Many Bitcoin users prefer to store their private keys in a cold storage, i.e. offline without an internet connection. This is one of the safest ways to protect your private keys from attacks from third parties. Now the internet is always dangerous, so now you have to move back a few decades and write these private keys on paper. It is therefore impossible to access these private keys of a Bitcoin Wallet via the Internet.
How do I create a Bitcoin Paper Wallet?
A Bitcoin Paper Wallet can be generated via various websites. I use Bitaddress for that. A Paper Wallet is very secure in itself. The private key can only be retrieved in digital form during generation. To prevent anyone from listening in (viruses, spy software, keyloggers, etc.) there are some precautions you can take.
- Download the website and go to the website offline. The functionality of the website is not changed by the download. You do this by right-clicking anywhere on the Bitadress website and selecting “Save As…” in the menu that opens.
- Then disconnect your device completely from the Internet. (Switch off WLAN + disconnect Ethernet cable. To be absolutely sure, you can also deactivate your network adapters)
- Now open the downloaded website and move the mouse randomly around the website to create a pattern that is unique and only occurs once in the whole world.
Then the newly generated Bitcoin Wallet will appear on your screen and you will also see the Public Key and Private Key. Don’t copy the private key, because it will be printed on the paper, otherwise it won’t help you. You can copy the public key and give it to people who want to send you bitcoins. The public key is used here as a kind of account number that everyone can know.
public key (share)
- Can be copied as desired
- Required by people who want to send you Bitcoins
- Is public
- Never changes
Private key (secret)
- Must be stored safely
- Is the key to access the bitcoins in the wallet.
- Must never be passed on!
- Cannot be restored if lost
Under the menu item “Paper Wallet” you will see the wallets, which you can then print out.
How do I send and receive Bitcoins with a Bitcoin Paper Wallet?
To get Bitcoins it is enough to give your Bitcoin address to the sender. You can check your account balance e.g. on Blockchain.info.
To send Bitcoin, you can create a new online wallet on Blockchain.info and then import your private key from the Paper Wallet. This gives you access to all the credit in your Paper Wallet.
Important note: Once you have connected your private key to the Internet in any way, your Bitcoin Paper Wallet is no longer secure! If this scenario occurs, it’s best to create a new Paper Wallet – it costs nothing 🙂