In your daily life you use a debit card (pinpas) and possibly you have some cash in your wallet. If you loose your (physical) wallet, the chance is that your money is gone. The card has a security code (pincode), that only you know. If you loose your card you contact your bank and get a new one. Usually you don’t loose any money that way.
With Blockchain technology it works a little different. You have your wallet that you use for all sorts of transactions. You transfer Gulden to your friends, you buy Gulden on gulden.com and you pay for your pizza’s at thuisbezorgd.nl. If you loose your wallet and you have not made a backup, you loose all your Guldens that belong to that wallet. You will never get them back. Never ever. As who can verify that you are the real owner of your wallet? No one.
To avoid this it is extremely important to always (read: always always always) make a backup of your desktop wallet and/or have the recovery sentence (herstelzin) stored away safely. Read below how to make a backup as you will not be the only one that has lost Guldens due to a clumsy oversight.
1. Desktop wallet
Once you have installed your desktop wallet on your computer (apple or windows) it is important to backup one file. It is the file “wallet.dat”. You can find these on two locations that we mention below. You can send this file to yourself by email (save it in the cloud), you can save it on an external hard-drive, a USB stick or for instance as an attachment in you Lastpass account. Make sure you always make a backup twice and do this often. Also always password protect your desktop wallet,even if you have not done that yet. This password will than also protect the backups of the “wallet.dat” file.
If you, for whatever reason, no longer have access to this backup file you have lost your wallet. You can then never retrieve it again. As who can verify that you are the legitimate owner? No one. Your Guldens can then no longer be restored.
Location “wallet.dat” in Windows:
Location “wallet.dat” bestand op Apple computers: ~/Library/Application Support/Gulden
Beware: if someone else has access to your “wallet.dat” file then he/she can take control over your wallet and plunder all you Gulden stash.
2. Gulden app (mobile wallet)
When you first install the Gulden app (apple or android) you will be clearly asked to write down the recovery sentence (herstelzin). It consists of 12 short words). Do this! The recovery sentence is needed to reactivate your wallet that contains all the active transactions. It can be reactivated on a different smart phone (for instance when your phone is stolen or broken). If you have lost your recovery sentence than you cannot restore your wallet and you will have lost your Guldens on it. Below we give a few examples of where you can store/ keep save your recovery sentence.
Online backup possibilities
- Send your recovery sentence to your own email address (make sure to use a 2-factor-authentication and that you always log out if you do not use your email anymore)
- On a photo that you save on your Google drive or icloud (make sure you use a 2-factor-authentication)
- In your lastpass account (make sure 2-factor-authorisation is switched on) and that for a note you need to additionally re-enter your main password
Offline backup possibilities
- Use http://cryptosteel.com
- Write it on a piece of paper (beware ink can fade)!
- Have it added to your will at a notary (your heirs will receive the recovery sentence if you pass away)
- On a USB stick that you then store away safely (a USB stick can get lost, get damaged, so make sure you have a double backup)
This post is also available in: Dutch