I am a beginner and just starting to explore the possibilities of Bitcoins. So I would be very grateful if somebody could help me with this question. Is there a risk that my Bitcoins are lost if the PC with the bitcoins resp. with the Bitcoin wallet stored on it is stolen or has crashed? Thank you very much.

2 Answers 2


Accessing to (your) bitcoin requires a private key. This is kind a long number password to access the bitcoin on the network called blockchain.

All bitcoin are saved in this (online) network. A private key looks like this: 5Kb8kLf9zgWQnogidDA76MzPL6TsZZY36hWXMssSzNydYXYB9KF

Important thing is you save your private key on different places in case you need it back again. One good practice is print it on a paper with QR code. This is called Cold Storage. This is your backup.

Don't show this private key to anyone else and save a copy somewhere else than your home.

Act like a bank, because with bitcoin you are own bank. When your PC is gone, you take the private key and setup a new wallet on a device. Amount of the bitcoin will be exactly the same as it was left last time, because it is saved on the blockchain.

Read more here https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Private_key

  • 2
    Note that if your device gets stolen and the thief gets access to the private key he can transfer the bitcoins and after that, your backup is not going to help you.
    – Jannes
    Commented Aug 15, 2015 at 17:09
  • 1
    You can encrypt the wallet with a passphrase to protect against that, however then you risk losing the bitcoin if you forget the passphrase.
    – ryanc
    Commented Aug 21, 2015 at 3:53

Yes, there's a risk. Securing your private keys and backing them up are the most important things to do when you own Bitcoin.

To protect your private keys from theft of your computer, don't store your keys on your computer, in a software wallet. Use a hardware wallet instead. When you have a hardware wallet, make sure to secure copies of your seed words, so you can recover your private keys if your hardware wallet fails, gets lost, or gets stolen. You will absolutely want to protect your hardware wallet with a sufficiently long PIN code. Back that up, too, and secure it.

If you do these things, and do them well, the risk of losing your Bitcoin funds is minimized, regardless of what happens to your computer.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.