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Assume one makes a secure online backup of their wallet and then their laptop or device that has it is stolen. For the sake of argument assume that the thief watched the user type their wallet password in somehow, or the owner kept the password in a text file or something... what is the fastest way to transfer the funds from the online backup into a new wallet?

I would imagine this would be something like a easy online service that imports a wallet so that user is not forced to use the slower default of: find computer, download client, wait forever for the blockchain sync, then transfer.

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You do not need to send coin to another wallet, but you surely need them to be sent to another address (since the compromised wallet has compromised addres). What I would is go to http://blockchain.info and open a new wallet. Copy paste the first address you see, it'll be your new secure address since you just genereted it. Then import your old compromised wallet.dat to blockchain.info and then send all your coins to the address you copied (in the bitcoin client it would show as sending to self). Then you are safe if the transaction confirm since you are the only one able to use this address. You can then send those bitcoin to a new wallet.

  • this still depends a lot of getting a full block chain up somewhere so that you can transfer the funds. this is the delay i think someone in this situation would want to avoid – gesell Feb 6 '13 at 4:59
  • blockchain.info does not need to download blockchain it already has it. – Gopoi Feb 6 '13 at 5:29
  • I thought you were suggesting "import" of the wallet into a new bitcoin-qt instance, which would require resyncing. i didnt understand that you meant that blockchain.info supports importing the wallet.dat. got it now. thanks! – gesell Feb 7 '13 at 15:15
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The debug window of the Bitcoin-Qt client provides the ability to export private keys. Those keys can then be imported to another client, either another Bitcoin-Qt wallet or to something like Blockchain.info/wallet.

  • thanks. if this is the only way it would mean people concerned should go to the command line and export the wallet. I guess most wont so it might still be useful if there was a service that could input a wallet. – gesell Feb 2 '13 at 8:14
  • If this were to happen today, for instance, there are trusted individuals that can be found who would perform this service, for a fee. – Stephen Gornick Feb 3 '13 at 3:59
  • finding trusted individuals would add a delay that might make such an option unusefull – gesell Feb 6 '13 at 4:58

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