In this article we will look at how you can go about downloading the latest official Blackcoin-qt wallet (), installing it and most importantly, using it securely. This is meant to be a simple introduction to Blackcoin as well as some of the various features of its wallet, that people who are either new or looking to invest in this coin may find useful.
What is Blackcoin
Blackcoin is a scrypt based coin which was first released as a PoW (Proof of Work) coin on 24th February 2014, and had a zero pre-mine, meaning that everyone would have a fair chance to mine or buy them. After the first week, the coin changed to a PoS (Proof of Stake) coin after mining (after the 10,000th block was detected) had finished. Once the coin changed from a PoW coin to a PoS coin, investors would then be able to benefit from its built-in 1% inflation (known as Staking) that will give holders of the coin 1% interest on their matured coins over the course of a year. This staking takes approximately 8hrs to begin, and I will show you later in the article how you can Stake whilst also maintaining the security of your wallet. This Staking also maintains the security of the public ledger as instead of the miners maintaining and keeping track of the transactions, it can instead be done via people who have their wallets open for Staking. This also makes it far more energy-efficient. Blackcoin also has a very fast transaction speed of just 10 seconds, which will appeal to future merchants as the coins start to grow and develop.
Projects in development for Blackcoin
There are many other things that I like about this coin which really come from the very active developer, rat4, the community manager Soepkip who got Blackcoin added to Coinkite, and of course the huge community that has grown around this very young but rapidly growing coin. The first of which is the development of the Blackcoin Multipool, that allows users to mine for BC by first mining for other profitable altcoins, and then automatically exchanging those mined coins using their unique algorithm for Blackcoin’s that are converted to BC on the various exchanges like MintPal, BTER and Cryptsy, and paid to the miners. This in effect creates a constant ‘Buy’ for the currency that greatly helps against the damage of dumpers and whales that can have an adverse affect on the price of the coin as they attempt to manipulate. The multipool was only changed to an Open-Beta last Friday, has already proved to be highly effective and lucrative to those who mine at the BlackcoinPool. Below is an example of what the BlackcoinPool interface looks like for people mining there. As you can see it gives stats for your mining which are auto-updated every 10 seconds.
The other benefit is of course the community surrounding Blackcoin on various sites like Bitcointalk (main discussion area) and reddit. From this community there has already been some pretty fantastic projects to further benefit the coin including last Friday’s BlackFriday which was the official launching of the multipool, a rewards card for Blackcoin that is currently in development thanks to IconicExpert and a major marketing campaign, titled Blackout Wednesday that is to hit today (Wednesday 9th April at approximately 07:00hrs ET) that has also been organised by the same member along with donations for it by the community. There are also many other projects planned for the near future which can only bode well for this coin, separating it from other coins.
Note that the wallet instructions below are based on the Windows version of the Blackcoin wallet. It should be similar with the Linux and Mac OSX versions.
Downloading the official wallet
The download for the official Blackcoin-qt wallet is available from the official site and is available for Linux, Windows (32-bit) and Mac OSX. I would advise that you perform a scan (make sure it is up to date) of whichever antivirus you use first, as this wallet will be holding some valuable coins and information.
When you first install the wallet you will be prompted by the Windows firewall to give the program permission. Simply hit Allow access.
Your wallet will now begin to synchronise with the network, which may take a short while depending on your download speeds. Once this is complete your wallet will now be available to use. As you can see from the screenshot below, when you first open your wallet, it will be locked. You may notice that there are a few transactions showing on the right hand side of the shot below showing incoming payments from mining. This isn’t from the multipool, but is via Staking which I will discuss shortly.
The first thing you should do after having installed your wallet, is to encrypt it. To do this simply select Settings at the top of the wallet and choose Encrypt Wallet.
Now you will need to input a strong passphrase that you can remember.
Important: Make a note of this somewhere as well, as if you forget this passphrase you will not be able to access your coins in the future. Once you have entered it twice, hit OK.
You will get a warning after entering your passphrase that losing it may mean losing all of your coins. (Hence make a note of it and store it safely away)
After hitting Yes, the wallet will begin to encrypt itself and then close.
Now open your wallet again, so we can take a look at some of the other features.
