Is it considered bad practice to have a wallet "cloned" on both a smartphone and a desktop PC?



I already checked questions as:

Can I use my wallet on different computers?

Can wallets be shared by different machines?

...but what I'm asking regards popular wallets as BitPay and Electrum, that have both the desktop and mobile app, permitting to export and import a wallet. Nothing that takes into account messing with any wallet.dat file.

I'm currently doing this with a BitPay wallet, and it seems it works good. When a transaction occurs (i.e. I receive funds) this is notified on both platforms (I think it's related to how those wallets works; I'm referring to the Bitcore Wallet Service).

I also read about the notorious quote "not a good idea", but I'm not sure of this refers to different type of wallets or what else...

Any clarification on this is more than welcome.


Posted 2017-07-28T20:14:52.417

Reputation: 113



It is merely a question of security. If your copy of the private key in wallet A (phone) is compromised, you can lose your coins. If your copy of the private key in wallet B (PC) is compromised, you can lose your coins.

Assuming both copies are secure, you basically just have a backup of your private key.

As for whether or not having two copies like that is secure or "best practice", that depends a lot on how you handle your computers, and there are better experts out there that can answer that.

One thing you cannot do is double spend. If they use the same private key, one wallet is the same as the other, and trying to spend out of both will result in an unconfirmed transaction on one of them.

Smack Jack

Posted 2017-07-28T20:14:52.417

Reputation: 43

Hi, thanks. This is what I thought, so I'm happy I have an answer in regards. So you're saying that synchronization is by design, and there's nothing to worry about, right? – dentex – 2017-07-29T07:54:08.533

@dentex, the protection against double spending is certainly by design... the ability to backup a private key and the fact that the private key is the single thing that allows you to "unlock" a coin and spend it is just a mathematical fact... made use of in the design. You can have as many copies of the private key as you want, just don't let anyone else have access to it, including an app you may not trust. – Smack Jack – 2017-07-29T08:20:18.570

Stack Exchange has turned into garbage – Smack Jack – 2017-07-31T01:02:24.700

OMG. What happened? I hope it's nothing related to this Q. – dentex – 2017-07-31T04:48:29.170