If you want to create a really secure offline Bitcoin Paper Wallet then it requires a little bit of work. However if you follow the steps below you should have it done in no time and can be 99.9% confident that your bitcoin are safe. This is also referred to as “Cold Storage”.
Note: You will need a Blank 16GB USB stick and a PC or Laptop.
What is a Paper Wallet?
It is literally a physical print out of all the public and private keys you need for your Bitcoin Wallet to store Bitcoin effectively “offline”. Your private key will be not be stored digitally anywhere (so don’t lose your printout). If anyone gets hold of your private key they can withdraw your bitcoin.
Why would I want a Paper Wallet
Some people like to store Bitcoin in Paper wallets as it’s considered the safest storage option. Bitcoins held in online and Hardware wallets are at risk from hackers, malware, fraudsters, government seizures and even company insolvency. However don’t panic just yet the above risk can be minimised with due diligence and common sense.
Why is the process below considered “Secure”?
1. You are offline while producing you private key
2. You are not using Malware prone OS or one you have used for years
3. You are using Bitaddress while offline so it cannot be hacked
Step One: Required Downloads
Ubuntu OS – https://www.ubuntu.com/download/desktop
BitAddress – https://codeload.github.com/pointbiz/bitaddress.org/zip/master
LinuxLive USB Creator – http://www.linuxliveusb.com/en/download
Step Two: Install Ubuntu
1. Open LiLi and insert your blank USB Drive (any contents will be deleted)
2. Select the drive, select the Ubuntu ISO you downloaded
3. In options select only “Format the key in FAT32”
4. Hit the lightening bolt and let it install
5. Once the install finishes, unzip the Bitaddress download and add to the USB drive
Step Three: Disconnect From The Internet
WiFi turned off
LAN cables unplugged
Step Four: Run Computer From Ubuntu USB
USB drive still plugged in restart your computer and press F1 or F12 straight away on boot up. This should give you the boot menu, select the USB drive.
Select “try Ubuntu” once the OS loads
Step Five: Set Up Printer
Click on Settings > Printers > Add
Print a test page.
Step Six: Create Paper Wallet
1. Select Firefox and click “Open A New Private Window”
2. Type the following address file:///cdrom/bitaddres.org-master
3. Click the address “Bitaddress.org.html”
4. Create your Paper Wallet and then select “Paper Wallet” from the menu
5. Print your Paper Wallet
Optional: If you select “BIP38 encrypt” then this will encrypt the private key using a pass phrase (you would need to manually write this down).
CONGRATULATIONS: Your Paper Wallet is ready to be loaded with Bitcoin. This is done the normal way using the private key or scanning the QR code.
Optional Step Seven: Destroy Printer
Although I am not condoning the destruction of property, it is technically possible that a copy of your printout is stored locally on the printers flash memory so…….
Some very security conscious people will use an offline only printer that is never connected to the internet. Also the optional BIP38 step above provides some protection against this.
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