This article will help you with the step-by-step guide on how to set-up a Bitcoin paper wallet. From your choice of paper wallet generator to configuring and physically securing your wallet.
Before you opt for a paper wallet, you must first the question, why choose a paper wallet?
A paper wallet is a piece of paper that contains both private and public keys to a Bitcoin address. Paper wallets are largely known to be cheap and secure way to store Bitcoins. Many people are of the view that it is the most secure way to store Bitcoin as it is mostly offline and acts as a form of cold storage – this way they are effectively secured away from hackers.
To spend your cryptocurrency from a paper wallet, you will have to sweep your private keys onto a hot wallet, e.g. mobile or desktop wallet.
STEPS TO SET-UP A PAPER WALLET
Choosing a Paper Wallet Generator
The first step to making a Bitcoin paper wallet is to choose a wallet generator. The three most popular of paper wallet generators are bitcoinpaperwallet.com, walletgenerator.net and bitaddress.org. Bitaddress is one of the oldest paper wallet generation platforms, it is open-source code but offers easy-to-use guides on its website.
Creating Your Paper Wallet
I will be using Bitaddrss.org in the demonstration below on how to create a paper wallet;
The first step will be to clean up your computer by scanning it with an updated and high-quality anti-virus. You then go on to set-up your printer, ensuring that it is directly connected to the computer and not connected by internet WI-FI as you do not want a disruption in connectivity.
Computer geeks can resort to more advanced set-up systems such as Glacier protocol’s multi-laptop process to help boost their device security. You could go further to install a new operating system after wiping the hard drive with a military-grade disk cleaner.
Next in process would be to download a paper wallet generator online, it is however much secure to generate this offline. With Bitaddress, you can download a zip file which contains a copy of the website – you will find the download link at the bottom of the site. Download files are usually deleted after use as such it is advisable to save them somewhere they can be re-accessed for use again.
Scan the zip file after it has been downloaded for malware before you proceed to extract. Advanced users can verify the file’s integrity by checking for the author’s PGP signature which is usually seen on the same page containing the zip file download link.
At this point, you disconnect your device from the internet and then generate your paper wallet using a sound browser like Chrome or Firefox with all add-ons and extensions disabled.
Generating your Wallet
At this point, you can generate and print as much paper wallets as you desire. After you have disconnected from the internet, you proceed to click on the bitaddress.org.html file from the list of extracted zip files. You then open it in the browser still with disabled add-ons and extensions.
To add randomness to the generation of your Bitcoin wallet address, move the mouse around or you can opt to type random characters. Once the level of randomness reaches 100% for bitaddress.org, a single wallet will be generated automatically.
This single wallet can then be printed for a quick single address. The bitaddress platform offers the option to create paper wallets, wallets in bulk, vanity addresses, brain wallets and multi-signature split wallets.
Different paper wallet generators will offer you different artwork options. Generators like bitaddress give you the option to turn-off artwork. It also gives an option for added layer of security such that passphrases can be added to your paper wallet using BIP38 encryption. You can then proceed to print your paper wallet using an offline printer.
Delete all downloaded files
You are advised to delete all downloaded files from your computer and recycle bin at this stage. You should also clear the printer’s cache and reboot the computer before re-connecting to the internet.
Funding and Keeping Your Wallet Secure
The wallet is now ready to be funded with your Bitcoin. If you intend to send large amounts of fund to your paper wallet, it is advisable to first start with a tiny amount to test and ensure that your wallet is functioning properly. So, you copy your wallet address onto the recipient box of a hot mobile or desktop wallet and issue instructions to send Bitcoin.
Once you have loaded your paper wallet with the desirable amount of Bitcoin, you are to safely store your wallet in a secure locked up place. Paper wallet should be stored in a place which is dry and has other optimum conditions such as being fire-proof and inconspicuous to the ordinary person’s eyes to prevent theft.
Note that it is not advisable to store your paper wallet in a bank’s security deposit.
The video below can guide you on a step-by-step process on how to set-up a Bitcoin paper wallet;