A paper wallet gets one’s coins off the exchange. If an exchange gets hacked, you LOSE 100% of your hard earned cash. A paper wallet is also called cold storage. The great thing about paper wallets is they can be completely removed from all hackable digital media. One prints a wallet, transfers their coins to it and then stuffs it in their safety deposit box.
Here’s a few details:
- Wallets whether that be online, or paper have two parts.
- Public key – let the world see this
- Look like this: 52zzMyzGr7Zx173VH736aF9rbCygm4yrju
- Private key – don’t let anyone, even your grandma see it, because she will steal your shit.
- Look like this: jxG4LimUaumCmVWYE1RStkaRr94jnvTYPUePghT84Go1wZfdhxXF
- Public key – let the world see this
- Paper can get wet, ripped and catch fire. I have a 98% solution for you…STAY TUNED.
- To put your money BACK onto the digital realm, you need a wallet which can import the private key printed on your wallet. Breadwallet is a great wallet which can do this easily.
- Make copies of your paper wallet. BUT NOT by using someone else’s photocopier, they have hard drives which stash their own copy. Do not use a camera phone either. Do not store copies on a computer as this would defeat the entire purpose of this exercise. Print a second copy with your TRUSTED printer at home, and OR simply hand write the public and private keys. Ignore the QR code, it is a pictoral representation of the keys.
- NEVER let anyone see, or take a picture of your PRIVATE key.
- You should always deposit a tiny amount to test, into the paper wallet, then wait ten minutes and check the confirmations on the blockchain here.
Let’s get started!
- Find a secure location, no windows, no people, or security cameras around.
- Use your own trusted computer and printer. Make sure the operating system and browser are patched and up-to-date.
- I recommend for high security, high value assets, to boot off a Linux DVD, and to NEVER USE Windows; Mac OSX is ok.
- Bonus points for those whom know how to use a VPN, TOR and Virtual Machine 🙂
- Use a trusted browser. I recommend Vivaldi, and maybe Safari, but certainly not Chrome, nor Firefox; I suspect they both snoop on you.
- Surf to Bitaddress.
- Once at the website, verify the lock icon in the URL is showing.
- In the web browser it shows, a green square, with gobblygook numbers and letters and green dots following your mouse pointer around. Also there is a text box in the middle of the weirdness. Type random stuff into the box while shaking your mouse around. The percentage counter will increment to 100%.
- When the counter hits 100%, the page will update to show one’s private and public keys. PLEASE PLEASE PLEASE DO NOT USE THE KEYS BELOW. While they are valid, everyone and their grandmother now knows the private key… go make your own.
- At this point, prepare your printer. Look over your shoulder, and lock evil granny in her room.
- Print the keys. Typically, one should print these landscape due to the width. I have had issues with the edges of the keys being missed during printing. Most printer dialog boxes allow scaling down a few percentages from 100%. Try 98% to get all of the key data on the paper. You may print a few tests. BURN WITH FIRE ALL TEST PAGES.
- Once happy with your prints, you may now deposit Bitcoin only into the SHARE/Bitcoin Address portion. The SECRET/Private Key is to NEVER be exposed, never typed into anything unless you want to go in reverse and sweep your paper wallets back into the digital realm.
Depositing Funds Into the Paper Wallet
- Grab your favorite Bitcoin wallet stuffed with Bitcoin. For this example I will use Coinbase app.
- Click the menu button and choose BTC Wallet.
- Then click on the airplane button on the top right.
- Then type in the amount you want to send then click send.
- Type in the Paper Wallet Public/Share address here, or scan the SHARE QR code.
- Click send. Done!
- Give Bitcoin ten minutes and check the Block Explorer. Simply type in the same Paper Wallet Public/Share Address into the Block Explorer’s search thingy. In the Block Explorer screenshot below, the top left Address is the Paper Wallet Public/Shared address. The Final Balance, on the bottom right, is how many total Bitcoins one has in that wallet. One may deposit as many Bitcoins as one wants. I recommend having several paper wallets and spreading the possibility of lost/theft/fire/granny across many wallets.