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I do not understand how addresses and wallets are related. I see that you are advised to generate an address for every transaction and, furthermore, use (multi-in multi-out) tumblers to maintain anonimity. This will create a hell amount of (unspent) keys+addresses. How do you manage them all and handle complexity? How do you remember that this was a simple transaction from that wallet to mine and the rest is just intermediate activity. Is a wallet just a collection of (unspent) addresses so that you can simply merge different (wallets of) bitcoins by just gathering these keys/addresses? I understand that to have a coin means that you know which address has some unspent bitcoins and you have a key to demonstrate that it is your coin/address in the next transaction. But what if you share same coin addresses between wallets and one wallet will think that there are still money while you spent them (peahaps partially)? What about compatibility of various wallets, is there a strandard/converter? Am I right that the thing that you must keep in mind is the list of addresses plus corresponding keys and the wallet is such a record?

closed as too broad by Murch Aug 11 '15 at 16:24

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You are asking a lot of questions in one post but to answer the question in your title concisely:

A Bitcoin wallet is loosely the equivalent of a physical wallet on the Bitcoin network. The wallet actually contains your private key(s) which allow you to spend the bitcoins allocated to it in the block chain. Each Bitcoin wallet can show you the total balance of all bitcoins it controls and lets you pay a specific amount to a specific person, just like a real wallet. This is different to credit cards where you are charged by the merchant.

From Bitcoin.org.

A wallet contains any number of public/private keys. You can easily create new wallets or new public/private keys in your existing wallet.

I'd recommend breaking down anything still unanswered into their own specific question.

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It will be classified as double-spending and won't suceed
Quoted from https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Double-spending :

...Bitcoin protects against double spending by verifying each transaction added to the block chain to ensure that the inputs for the transaction had not previously already been spent.

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Take the keys and addresses as a bank card, I'd say. Each bank card has it's code, so as Bitcoin.
Those keys are somewhat localized(thus a private key is needed for wallet transferring) blockchains only works as a transaction recording platform.

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Bitcoin is using Secp256k1

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"Such a record" is needed as this identifies you on network. A good way is keep it on a paper and lock into a safe.

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More info: Private key

  • Ok, what is a wallet? Do you keep the private key of your wallet? Do you see that I point out that you need a new address for every transaction? Why do I ask that? Are you saying that it is ok that a new paper added into your wallet with every transaction? – Val Aug 12 '14 at 13:12
  • A wallet is just a thing for you to store your bitcoins. You should keep your private key or you will lose access to your wallet(quite obvious). No, you don't. You can generate as many address as you like and paper record it then label it like "My Wallet", "Other Transactions" etc. or you can just do 1 key and have it in your mind or in a paper, too. Thus the next question and the last question is invalid. – ProtoAES256 Aug 13 '14 at 3:29

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