One of the concerns every Bitcoin user has is how to keep their bitcoins safe from criminals. Well, the answer to that is to store them in a paper wallet, completely away from the internet in an offline environment.
If you do it right, you’ve just initiated one of the safest ways to store your bitcoin. Although, if you mess up in between, it’s still more secure than storing coins in any Bitcoin exchange platform.
Creating a Simple PapeWallet
Start off with a desktop that is clear from all virus.
If you’re having doubts about this, install a copy of the OS on a USB. This is just for safety purposes, you don’t have to do this step. Although, make sure your computer is completely free from all sorts of malicious and nasty viruses. We don’t want your operating system wiping out on you.
Use incognito mode on your browser, and go on to a bitcoin paper wallet creation site
The most well-known paper wallet creation site is said to be bitadress.org, so use your incognito mode to log on to the site.
Turn off your internet connection once bitaddress.org loads
After the site has loaded, turn off your Wi-Fi or unplug your ethernet cable. This will completely remove any leads for your private keys to leak through the internet without your knowledge.
Don’t worry, bitaddress.org was programmed to function perfectly fine even without an internet connection.
Follow the instructions given to the side and move your cursor randomly across the screen
This is the fun part. You’re required to randomly move your cursor around the screen to generate a seed that will be used by BitAddress to generate your personal wallet.
You have now created two QR codes with a combination of random letters and numbers
Congratulations! You’ve officially created your first paper wallet.
The two QR codes are:
- Bitcoin Address– It will be a long string of letters and numbers jumbled together. This is what you’re going to be sharing with others in order to send and receive Bitcoins.
- Private Key– This too is a lengthy combination of alphanumeric, but you’re supposed to keep this secret. You CANNOT share your private key with anyone nor can you store it on a computer and, definitely not on the web.
Remember this. If you lose your key, your bitcoins are lost forever and if someone else gets a hold of your private key, they can easily empty your wallet.
Keep your paper wallet safe
The next step is having an offline copy of your Bitcoin Address. While you’re still disconnected from the internet, print the address (make sure your printer is not connected through wi-fi either). Now you have created a hard copy of your Bitcoin address, which you can later add Bitcoin to for a final cold storage solution.
Always keep a backup of your wallet in another location and make sure it is completely secure. If someone gets their hands on it, you’ve lost everything.
Adding funds to your cold storage wallet
You need to use your online wallet for this. Scan the bitcoin address on the paper wallet or just copy it, then send your fund to your cold storage.
- Make sure to store your wallet someplace away from moisture, because you don’t want it getting damaged. Try storing it in a Ziploc bag or laminate it, in order to avoid it from coming in contact with any liquid.
- Use an Operating System that never goes online, to prevent your PC from leaking out your private keys. Print your wallet offline and never go online from that computer in the future.
- You can store large sums of bitcoins in your cold storage rather than carrying it with you in an online wallet. Keep small amounts of bitcoin in your online wallet for daily transactions and the rest offline, in a secure spot.