I'm just getting started with bitcoin and haven't acquired any significant amount yet, but want to feel relatively secure before I do. And at the moment, my fear of losing bitcoins or a device on which I store bitcoins is slightly greater than my fear of having them stolen so I'm investigating how to make a paper backup. I have looked around and what I have seen seems more complicated than necessary. I am wondering if I could simply:
- Start up my bitcoin 0.7.1-beta client
- Transfer all my bitcoins to some address in the client
- Open the debug window console
walletpassphrase <my passphrase> 60
dumpprivkey <my address with all the bitcoins>
- Print the private key that is displayed
Then if I ever need to recover it, I could import that private key into any other bitcoin client. If it's the same bitcoin client newly installed, I could enter
importprivkey <my key>.
My one concern about this is that I have somewhere read that some bitcoin wallets "un-steal themselves" and I am worried and wondering if that means that coins may be automatically transferred to another address at some point, at which time my paper backup would become useless.
How wise is this plan? Is there another way I can or should generate a private key and address to which I can send bitcoins without actually having the private key stored on my system if I have a concern about the security of the system?