanges by now. – ripper234 Aug 31 '11 at 0:25
  • @ripper234 I understand and I don't want to start a discussion here ;) I have made my point. Just don't forget that traders go where the volume is. MtGox is not a bank. It is the biggest exchange because it has the biggest volume. That doesn't say much about where people keep their savings. – nmat Aug 31 '11 at 0:29

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