How to backup your Blackcoin wallet
If you have any coins in your wallet, it is highly advisable to make regular backups of your wallet.dat file. This is the most important file as it contains all of your transactions and current balances and addresses. There are two ways to do this. The first is by manually making a copy of the wallet.dat file. When making a manual copy, make sure that the Blackcoin wallet is first closed and then head to your Roaming Folder. This folder will be hidden by default for Windows users. To make this area visible is simple, just go to your Folders option in Control Panel and check the Show hidden, files, folders or drives under the View tab.
Hit OK and you will now be able to access your Roaming folder.
Windows Key+R and type %appdata% and hit OK
C:\Documents and Settings\YourUserName\Application data\Blackcoin (Windows XP)
C:\Users\YourUserName\Appdata\Roaming\Blackcoin (Windows Vista and 7)
Now simply copy the wallet.dat file to a safe location, like a USB stick. It is also advisable to make sure that this backup is stored either on an encrypted storage device (eg. USB stick) or contained within an encrypted folder. I would also be sure to have multiple backups of this file just in case one becomes corrupted. For example, I have my wallet backups stored on 3 separate hard drives (all fully encrypted) plus my computers HDD is also fully encrypted using Truecrypt.
If you want to know more about fully encrypting your computer, then please see my tutorial for Truecrypt here. If you are looking for a simpler way of just encrypting a folder containing your wallet backup, then please see my tutorial on how to use AxCrypt here. Also, if you are currently storing any wallet backups from other coins (Bitcoin/Litecoin etc) and are planning on selling your computer, then it is very worth making sure that those wallet.dat files won’t be able to be recovered by erasing the HDD securely first before selling it on using DBAN. Please see my article here for DBAN.
The other way to backup your wallet.dat file is simpler as it is built-in to the wallets design. To do this simply go File>Backup Wallet. This will open up a window where you can name your backup (I would also give this a date as well to make it easier to see) and where you wish to back it up to. By default in Windows 7 this will be your Documents. Again, make sure that you keep multiple backups of this file and store them safely.
How to send coins
To send coins is very straight forward. If you are sending these coins to a friend, exchange or business, then all you will need is their Receive address. (known as a deposit address on exchanges) If your wallet is encrypted, which hopefully it is, you will also need to have your passphrase (encryption phrase) ready as this is required every time you want to send coins out of your wallet.
Pay To: Enter the Blackcoin address of your friend/exchange or business. (These addresses will also be stored in your built-in address book, where you can label or re-label whenever you wish)
Label: This makes it easier for you to remember who the address belong to, so if you send to an exchange like say MintPal, type in MintPal BC deposit address.
Amount: How much you want to send. This can be in BC/mBC or µBC
- 0.001 BC = 1 mBC = 1 milliblackcoin
- 0.000 001 BC = 1 μBC = 1 microblackcoin
Please note that if you are sending coins to an address, make sure that you copy and paste the address in to the Pay To area instead of typing it in. This will hopefully prevent you from entering an incorrect address.
Here are the steps taken:
Enter the details and amount for recipient and hit Send
Confirm you wish to send the amount to stated address
Enter your passphrase. Required for every sending transaction for encrypted wallets.
Pay a small transaction fee. This goes to help support the network by paying miners who aid in the confirmation and ownership of coins as they happen on the network.
Once the coins have been sent, you will see (Windows users) a balloon pop-up showing you that the coins have been sent.
How to receive coins
Like sending coins, receiving them is just as simple. If you have just bought some Blackcoins from an exchange, or are being paid in BC then you will need to have a receive address so that the coins can be sent straight to your wallet. By default you will only have one Receive address, so just right-click on it and select Copy Address. This prevents from trying to manually type it out and making errors. Now give that address to whoever wishes to pay you, or if you are sending coins from an exchange that you have just bought, then
You don’t have to use the same address to receive coins for every transaction as creating a new address is very simple. Just click New Address at the bottom and then label it whatever you wish (eg. Donation from site) so you can view individual transaction made to you easier over time.
Once you have received any transaction, you will see the incoming amount shown via a pop-up balloon notification, and the amount will also appear briefly on your wallet, under the Overview tab.
Unconfirmed transactions will also show on your main wallet
Transactions require 10 confirmations from the network. (this is done by miners/people Staking) The process is pretty quick.
