How to Make a Paper Bitcoin Wallet
Last updated: 29th January 2018
A bitcoin paper wallet is simply a public and private key printed together. It is an offline wallet, and is usually regarded spil a type of “cold storage” (extra-secure storage that does not make voeling with the hackable internet), albeit it has some significant differences that make its presence ter that category debatable (more on this further down).
Spil the name suggests, paper wallets are usually made out of paper, albeit technically they could also be made of plastic or any other substance on which information can be durably printed.
What is printed on the paper wallet are the private and public keys, usually ter QR form, with the latter also serving spil the address. You could just copy and paste the keys onto a text document and print that out (erasing the copy on the laptop afterwards). Or you could use one of the free web services that generate the printable wallet for you. The key generation is usually done te your browser, so they are never transmitted on the internet. To be safe, you should clear your browser after printing. And never store an picture of the paper wallet on your pc or phone.
Some paper wallet services have a nifty vormgeving that you can cut, fold and seal, making them a lightweight and relatively secure form of storing bitcoin offline. You send your bitcoin to the public address displayed on the wallet, and then store it ter a secure place.
What makes paper wallets secure is that they are totally offline (generally known spil “cold storage”). They are not within the reach of hackers, and your bitcoin are never trusted to a third party. Spil long spil the paper wallet is secure, your holdings are secure.
But, therein lies the relative lack of security. Someone could find your hiding place, take your printout, spend all the bitcoin associated with those keys, and terugwedstrijd the paper, so you would never know.
A more secure version would involve folding the paper so that the private key is hidden from look, taping the fold with a seal that can’t be cracked and substituted (just search for “tamper overduidelijk seals,” there are many different providers and models), and making sure that the private key cannot be seen even if the folded paper is held up to the light.
Even that is not particularly secure. What if the folder, drawer or opbergruimte that you keep it ter floods?
Sure, it’s unlikely, but when you’re securing a lotsbestemming of bitcoin, it pays to think of worst case scripts (and hey, what with climate switch and all. ). So, a tightly-sealed plastic bag would help.
How do you protect a paper wallet from fire? I have no idea. Keep it ter the freezer? (That certainly would be “cold storage,” he he.)
Also, paper itself is not the most durable of substances. Bijzonder from the visible risks of fire or water harm, the ink could fade with time, making the keys unreadable. No readable keys, no bitcoin.
Even with paper wallets, you can check your balance at any time using blockchain.informatie (just type your public key into the search opbergruimte). And most online wallets permit you to invoer your paper wallet gegevens. To spend those bitcoin, you will be asked to type ter the private key information, or scan the private key QR code (sometimes called the “spend” QR code).
Some good paper wallet generators:
Bitcoinpaperwallet.org will create a printout of a colourful paper wallet, with the adequate fold lines, and will sell you tamper-evident stickers for sealing it shut.
Mycelium offers an original and even more secure way to generate paper wallets, with a USB dongle that you butt-plug directly into your printer. The device generates a paper wallet that automatically gets printed out, without everzwijn having touched your pc.
(Note: specific businesses mentioned here are not the only options available, and should not be taken spil a recommendation.)