I have a few bitcoins on a bitcoin platform (Kraken). I do not trust any bitcoin platform. I want to own my bitcoins.

I do not trust Ledger devices too.

What i want to do is to generate my own public/private key and keep this keys on a paper in my pocket.

Here is what i want to do. Can you tell me if it is good:

  • First, i want to build a bitcoin node on a dedicated server

    git clone -b 0.18 https://github.com/bitcoin/bitcoin.git

  • Next, i will wait to download all blocks on this server.

  • Next, i will generate an address:

    bitcoin-cli getnewaddress

  • Next, i will send all my bitcoins to this address through kraken website

  • Next, i will export my public/private key with this command:

    bitcoin-cli dumpwallet export.txt

    • Next, i will print or save export.txt file

    • Next, i will ERASE the dedicated server.

Can you confirm me i will own my bitcoins if i only keep export.txt file ?

1 Answer 1


As long as you have the wallet dump, you will be able to access your bitcoin.

However, your approach doesn't line up - if you are already at the point of not trusting hardware wallets, trusting a random dedicated server is not a reasonable approach. In fact, a dedicated server may be a worse choice simply because you have no control over the storage drives - it is trivial to recover deleted files from most drives, especially when such a small amount of data is being written.

Additionally, you also are exposed to any compromise on your local machine. The moment you copy over the wallet dump, or even cat it, anyone who has reasonable access to your local machine via a remote access tool or other malware will be able to see the keys.

The entire point of devices like the ledger is to ensure that the private keys are never, ever placed on any computer at all. They exist solely on that device, and on the paper backup of the mnemonic words.

If you want to go a step further, you can use something like the Cold Card (this is not an endorsement, I have no relation to them, and cannot vouch for them). These aren't even connected to a computer at all, and work with PSBTs via SD cards.

  • The problem i have with ledger is what happens if the device is broken? Also, I need to install a ledger software (chrome plugin). Can we trust this software ? What happens lf ledger company does not exists in 10 years ?
    – Bob5421
    Commented May 1, 2020 at 17:34
  • Ledger, and all legitimate hardware wallets, follow BIP39/BIP44 - if your device breaks, you can restore the wallet onto any compatible wallet (ledger, trezor, software wallets, whatever) as long as you kept the seed words carefully. If ledger ceases to exist, the device protocols are open source, and you would likely see a community effort to maintain existing wallets or provide migration tools (in addition to the fact that you can migrate away at any time using the seed words) Commented May 2, 2020 at 4:47
  • There is something i do not understand about seed. This seed « contrains » the private key ? So if somebody stole the seed he can reveal my private key ? Is there a way to generate a private key and addresses on my computer Without installing a node ? Thanks
    – Bob5421
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 8:09
  • All wallets today use HD Wallets, which derive all keys from a root key. Your seed words are an easy-to-note-down piece of information that leads directly to the root key. If someone has the seed words, they have full access to your wallet. You can use bitcoind to create a wallet without downloading the blockchain, but you will not be able to see your balance until it syncs unless you use an explorer. Commented May 2, 2020 at 9:11
  • Is it possible to generate an address (in order to receive btc) with bitcoind without downloading the blockchain ? And what information should i give to explorer in order to see my balance ? Public key ?
    – Bob5421
    Commented May 2, 2020 at 9:28

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