Bitcoin paper wallet is a best alternative for those who cannot afford hardware wallets like Ledger Nano S and Trezor. For your information, hardware wallets are best to cold store Bitcoin. However, if one cannot afford hardware wallet then he/she can think of Bitcoin paper wallet. But letting your coins on a hot wallet (exchange) is a worst mistake you can make.
A Bitcoin paper wallet consists your public Bitcoin wallet address and private key along with two QR codes for your public wallet address and private key. If you’re a long term Hodler then you should choose a cold storage (storing Bitcoin offline) way such as paper wallet and cryptocurrency hardware wallet to keep your coins away from thieves.
On the other hand, if you’re doing Bitcoin trading then hot storage would be good option for you to save sweep private key charges; if you cannot buy a cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
If you’re storing your Bitcoin online on an exchange then for your information your crypto assets are always vulnerable to many security threats like your Bitcoin exchange may get hacked like NiceHash, a prominent Bitcoin exchange, which lost more than $64 million (Source) and Binance who lost $40 million.
Or in a worst-case scenario, your Bitcoin exchange may run away with your coins.
Therefore, don’t trust anyone and take command in your hands. In this post I’ll guide you through how to make a Bitcoin paper wallet and transfer your BTC to it.
Transferring Bitcoins to a paper wallet is not a sophisticated process. All you need to do is find a software client that helps you create a wallet address and private key.
After making a Bitcoin paper wallet, you can simply send your bitcoins to it through your Bitcoin exchange. If this seems complicated then don’t worry I am going to take you through now.
Before you jump straight in, I suggest you read following information carefully. This will help you know where should you store your Bitcoin and altcoins.
What are the different methods to store Bitcoin including Bitcoin paper wallet?
There are two types of wallets: cold wallet (storing Bitcoin offline using a hardware wallet, paper wallet, and software wallet) and hot wallet (keeping your BTC online using an exchange or web based wallet), to store bitcoins.
Hot wallets keep your bitcoins online all the time. All bitcoins exchanges wallets are hot wallets. Since they remain connected to the internet all the time therefore there are a lot of possibilities of being hacked.
On the contrary, cold wallets such hardware wallet and paper wallet are offline wallets. Since they’re not connected to the internet, there is almost negative possibility of being hacked. Offline wallets can only be hacked if someone has access to your physical device or has your recovery seed.
Different methods to store Bitcoin
Hot Wallet or Online Wallet
All Bitcoin exchanges wallets are online wallets or you may say web based wallet. In online wallet, you create an account through an exchange like Coinbase, Zebpay, LocalBitcoins.com etc and buy a cryptocurrency and keep it there.
This way you store your coins on an online wallet. As mentioned above this is a less secure way to store bitcoins. Online wallets are best for those who do bitcoin trading and can’t afford hardware wallet.
While you choose hot wallet, your exchange only gives you your public address to send and receive coins, but it does not give you your private keys. Which means you are not in full control.
Desktop wallet comes under hot storage. They’re more secure than online or web wallets. Software wallets are available for both desktop and mobile.
Some famous software wallets are Armory, Bitcoin Core, Electrum, and Mycelium. The security of a software wallet depends upon the device in which you’re installing it.
If your device (Laptop or Mobile) is secure then your software wallet is also secure or vice versa. If you’ve a separate computer that you don’t use then you can pick this option to store your coins.
In paper wallet, you transfer your Bitcoin to a paper that contains your public wallet address and private key. This way you store your Bitcoin offline.
You’re the only person who is responsible for any security breach. Though Bitcoin paper wallets are more secure than online wallets but they require extra care because if you lose your private key then there’s no way to recover it.
In hardware wallet, you use a physical device to store your Bitcoin. These physical devices have the ability to store your BTC offline and they let you send and receive them securely when connected to the internet.
As of now, this is a best way to store Bitcoin and altcoins. Those who have significant amount of BTC then this is a must have thing.
On this blog, I strongly suggest if you’ve cryptocurrencies worth of your three months then you must buy a hardware wallet.
Recommended hardware wallets:
Recommended way to store Bitcoin
Ledger Nano S is a best hardware wallet available out there. It’s a cost effective way to keep your Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies safe. You cannot only store BTC, this wallet supports multiple cryptocurrencies which means along with BTC you will be able to store Litecoin, Ethereum, Ripple and other famous coins using this wallet.
This wallet will cost you only $69.
If you still want to save you BTC in a paper wallet then read to know Bitcoin paper wallet creation process.
Benefits of a BTC paper wallet
- It’s free, you don’t need to spend a single penny to create BTC paper wallet.
- You can safeguard your bitcoins from online attacks.
- Only you know your private key so you can take care of it on your own.
- Best way to store Bitcoin offline for long period, if you cannot afford cryptocurrency hardware wallet.
Risks associated with a Bitcoin paper wallet
- Since paper is a fragile thing, it requires extra care.
- If somehow you lost your BTC paper wallet then you cannot recover your coins in any way. Tip: Make three copies of your paper wallet and keep them different places.
- If someone gets access to your Bitcoin private key then he/she can spend your Bitcoin easily.
