How To Make A Bitcoin Paper Wallet?
If you’ve learned about ways to store Bitcoin, you may be interested in owning a paper Bitcoin wallet. It is a highly secure way to store your stash, and it is relatively easy to make one.
What is Bitcoin paper wallet?
Bitcoin paper wallet is your public and private keys printed on a sheet of paper or other material. It is a simple instrument to receive, store and withdraw your Bitcoins. It has two QR codes on both sides, which makes it one of the most beginner-friendly wallets for the beginners.
Are paper wallets secure?
Paper wallets are generally counted as cold storage, meaning that your digital assets are stored offline. It is a significantly more secure method compared with keeping your Bitcoins in a hot wallet where anyone with the internet connection can access and steal them.
Despite that, paper wallets also have their risks. Anyone who sees them can steal your funds, so they must be stored securely. Apart from that, you should also consider its fragility. Regular pieces of paper can decay, burn, or get wet and become unreadable, so you may want to put them in a fireproof, waterproof, or damage-proof storage, and print it with quality ink on a high-quality paper. Some people even go as far as to laminate their paper wallets to make them more damage-resistant.
The need to safeguard paper wallets and their seeds has also led to the emergence of bitcoin backup tools like Cryptotag, which allows you to backup your wallet on a nearly indestructible and heat resistant titanium plate.
Using a paper wallet is rather straightforward. You can load funds to the wallet by using its public key. If you want to export those funds, you can import or sweep the private key to a software wallet like Guarda, which supports import paper wallet feature, and then send them somewhere else.
How to make a paper Bitcoin wallet?
Paper wallets are created using Bitcoin paper wallet generators. These are open-source software specifically designed to generate secure Bitcoin paper wallets. The most popular BTC paper wallet generators are:
- Mycellium Entropy (a hardware device for generating highly secure paper wallets)
The simplest way to generate a paper wallet is by following these steps:
1. Go to one of the wallet generator sites. For this specific example, we’ll use the BitAddress paper wallet generator.
2. Once you enter the landing page, move your mouse cursor anywhere on the screen or type random letters in the given text box to generate the most random sequence of letters and numbers.
3. Once you reach 100%, you can specify what sort of wallet you want to make. The default option is “Single Wallet,” but you can also click “Paper Wallet” for a paper sheet with multiple wallets.
4. Your Bitcoin can be stored through the public address on the left side of the sheet. You can also select additional options such as hide cover art, add a passphrase and BIP38 encryption, and add more addresses. Once done, hit the print button, delete the digital wallet files, clear the browser cache, and your paper wallet is ready for use.
Here you have it, your own Bitcoin paper wallet!
After printing out your wallet, keep it somewhere safe! If anyone steals it from you, there is no way to retrieve it. It is also possible to accidentally expose your printed private key, so be careful.
How do I import bitcoins from the paper wallet?
Once you created a bitcoin paper wallet, how do you actually use it?
To be honest, it’s pretty simple, even if you’re not a tech person.
For one, you need to import your paper wallet into a software wallet to get a better handle on your funds. We recommend using Guarda Wallet, which supports the “import wallet” feature and is available on desktop, mobile, web, and as a browser extension.
Importing your paper wallet into a software one is a piece of cake. All you need to do is navigate to the “Backup and Keys” section, where you will find the “import by currency” feature.
Then, simply type in or paste your private key to the wallet you wish to import and click “Add Wallet.”
Here is a short video on how to do it via Guarda’s desktop wallet.
Here you have it - a fully functional Bitcoin paper wallet that didn’t cost you a cent!
The risks of generating a paper wallet
The process described above doesn’t come without risks. You should be aware that someone can still steal your private keys if:
- Someone has hijacked your computer or internet connection and could have seen everything that was going on your screen while you generated the wallet.
- If someone hacked BitAddress or other online paper wallet generator that you used, they might have a chance to collect all the private keys that people generated at the time.
- Your printer or computer may be set to save copies of all files you print. They might be stored in your computers or printers cache, so anyone who knows how to find them there (by using malware or by accessing your hardware) could sweep your paper wallets.
However, there is no need to worry if you are at least somewhat proficient in securing your devices or if you aren’t going to store large amounts of Bitcoin in your paper wallet. Besides, you can always use a more trusted computer or a more secure internet connection. Alternatively, you can try previously mentioned Mycellium Entropy device to generate a highly secure paper wallet.
As you can see, making a secure paper wallet is not difficult if you follow the guides to the letter and take proper precautions!