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I am a bit new to BTC.

I bought few via Virwox and it tells me I have an address. People can send money in BTC to that address.

I also downloaded MultiBit on my Mac and I got another address.

But how do I actually own those addresses? I'd like to see some technical reference on this.

Thanks,

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You actually own a private key, which generates the public address which is given to you.

For example, let's say your public address is:

1E4CwvCLFkhAz8Zbkvh2HpmsNafk9ecvdo

The private key which generates that address is:

5HtxkoHrU6iGJXaNCQ5iAZBEXgTWk13k14SFpQrNJHVrJuTxN78 (Do not use this private key!)

To be able to add that address to your wallet, you need to add your private key to your wallet. What your wallet basically does is to show the balance of all your private keys. You can send and receive BTC through these addresses.

So right now you have BTC on the private key (or public address) which you ordered on Virwox. If you want to see it on your wallet, you can either add the private key to your wallet, or send those BTCs to the address generated by the Multibit wallet.

BTW: If you're going to send the BTC, please make sure that you backup your wallet just in case.

Kudos,

-Besir

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  • 1
    Don't use that specific private key!
    – John T
    Feb 2 '14 at 8:49
  • 1
    I'll edit it, and tell him not to do so :) Feb 2 '14 at 8:49
  • Thanks. So how do I generate the private key? How could I make sure it's safe? Feb 2 '14 at 9:09
  • Your wallet actually creates it when you create a public address. All you need to do is create a new wallet with a public key, and keep a backup of your wallet file. If you want double security, save the mnemonic (eg. "tree haze pardon breaker hammer james explode") given to you when you create a wallet. You can use that mnemonic to recover your wallet later on. Feb 2 '14 at 9:37
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You own a bitcoin address if (and only if) you (and only you) have the corresponding private key for that address.

If this isn't true, it means that when you have some amount of Bitcoin on Virwox, this amount is technically owned by Virwox, and not by you. This means, that you can't control if these bitcoins are in place, or if you will own them tomorrow.

On the other hand, Blockchain.info/wallet does not have an access to your private keys, only you have, so you can be sure, that the Bitcoin you own now will be also yours tomorrow. Likewise with Bitcoin software installed locally on your computer.

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  • Thanks, so do I need to install some Bitchain client to own the bitcoin? Mar 4 '14 at 11:47
  • To really own a bitcoin with the lowest effort, I would recommend you using the blockchain.info web wallet.
    – czaks
    Mar 4 '14 at 11:54
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VirWoX doesn't allow you to "posses" your account. You need a client like MultiBit, and there you will see your new address. Then make a bitcoin transfer from virwox to multibit. They will charge 0.002 btc per transaction, with a minimum of 0.02 or so I think.

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