- If computer, on which you’ll be creating paper wallet, is infected then you coins may be stolen. Tip: Make sure your computer is free from malware programs.
Precautions to take while generating Bitcoin paper wallet
Now, we’re almost ready to make a Bitcoin paper wallet. Before that read following precautionary meausres and then you’re good to go.
- Clean all cookies and browser history before and after using paper wallet generator.
- Disable all third party browser extensions before generating paper wallet.
- Make sure any malicious program like Trajon is not running on your computer.
- Always make 3-4 copies of your BTC paper wallet and also store it in PDF format using USB device or external hard drive. Make sure that USB or external hard drive never touches the internet.
- Making PDF and paper copies apart, write down your Bitcoin address and private key. Your address and key are case sensitive so write as these’re appearing.
- Do not store Bitcoin paper wallet on a computer that connects to the internet.
- Make sure nobody could scan your paper wallet’s bar codes.
- Do not store your Bitcoin to a single paper wallet instead create more than one and transfer your BTC to all addresses equally. This will help you minimize lose if someone steals your private key. But remember not to create too many (two are enough in most of cases) because you would be paying private key sweeping charges.
- Know to spend your coins you will need to pay private key sweeping charges therefore create number of paper wallets accordingly.
I must mention again, if you’ve Bitcoin to survive for three months then choose Bitcoin hardware wallet to store your Bitcoin safely. A Bitcoin hardware wallet also supports Altcoins like Ethereum, Ripple, Litecoin etc. Believe me it’s worth buying.
How to make a Bitcoin paper wallet
To transfer Bitcoin to a paper wallet, first, we’ll need to create and print a wallet and private key. For that purpose, we’re going to use bitaddress.org, a well-known Bitcoin paper wallet generator website recommended by many exchanges.
We’re going to divide this process into two parts:
- First we will generate a Bitcoin paper wallet
- Then we will transfer BTC to that paper wallet
How to make a BTC Paper Wallet
First of all, we’ll need to save the website’s file in html format on our desktop. For that purpose, open bitaddress.org and right click and select ‘Save as’.
Now select ‘Save as type’ as Webpage, HTML Only (see above screenshot) and then save it to your computer.
In the next step, turn off your WiFi or internet connection. Make sure your computer is offline. Don’t worry. You can create your BTC paper wallet without the internet. Also, see above precautions section and take all the measures.
Now go to the location where you’ve saved html file and open that by clicking on that. Next, enter random text in the text field and simultaneously keep moving your mouse on the screen to create some randomness.
Keep doing that until the randomness meter reaches to 100 percent.
Select Paper Wallet then enter 1 in the Address to generate field then tick box front of BIP38Encrypt. Then add a Passphrase or password to protect your Bitcoin wallet. Subsequently, click on Generate to create a Bitcoin paper wallet.
That’s it. You’ve successfully created a Bitcoin paper wallet. Click on the Print button to print your paper wallet. Note: Don’t store it to a computer that connects to the internet. Always keep your BTC paper wallet offline.
Read on to know how to move your BTC to your paper wallet.
How to transfer Bitcoin to a paper wallet
After creating a paper wallet, you can send Bitcoin to your paper wallet through your Bitcoin exchange.
To do so, you’ll need to get access to your online wallet, where you’re storing your BTC.
Note: In following steps, I’m using Blockchain.info exchange’s screenshots. If your exchange is different then don’t worry steps will remain be the same.
First of all, login to your Bitcoin exchange where you’re storing your Bitcoin online. Then go to send Bitcoin section like on Blockchain.info’s dashboard you can click on send Bitcoin button to reach to send Bitcoin section. This step may vary depending on your cryptocurrency exchange but next steps will almost be the same.
Now enter your newly created Bitcoin paper wallet address. Note: Do not enter private key in the ‘To’ field or scan your private key bar code make sure to cover your private key with something while scanning public address.
Then enter either amount or BTC that you want to send to your BTC paper wallet. Advice: Do not transfer all of your coins to one paper wallet instead create multiple wallets. But do not create too many because you’ve to pay sweep private key charges at the time of sweeping/importing.
Important: First send a small amount of BTC to verify your wallet address. Once your wallet receives you sent amount then transfer all your coins to it.
Next select other parameters like Transaction Fee (your exchange might not have some options) and the like. Then click on Continue button to send Bitcoin to paper wallet.
Upon clicking on the button, you’ll be asked to confirm your send request by entering your secondary password; if enabled. Simply follow all the screen instructions to send Bitcoin.
That’s it. You’ve successfully stored your Bitcoin offline.
You can check your paper wallet balance by visiting a block explorer service like Blockchain.info offers you. You can visit Blockchain.info website and there you can enter your Bitcoin paper wallet address to check its balance.
Note: Never search anything on the internet using your private key.
We’ve completed Bitcoin cold storage process. You can click on following link to know how to send bitcoin from paper wallet.
Disclaimer: This post is for information purpose only. We do not hold any financial or legal responsibility in any manner. Above information may be inaccurate or incomplete therefore kindly verify it or use it own your own risk. Steps mentioned above are for advanced users. We are not associates of above mentioned Bitcoin paper wallet generator service provider.