Can anyone tell me how bit coins are stored on my account?

I had a bit coin account long ago and not sure what happened? Can anyone explain in simple words what a bit coin account has? Is it a key ... I am totally confused about it after reading the bitcoin.org website.

My specific question are,

  1. can we have a bit coin account like email account where I can store my transactions.
  2. can I start stop this account wherever I am, say on my pc, on my laptop, on mobile or on an other PC.?
  3. How to identify my account? what is the scope of portability?

Your bitcoins belong to an 'account' that can only be accessed by using a private key, which is in your wallet. You can have copies of that private key/wallet in many places. They all access the same account.

I like to think of it this way... The bitcoin network is like a massive bank full of billions, trillions, and so on of vaults. You can put coins into any vault without needing a key to that vault. You can only take coins out of a vault IF you have a key to that vault (your wallet). Your coins are never stored on your actually computer. Only the KEY to the vault is stored on your computer. That key is used to access your coins. Downloading the blockchain is simply a way of letting your bitcoin client know how many coins you have, who you sent coins to, and who sent coins to you. Its like a virtual copy of those billions of vaults, which mostly all you don't have access to. Only that vault whose key you possess. Good luck!

  • Thank you for your answer and you bank example. So if I loose key what happens to the bit coins that I generated? will it be lost for ever and cant be used by anyone or even by the bank? Dec 10 '13 at 9:21
  • 1
    Yep, your coins literally sit in the account and can no longer be accessed. These are referred to as lost coins.
    – mosca1337
    Dec 10 '13 at 23:48
  • That info was new to me. Ok ... now how does a bit-coin is generated, by giving my computer (cpu) for work, who is befitting from it and how? Dec 11 '13 at 9:17
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    Bitcoins are awarded to 'miners' who solve a block. It is the incentive behind Bitcoin's proof of work system. Check this out bitcoin.org/bitcoin.pdf
    – mosca1337
    Dec 11 '13 at 10:05
  • Thank you for sending me that link , The information was really helpful. Dec 14 '13 at 16:41

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