As the title says: My blockchain sync still needs to sync 56 weeks, but I want to export my private keys from the bitcoin qt wallet to blockchain.info. Is it possible to do that without waiting for the chain to complete and unninstall the program, or do I have to wait?



You can export your private keys (using the dumpprivkey command in the console) without having to wait to sync the blockchain.

  • Thanks for your answer! And can I also receive coins immediately ( well, with the standard time you have to wait ) on blockchain.org and uninstall the program? – Ahmed Feb 17 '14 at 20:30
  • What coins are in your account depend on the blockchain, not your software, so you can start receiving bitcoins immediately. You will, however, not SEE the bitcoins in your desktop software until you are sufficiently up-to-date. You can go to blockchain.info and type in your public key (or anyone else's) and see your newly arrived coins immediately, since they are up-to-date. – AMADANON Inc. Feb 17 '14 at 20:40
  • @AMADANONInc. Thank you, very clear. But doesn't that mean my newly made public keys aren't in the bitcoin chain yet as well? – Ahmed Feb 17 '14 at 20:46
  • Newly generated keys are never in the blockchain, until they receive money. Receiving money puts them in the blockchain. – AMADANON Inc. Feb 17 '14 at 20:47
  • @AMADANONInc. Good explanation :D Too bad I can't vote up here – Ahmed Feb 17 '14 at 20:49

Private keys can (and should!) be backed up as soon as they are created. You do not have to wait for the blockchain to sync, and in fact new accounts don't exist on the blockchain until they get some bitcoin in them - receiving your first bitcoin to your address is what adds them to the blockchain.

Since the balances of the accounts are stored in the blockchain, you also don't need to back up as your balance changes; the balance the blockchain credits to your private key will change, but your key itself never will (unless you create new accounts).

If your desktop client is not yet up-to-date, you will not SEE your bitcoin; once your client passes the block which shows your arriving bitcoin, it will magically update; spent coins, similarly, will only show as you download the relevant block.

You can always see your (or anyone's) up-to-date balance by typing (copy/paste) the account number into blockchain.info's search, since they have the entire blockchain (and keep track of the unconfirmed transactions that are not yet in the blockchain).

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