Create a bitcoin paper wallet

If you're looking for 100% control over your bitcoins, then creating a paper wallet enables you to do just this.

Paper wallets contain the same information as if you were storing your coins on an web wallet, exchange or hardware wallet.

The process of creating a paper wallet is simple and only takes a few minutes. But, before you get your hands dirty, lets look at some important factors of what we call 'being your own bank'.

Bitcoin paper wallet
A bitcoin paper wallet created with bitaddress.org (please don't send funds to this address!)

The benefits

  • Your private key isn't stored digitally or connected to the internet - meaning you can't fall victim to cyber theft or hardware failure.
  • You become 100% responsible for your coins

The disadvantages

  • If you lose your paper wallet, coins that are stored to that address will become irretrievable.
  • Your keys can fade in time.

What does it all mean?

A paper wallet (like the one shown above) may look complex at first glance, but take away the design and what you are left with is:
  • Bitcoin Address - your public address where people can send funds too.
  • Load & Verify - QR code which represents your public bitcoin address.
  • Private Key - your secret number which allows you to spend your bitcoins (never give out this address)
  • Spend - QR code which is used(sweeped) to transfer to another bitcoin address.

Creating your first wallet

Follow the simple instructions below to create your first paper wallet.

Note: It's much easier to create your wallet on a desktop or laptop!

Step 1:

Open your favourite web browser and navigate to bitaddress.org.

Optional offline mode - Download .zip version of bitaddress from github.com/pointbiz/bitaddress.org, disconnect from the internet, then follow the instructions below.

bitaddress.org

Step 2:

Move your mouse around to create a random pattern until the percentage bar reaches 100%.

bitaddress.org

Step 3:

You will then be transferred to a new page. Click the Paper Wallet tab so the screen matches the image below.

bitaddress.org

Step 4:

Enter the number Addresses to generate (start off with 1) that you wish to create and the number of Addresses per page you wish to print per page.

You also have the option to Hide Art? (this will remove the pretty orange paper and bitcoin logo) and leave you a plain black and white wallet.

Now click the Generate button.

bitaddress.org
Wallet generated using the 'Hide Art?' option selected.

Step 5:

Press Print.

Mission complete

Thats it! You've created your first bitcoin wallet. As Gandolf from Lord of the rings once said - "Keep it secret, keep it safe."
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