As I mentioned at the top of this article, Blackcoin is a pure PoS (Proof of Stake) coin and can no longer be mined in the usual way which is why the multipool was created by the Blackcoin community. However, you can still mine by what is called Staking. This also serves to secure the network and aid in the various transactions made for all Blackcoin users. Staking will earn you 1% of your total amount of coins held in your wallet over the period of a year, and will start as soon as you have unlocked your wallet after a period of 8hrs. If you decide to lock your wallet before those 8 hours have expired, then Staking will resume the next time you open your wallet for Staking.
Once you start to Stake, you will notice that a certain amount of coins will be placed into your Stake balance (you can see this under the Overview tab on your wallet) and those coins will begin to stake. As I said, it takes roughly 8hrs to commence before you begin to see some incoming transactions made to you. The more coins you have, the more coins will earn by Staking.
How to open your wallet for Staking
There are two-way to do this. The first way is to simply go Settings>Unlock Wallet and that’s it.
However, I would advise that you do it another way so that you have your wallet unlocked, but still have it encrypted. This way, you will still need to input your paraphrase in order to send any coins out of your wallet. Much safer.
To start Staking whilst retaining the security of your wallet, go Help>Debug Window. Now select the Console tab.
Type the following at the bottom:
walletpassphrase YourPassphrase 9999999 true
Replace the YourPassphrase that I have added in red with your own passphrase. (the encryption password you added earlier on) The 9999999 relates to the amount of seconds that you wish to leave the wallet open for staking. Once you have added this hit Enter.
You will see that the information was added correctly.
[Important] Now hit the Red bar next to where you entered your text, to clear the information from your console. CTRL + L will do the same thing. Don’t worry this won’t affect Staking, but it will prevent people who may have access to your machine or wallet looking at your wallets console window to see if there are any traces of your passphrase. Always clear any text that you add to the console for security purposes.
The text will have been removed now so close the console area by hitting the red X.
You will now see on your Wallet Overview that your wallet is unlocked but still encrypted and Staking away. Once you start to receive any coins you earn via Staking, they will require 510 confirmations from the network.
Please note that the more coins you have in your wallet, the more likely you are going to be able to start Staking. If you only have a small amount of coins in total (eg. 0.1 BC to 100 BC) then your weight on the network will also be small and you will find that Staking may take considerably longer. The more coins you have in your wallet, the greater the weight of those coins will be. This is also why some people may see that their coins maybe showing as immature, even though they have been trying to Stake for 24hrs+.
How to keep an eye on the price of your current holdings:
I found a very useful site a couple of weeks ago called, CountMyCrypto, that allows you to add various coins that you may hold and the quantity you have. It will then give you a decent approximate valuation in multiple currencies including how much BTC (bitcoin) they are worth. It also looks great on your mobile device, so is a great way to keep an aye on your investments when you are out and about. It will remember your holding, so when you next open the page, it will have an updated valuation for you. The developers are great too and are currently working on improving it further.
That’s pretty much it. I will also add some useful links below that may also help.
Official Blackcoin links:
- Official Site
- bitcointalk area – This is where a huge majority of the community discuss Blackcoin and its future. This is also your best place to ask questions
Faucet: (Free coins when available)
Exchanges: (where you can get/trade for Blackcoin)
- MintPal – By far the best Exchange and most used
- Coined Up
- Austin Global
- Coinkite – Blackcoin has now been accepted at Coinkite alongside Bitcoin and Litecoin (the only other two) as a way for merchants to easily start accepting Blackcoin via Payment terminals in Bricks’n’mortar stores as well as online stores. Coinkite also create online wallets for their customers as well as Debit Cards. This is a huge step for Blackcoin.
- Mac Wizard
Checking your Blackcoin valuation when out and about:
Well that about covers the basic look at the Blackcoin wallet and how to use some of its various functions. I hope that this has been of use to you. If you want to donate or just want to test out your wallet, then my Receive address is BPGs37UxWV3Kob1zCS8JABJapoUdWTe5Hu
[Update] A new Blackcoin wallet (version 1.0.6) for Windows (Updated Mac OSX wallet is delayed) has been released that has multiple updates that include:
accounting api deprecated and disabled by default
new command getstakinginfo
fix command resendtx
new option alertnotify
new option synctime
added dns seeds, irc seeding disabled by default
unlock for staking only in gui
add menu item for locking wallet
gui: add total balance