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I'm having little problem here, trying to figure out the safest way to backup my wallet.dat to make sure that no BTC may be lost in case of recovery.

I'm not sure how the process of adding new addresses may affect a, say, a recently created backup.

So, basically, do I need to backup continuously to make sure that no BTC are lost? do I need to backup after each new address is created?

Can you provide me with some general golden rules when backing up wallet.dat?

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By default, Bitcoin Core creates 100 addresses the first time it starts, and tries to keep 100 not-yet-used keys in wallet.dat 'keypool' (when you unlock the wallet to make a payment it will generate more).

So you do not need to backup continuously. The 'getinfo' RPC command will tell you the time when the oldest not-yet-used key was generated ('keypoololdest').

Any wallet backup created after the keypoololdest time will be good enough to recover all of the bitcoins sent to your wallet, but I'd suggest you figure out about how long it will take you to send and receive 100 transactions (e.g. two per day would be 50 days) and then backup about twice as often as that (maybe once a month if you're making 2 transactions per day).

Be sure your backups are encrypted with a strong passphrase, and make sure you store them someplace off-site that is safe.

And for long-term storage of more than one or two bitcoins, use a hardware or paper wallet.

  • thanks a lot for your answer. Not only it is very detailed but it also provided me with general guidance about backups, and addresses generation. Further reading on the wiki is on my ToDo List. – Dhuum Jan 18 '15 at 18:52
  • when I tried to watch the "keypoololdest" after your answer I noticed the following : it was 1392447127 which is Sat, 15 Feb 2014 06:52:07 GMT , I created new address then it goes 1392449568 which is Sat, 15 Feb 2014 07:32:48 GMT , I'm wondering should the time change to be today as it is too old (like one year ago) . and if I took a backup today is it quite efficient until the "keypoololdest" changed to be more than 1422866692 (Mon, 02 Feb 2015 08:44:52 GMT) which is the date of the backup ? – Mohamed Farrag Feb 2 '15 at 8:46

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