6

Can you reuse a very old receive address even if it was created before the last snapshot?

4

IOTA addresses can be used multiple times for receiving, but once spent, the security dramatically reduces. So, if the address generation algorithm has not changed (you are getting the same addresses and/or balances from the same key), and you haven't spent from that address yet, yes, it is safe to receive.

Once spent, never reuse an address.

  • So, what happens, if I receive funds there after I spent from this address? Are those IOTA units lost? – Matthias Lohr Jul 9 '18 at 12:01
  • No, you can spend from it normally. Every time it happens, the chance of a hacker brute force your key and steal your money increases significantly. – lvella Jul 9 '18 at 12:06
  • Does an attacker only have the chance to hack the key for this specific address or also the chance to get my "overall" private key (seed)? (Did I miss another private key here?) – Matthias Lohr Jul 9 '18 at 12:28
  • Only that address is compromised. Note that, in standard cryptography terminology, the seed is not the key: each cryptocurrency address have its own private key, and the procedure to generate them from the seed is designed to guarantee no information for the other keys can obtained from one leaked key (at least, that is the case of well designed wallet software, which I don't know if that is the case for IOTA Wallet). – lvella Jul 9 '18 at 14:27
3

In theory you can, but you absolutely should not, or your iotas will be at risk!

IOTA uses one-time signatures, that means that part of the private key of an address leaks when you use it for sending iotas (= signing). Thus, it's not safe to send iotas to an used address ever again, even after a snapshot.

The current IOTA wallet 2.5.4 doesn't store any user data, so it "forgets" which addresses you had before a snapshot. Pay attention that you don't generate a seemingly new address that was in fact used already before the snapshot.

  • So it is safe as long as you've never spent from that address? The snapshot doesn't change anything? – Mr Robot Nov 29 '17 at 20:51
  • @MrRobot yes. The snapshot just makes it harder to keep track of which addresses you already used. The UCL wallet will solve this by storing the address index locally. – Achim Nov 30 '17 at 6:21

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