Bitcoins are becoming more valuable each day, therefore bitcoin owners should make it their number one priority to protect their digital investments. So, how do you protect yourself from malware that can monitor your keystrokes or hackers that are determined to find your wallet and make away with your funds? Here we discuss the safest way to secure your bitcoins from digital theft using what is called a paper wallet. Read on to find out more about how to make a paper wallet and how to maintain it after you are through with the process. We’ll start by going through the basics of a paper wallet.
What is a Paper Bitcoin Wallet?
Bitcoin transactions are enabled by digital keys. These are random addresses assigned to each bitcoin holder. Each bitcoin holder has two addresses or keys. The first, known as a public key, is known to others and allows him to receive bitcoins from other owners. The second is called a private key. As the name implies, only the owner of the bitcoins should know this key. Private and public keys work together to protect bitcoins in an owner’s wallet.
Storing a bitcoin wallet online or on a hard disk is risky. Online accounts can be hacked and wiped out. Similarly, a bitcoin owner could lose a PC or experience a hard disk crash that leaves them vulnerable to loss of their valuable digital assets. It is for this reason that having a paper wallet comes in handy.
How to Make a Paper Bitcoin Wallet
For this method, you are going to need a PC, internet connectivity, some paper and a printer with ink.
First, log onto the website BitAddress.org. Your web browser will automatically generate a wallet address for you, which you can further randomize by moving your cursor around or inputting characters in no specific order. Once the address is generated, you will have your keys, and the option of scanning their QR codes. Do not scan them. Instead, click on the paper wallet tab on the screen, then select the number of addresses you want saved. Select the ‘Hide Art?’ option if you don’t want to keep the website’s art in your paper wallet. Select ‘Generate’ to get your keys, and ‘Print’ to make hard copies of the wallet. With most browsers, you will then select which printer to use, but Google Chrome will let you save a PDF version of the wallet before printing it.
After you have the paper wallet in hand, note the addresses listed and feel free to scan the QR codes on it to deposit funds into your virtual wallet.
Go to Blockchain.info, and click the Paper Wallet option on the left-hand-side. This method also applies to sophisticated, tamper-free websites such as Bitcoinpaperwallet.com.
Keeping your Paper Wallet Safe
Once you print your paper wallet, you need to remember how much it represents. To keep it safe;
- Don’t let anyone know you have it
- Ensure you print it from a printer that’s not on a network
- Store it in a cool and dry place so that the ink does not degrade. If you can’t, laminate it
- Keep it in a safe or safety deposit box if possible
Keeping your paper wallet safe is as important as keeping title deeds safe. It’s important to remember that.