Now you have some bitcoins in your mobile wallet, you’ll want to make sure you don’t lose them. Luckily, many wallet apps these days allow you to backup and restore your balances — in case you lose your phone, or it gets broken or stolen. Read and watch on to find out how to do it.
Also watch: Video: How to Send Money With a Bitcoin Wallet
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What’s a Seed Phrase and Why Is It Important?
Have you ever heard of a “mnemonic phrase”, or “wallet seed”? We’ll explain it all to you. Writing down a bunch of random words seems strange at first, but wallet software uses this series of words to generate all your public and private keys.
Once you note this string of words down — in order, and preferably on paper and not in a computer file or screenshot — then your complete wallet balance and history is backed up.
(If you’re really daring you could even remember it in your head, though we wouldn’t recommend that unless you’re (a) leaving all your physical possessions behind, and (b) absolutely confident you could remember it correctly.)
Restore Your Wallet Almost Anywhere
But there’s more! Did you know that once you have that seed phrase of random words, you can restore it to another wallet app? We start off here using one wallet, but will restore the funds to a completely different app.
You can restore a balance on any software that supports Bitcoin’s BIP39/BIP44 or HD wallet protocols. That’s very handy if one company happens to go out of business.
We used the Blockchain and Copay wallets for this demo.
Bitsonline’s Bitcoin School for Beginners
This video is part of an instructional series for crypto beginners by Daniel Rojas. Daniel started the Bitcoin Meetup in Costa Rica, which now has over 300 members and a WhatsApp chat (IM app) of 175+ members (as of Oct 2017). He gives regular Bitcoin talks to the community to encourage people to learn and use this technology.
Daniel holds an Electronic Engineering degree and worked at National Instruments for 6.5 years as a radio frequency systems engineer. He first learned about Bitcoin in April 2016, when it was $450 USD. Because Coinbase doesn’t support Costa Rica, he bought his first satoshis by transferring $20 via PayPal to a friend in the US.
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