laredotornado
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What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:20 pm

Hi,

I'm new to BitCoin. I just created an account with Coinbase and purchased some BitCoin. Coinbase tells me the funds will be deposited into my "BTC Wallet". Does anyone know what that is? I didn't explicitly create a wallet with Coinbase or anyone else, so perhaps they do it for me?

Grateful for any additional information people have regarding Coinbase.

- Dave

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Re: What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:31 pm

Hi Dave,

A "wallet" is any place that stores your BTC in a directly spendable form. You can send BTC from your "wallet" account at Coinbase, and receive it using regular BTC addresses just as if you had the account on your desktop or phone. The only difference is that instead of you having the private keys, Coinbase is holding them for you.

Almost anytime you create an account with any third party to hold BTC, you will be creating a wallet. In some cases, the third party will store the BTC in their own wallet for which you'll have neither the private nor the public keys. In those cases, you would request the withdraw your BTC into a spendable wallet.

Coinbase is a reputable company which you can trust with your private keys, but remember that nothing is as secure as holding the private keys yourself in your own wallet. There is a LARGE incentive for hackers to break into holders of many accounts like Coinbase, and less incentive for them to break into the account of just one person.

Hope that helps!
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Re: What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Mon Jul 17, 2017 7:42 pm

You get athe wallet service when you become a Coinbase user. Read the services section and you will get answer of your question. https://www.coinbase.com/legal/user_agreement?locale=en
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Re: What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Mon Jul 17, 2017 10:20 pm

If you get to the "accounts" section in your coinbase account, you can click on "get wallet address" and it will be displayed for you.
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Re: What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Sat Aug 19, 2017 8:28 pm

i've a question - is your bitcoin legally yours if coinbase holds your private keys?
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Re: What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Wed Sep 20, 2017 4:38 am

i've a question - is your bitcoin legally yours if coinbase holds your private keys?
I don't know about anything legal or not legal but any time that you don't know what your private key is then you yourself don't have control of those bitcoins associated with that address.

Moreover, I myself don't believe (I could be wrong) that a wallet at Coinbase (and almost all exchanges) is really a wallet. I believe that everyone's bitcoin is pooled together.

The balance displayed in your accounts at Coinbase is probably from a database or something or whatever but I don't believe that yourcoins are stored in a wallet that is yours.

I've sent bitcoin to my Coinbase account before and it didn't even show up as a pending transaction or anywhere even though it was confirmed several times on the blockchain hours before. So it's not a real wallet it's just a display of how much bitcoin that you've sent to Coinbase and that you have available to use.
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Re: What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Wed Sep 20, 2017 5:27 pm

i've a question - is your bitcoin legally yours if coinbase holds your private keys?
This is a GREAT question, and really gets to the heart of the matter why Bitcoin is important! Sorry in advance for a philosophical rant...

For all of history, if you owned something and wanted to keep it out of the hands of others who would claim it, you'd need some sort of documentation outside of that something that proved you owned it. A bill of sale, signature of a notary, in the case of property a deed, or a claim check. Each form of documentation is a contract and up to now the only way to enforce those contracts was via a third party granted a monopoly on force and punishment: eg. Government.

This has given rise to the mindset that if you own something, you must own it "legally." Legally meaning: ownership recognized and enforced by a State. Over time, because we must make obeisance to the State for each thing we own, we've all fallen into the false mentality that ownership of private property is something a State grants to you instead of simply recognizes and protects. The State itself has capitalized on this shift in perception and all but outright makes claim to everything except what it, in its magnanimity, allows you to keep.

But this mindset is wrong, and we can show this from first principles: Do you own your own body? Almost no one would say no to that; in fact to answer "no" means you support some manner of slavery. If you disagree with slavery, that means you disagree with someone owning rights to the fruits of another person's labour. And if you disagree with that, you agree that the fruits of one's labour is their own private property.

If you own something, there is no "legally" or "non legally". You either have proof you own it or not. The whole "legally" angle only comes in after and describes who is enforcing that proof if it is ever challenged.

Bitcoin is the first system of money that bundles that proof with the money itself. No government needs to recognize it, because recognition is implicit in holding the private keys.

So to come back to your original question, is your bitcoin legally yours if Coinbase holds your private keys? They are in the sense that Coinbase operates in compliance with the financial laws of a State and if something happened to those Bitcoins you would probably have some legal case to take to the US government. In simple terms, your contract with Coinbase is the third-party proof you need to show anyone that you have access to your coins. But should that contract be challenged, your only recourse is to appeal to the force and coercion of the State to guarantee it.

