In this guide, you are going to learn how to make a bitcoin paper wallet. Furthermore, you will also learn how to use it to store your valuable bitcoin in an easy and safe manner.
Table of contents:
- How to make a bitcoin paper wallet
- How to use a bitcoin paper wallet
- Pros and cons of a paper wallet
How to make a bitcoin paper wallet
So you have learned how to invest in cryptocurrency and bought your first bitcoin. But how do you make a bitcoin paper wallet to store them on?
You’ll need the following:
- A computer with access to the internet
- A printer
- Some paper
- A USB stick (Optional)
Once you’ve found all of the things above, you’re ready to make your bitcoin paper wallet.
1. Go to Bitaddress.org
Bitaddress.org is an open source bitcoin address maker. And even though there are a lot of other viable options to make a bitcoin paper wallet, we will stick to Bitaddress.org in this tutorial.
2. Save the website locally on your computer
To make the process more secure, we recommend storing the website locally on your computer. This way you don’t have the risk of the website owner tracking you.
In order to save the webpage, simply right-click the webpage and click “Save As…”.
After that you should get a screen along the lines of this:
Here you can choose where you want to save it. We saved ours on the desktop. Then hit “Save”.
3. Disconnect your internet
Now it’s time to disconnect from the internet. You do this step simply to avoid any connection and tracking to and from the internet.
4. Open the locally stored version of Bitaddress.org
Open the bitaddress.org.html file.
The website should now appear in your browser as before you saved it locally. But if you look at the address bar, it should not appear as a normal URL.
5. Move your mouse around on the webpage
Moving your mouse around on the webpage help generate randomness. Not two persons would move the cursor around the same way.
You should keep hovering the mouse around on the webpage until the percentage bar reaches 100%. After that you should end up with a screen like this:
6. Click on the paper wallet option
Click on the paper wallet option on the green bar. After that your screen should look like this:
Here you can use the different options to make your bitcoin paper wallet suit any specific need. You can, for example, choose the number of wallets you would like to generate. Otherwise just leave it as it is.
7. Print your paper wallet
Click on print to get a printable file. Now, use your printer to print your paper wallet.
Optionally, you can also store your bitcoin paper wallet on a USB stick. You do this by simply saving the pdf file and moving it to your USB.
After printing out the bitcoin paper wallet, we highly recommend erasing any images or files including that include your private keys to help to avoid hackers being able to grab your bitcoin if the security of your computer is compromised.
8. Cut out the paper wallet
Use your scissors to cut out the paper wallet. Your bitcoin paper wallet is now ready to use:
Optional: Use BIP38 encryption
As an additional security feature, you can use the BIP38 encryption option on Bitaddress.org in order to get an extra layer of security on your bitcoin paper wallet. You do this by checking the BIP38 Encrypt box as shown below:
Simply explained, the BIP38 encryption puts a password on your bitcoin paper wallet. This way people who might find your paper wallet, can’t use it without also knowing the password.
But keep in mind, that if you forget the password, you can’t go anywhere to get it restored. Therefore, you should carefully consider whether to use it or not.
How to use a bitcoin paper wallet
So you have now created your very own bitcoin paper wallet. But how do you even send funds to and from it?
Let’s go over how to use your bitcoin paper wallet by sending bitcoin to and from it:
Send money to a paper wallet
Depending on where you are going to send your funds from, you can either scan the “Load & Verify” code and send your bitcoins via the QR code. Other times you will have to use the “Bitcoin Address” from your paper wallet.
Send money from a paper wallet
If you want to spend money from a paper wallet, you can do it by either using the QR code that says “Spend” or by using the “Private Key”.
Note: Be careful while sending bitcoin. If you send it to the wrong address, your bitcoin will probably be lost forever.
Pros and cons of a paper wallet
Using a paper wallet to store your bitcoins come with a number of pros and cons you should consider carefully. You should also consider how to go about minimizing the risks of the cons of a paper wallet.
- The most cost-efficient way of storing bitcoin
- It is easy to create and setup
- Easy to carry around
- Bitcoin can only be lost if somebody finds your paper wallet
- Paper can be damaged by fire, water etc.
- Anyone who finds your bitcoin wallet can use it if it’s not BIP38 encrypted.
Congratulations! You have now learned how to make a bitcoin paper wallet, and how to use it. If you found this tutorial helpful, feel free to share it.