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I recently got started by creating a single wallet using bitaddress.org. This contains the public bitcoin address and the private key in the wallet import format.

I now have some coins in there, but don't really understand how to use them.

How can I access/use my bitcoins? How is it possible to make a payment? What are the different options?

Any advice is greatly appreciated!

  • 1
    Payments are made from any wallet using both the address and private key, and verified by the blockchain. Like Lohoris said, I would import into Blockchain - it is extremely user friendly and will allow you to keep your wallet address. – George Pearce Apr 16 '13 at 13:31
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A paper wallet has a private key ("Redeem") and a Bitcoin address ("Load & Verify").

  • You can import the private key in the Bitcoin-Qt/bitcoind client using the Debug console or the command line API.
  • You can import the private key into Mt. Gox (Funding, then Redeem, Private key) and it will sweep the funds to your exchange E-Wallet account.
  • You can import the private key into Blockchain.info/wallet
  • You can import the private key from a mobile by scanning using EasyWallet.org (fee applies)
  • You can import a private key into the Multibit client and possibly with other clients.
  • You can spend using a private key with Brainwallet.org <-- Be careful with this.
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I don't quite get the point of bitaddress.org.

My advice is to copy the private key they gave you, and import it into another wallet of your choice, such as blockchain.info.

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Bitaddress is a wallet that can be completely stored offline. That is its underlying importance. However, the printout is very misleading and confusing when it tells you that you can check the balance at blockchain.info.

I sent money to bitaddress.org thinking that I would immediately be able view that it was sent. Wrong. The Private Address must be imported to your blockchain account first under settings, and the addresses. That is the Key. Very simple but it took me quite awhile to figure this one out.

  • -1 This is incorrect. You do not have to import the private key to watch an address. You can just look up the address on any blockexplorer, or import it as a "watch-only" address in a service/wallet. – Murch Jun 18 '17 at 17:30

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