However, if you transferred your Bitcoins to a private wallet where only you know the private key, the coins are truly yours in that you own them and you also have recognized proof via the Blockchain ledger that you own them. No State is required to guarantee this ownership, because the coins and the proof are one and the same! This is precisely why Bitcoin is so revolutionary. It cuts out the middle-man of the State from monetary issues, over which it has become a monstrous monopoly in the last few centuries.

Once again, this statement...

Do you own your own body? The proof that you do is that you're living inside of it.

... is just as strong a case for ownership as this:

Do you own your Bitcoin? The proof that you do is that you have the private key.

There really is no "legally" in Bitcoin.
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Re: What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Wed Oct 04, 2017 4:32 pm

i've a question - is your bitcoin legally yours if coinbase holds your private keys?
I don't know about anything legal or not legal but any time that you don't know what your private key is then you yourself don't have control of those bitcoins associated with that address.

Moreover, I myself don't believe (I could be wrong) that a wallet at Coinbase (and almost all exchanges) is really a wallet. I believe that everyone's bitcoin is pooled together.

The balance displayed in your accounts at Coinbase is probably from a database or something or whatever but I don't believe that yourcoins are stored in a wallet that is yours.

I've sent bitcoin to my Coinbase account before and it didn't even show up as a pending transaction or anywhere even though it was confirmed several times on the blockchain hours before. So it's not a real wallet it's just a display of how much bitcoin that you've sent to Coinbase and that you have available to use.
yourcoins are stored in a wallet that is yours. How it's possible?

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Re: What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Wed Oct 04, 2017 10:04 pm

i've a question - is your bitcoin legally yours if coinbase holds your private keys?
I don't know about anything legal or not legal but any time that you don't know what your private key is then you yourself don't have control of those bitcoins associated with that address.

Moreover, I myself don't believe (I could be wrong) that a wallet at Coinbase (and almost all exchanges) is really a wallet. I believe that everyone's bitcoin is pooled together.

The balance displayed in youightr accounts at Coinbase is probably from a database or something or whatever but I don't believe that yourcoins are stored in a wallet that is yours.

I've sent bitcoin to my Coinbase account before and it didn't even show up as a pending transaction or anywhere even though it was confirmed several times on the blockchain hours before. So it's not a real wallet it's just a display of how much bitcoin that you've sent to Coinbase and that you have available to use.
yourcoins are stored in a wallet that is yours. How it's possible?
Hi LauraSteffano,

What I was trying to say is a wallet which you have control of.

Coinbase is a good place to buy bitcoin at but you don't have control over you bitcoin. I imagine that Coinbase is relatively secure (I use them to buy and sell) because they are a big company with lots of money to pay to keep everything up to date and secure.

To me the following are examples what makes a wallet and/or an address "yours" (this is just me, I'm a nobody so please verify with others):

Example 1. Download the blockchain on your computer and use the default wallet that comes with it. That's your's, and only yours. (I've done it before).

Example 2. Use some code in a file that you create (e.g., php or python) to generate a bitcoin address (public compressed and private hex). This is what is commonly known (I believe) as a paper wallet (although you don't need to print it on paper, although that would eliminate the risk of it even being somehow found on your computer by others or someone with remote access or a bot designed to search for such data on your computer).

Example 3. If you aren't a coder you could use a site like bitaddress.org in lieu of the example (#2) above.

The foregoing (above) examples may not be easy for newcomers or really very user friendly for anyone regardless if they are new or not. So what can you do. See below:

DON'Ts:

-Don't store your bitcoin in web based wallets. That means (to me at least) a wallet in which you have to open a browser and go to a website and login.

-Don't store your bitcoin at an online or centralized exchange. Moreover, most of these (I believe, but then again I'm a nobody) display your BTC balance from a database.

DOs:

Example 4. Do download a wallet which runs on a drive on your computer and that you have access to the private key. I have used Electrum wallet and wallets which can be downloaded here at Bitcoin.com

Example 5. Do look into hardware wallets, e.g., Trezor, (I haven't used them myself but I want to try them out).

AGAIN, PLEASE VERIFY anything that I've stated. I'm a nobody and I could be wrong.

Disclaimer: I do use one wallet where I must login through a website and that is blockchain.info.
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LauraSteffano
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Re: What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Sun Oct 08, 2017 6:06 pm

if you transferred your Bitcoins to a private wallet where only you know the private key, the coins are truly yours in that you own them and you also have recognized proof via the Blockchain ledger that you own them

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Re: What is Coinbase's BTC wallet?

Wed Dec 26, 2018 12:35 pm

Typically a wallet is encrypted with a password or otherwise protected from unauthorized access. Unlike the Bitcoin network, a Bitcoin wallet is controlled only by its owner (it's not distributed and shared like the blockchain).

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