Another good option for keeping your cryptocurrencies safe is something called a paper wallet.

In this post, we will explain how to transfer all those digital coins into a physical paper form using just a printer. One thing to note is that in this guide we’ll be talking about bitcoin. However, the basic concepts apply to any other cryptocurrency; e.g. Etheruem, Litecoin, Ripple, etc.

If you remember from the Cryptocurrency Wallets post, a cryptocurrency wallet consists of two keys. The one is the public key, which is your wallet address and is how other people send currency to you.

The other part of your wallet is the private key. The private key allows you to send coins to other people.

The combination of the recipient’s public key and your private key is what makes a cryptocurrency transaction possible.

If anyone else obtains the private key of your wallet, they can withdraw your funds. This is why it’s critical that nobody else discovers it.

If you keep your coins in either a web-based or mobile wallet, you are vulnerable to attacks by hackers or malware that can log your keystrokes.

In addition, a stolen PC or a hard-drive crash could also cause you to lose your digital assets.

If used with care, a paper wallet can protect you from these possibilities.

What is a paper wallet?

A paper wallet is a document that contains copies of the public and private keys that make up a wallet. Often it will have QR codes so that you can quickly scan them and add the keys to a software wallet to make a transaction.

Pros

  • The keys are not stored digitally anywhere and are therefore not subject to cyber-attacks or hardware failures.
  • Backups can be easily made and stored.

Cons

  • The paper and ink can degrade, and paper is relatively fragile.
  • It can be easily destroyed by fire and water.
  • If you lose a paper wallet, you’ll never be able to access the assets sent to its address.

7 Steps to Create a Bitcoin Paper Wallet

  1. To generate a new bitcoin address, open BitAddress.org in your browser.
  2. Follow the instructions and create some randomness by either randomly typing characters into the form or moving your cursor around the box until you are presented with your public and private keys and their respective QR codes. Do not scan these.
  3. Click the Paper wallet’ tab.
  4. Select the number of addresses to generate.
  5. [Optional] Modify any of the other options on the page. Make sure you know what they do before making any changes.
  6. Click the ‘Generate’ button to create new wallets.
  7. Once the wallets are generated, click the ‘Print’ button to make a hard copy.

You can use the public addresses, or scan the public address QR code in your bitcoin app and start depositing funds.

For a fancier paper wallet, you can check out Bitcoinpaperwallet.com. This website offers a tamper-resistant design of paper wallet. It is also possible to order holographic labels to demonstrate that the wallet hasn’t been tampered with. It also supplies a live-boot Ubuntu CD with paper-wallet software pre-installed.

7 Steps to Create a Litecoin Paper Wallet

  1. To generate a new bitcoin address, open LiteAddress.org in your browser.
  2. Follow the instructions and create some randomness by either randomly typing characters into the form or moving your cursor around the box until you are presented with your public and private keys and their respective QR codes. Do not scan these.
  3. Click the Paper wallet’ tab.
  4. Select the number of addresses to generate.
  5. [Optional] Modify any of the other options on the page. Make sure you know what they do before making any changes.
  6. Click the ‘Generate’ button to create new wallets.
  7. Once the wallets are generated, click the ‘Print’ button to make a hard copy.

You can use the public addresses, or scan the public address QR code in your litecoin app and start depositing funds.

Some Tips for Keeping Your Paper Wallet Safe

  • Store the paper wallet in a sealed plastic bag to protect against water or damp.
  • Laminate an unfolded paper wallet for durability and proof against water.
  • Store your paper wallet in a safe to protect from theft and fire.
  • Entrust the paper wallet to a solicitor. For example, the person who holds your last will & testament.
  • For added redundancy, store a wallet in several locations.
  • Store in safety deposit boxes.

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