Hardware gadgets get lost, broken and stepped upon. I literally can see a sweet 6-years-old boy of yours to crash or eat that USB stick with 1 mln dollar bitcoin on it — wow! Stop that, dirty bastard! Here’s a step-by-step guide that will help you create the safest cold storage ever — the paper one. Still sceptical? Me, too. But the oldest Quran manuscript on paper is 1500 years old and it has been doing all right so far.

Well, before you start making any rush I sincerely recommend you to read through the titles for each section. This is how you’ll put the puzzle together and understand the mechanics. Measure twice, cut once and please have a nice time reading!

1st step. Create an empty paper storage

This is where you create the wallet you are going to send your money to.

  1. Go to the website www.bitaddress.org
  2. Turn off your Internet connection
  3. To your desktop save the page of the website as a web page
  4. Open the saved page
  5. Start jiggling your cursor around on the screen to create a randomly generated pair of keys
  6. Click on “Paper Wallet”
  7. Check the boxes and click “generate”. Don’t forget to write down the passphrase!
Don’t forget to check the boxes

8. Don’t let your printing device touch the Internet, make sure it doesn’t keep reserved copies somewhere safe

9. Print out your first bitcoin storage and turn on the Internet

2nd step. Send bitcoins to your mobile wallet

This is where you could use either any of your existing wallets or an exchange.

At this point you have generated a cold paper storage and are ready to transfer your bitcoins to it. The question is do you have any bitcoins to transfer?

Just for fun let’s assume you live in Europe and have earned some money on the cryptocurrency exchange Coinbase (really, it could be any other exchange!)

To your phone download a hot wallet Copay.

  1. Connect Coinbase and Copay
  2. Transfer your funds from your Coinbase account to your mobile wallet account

3rd step. Send bitcoins from your phone to your paper wallet

This is real! You’re sending your money to the piece of paper…

  1. Open up your mobile wallet, use your phone camera to scan your paper wallet’s public address (a QR Code). It is placed on the left side of your paper wallet
  2. The mobile app will transform the scanned QR Code into a public address you want to send your money to
  3. At this point make sure the string on your piece of paper is the same as in the input box of your app. Your disregard here is an elegant hole for the crooks to send your bitcoins to their public addresses, not yours
  4. Select the amount of the coins you want to transfer to your paper wallet and click “send”
  5. Your bitcoins are at their paper home now, safe and sound. Let’s check on them just in case. Go to the website https://blockchain.info and insert a public address of your paper wallet into a special box. Blockchain.info will show you if the money has been already transacted (it might take some time)

Skip this part

I have chosen the Copay mobile app because it has got that Sweep Paper Wallet option and is easy to use due to the QR Code technology. It doesn’t mean there aren’t other clients to support the same features.

Sweeping is a process of moving your bitcoins from one address to another. You “empty” your private key to transfer funds to another public address. Once the money’s sent you don’t have to worry about securing the private key anymore. There’s no money left on it. The money is swept.

Note that sweeping is not the same with importing your private keys to another wallet. When importing you don’t empty your private keys but send them to another wallet.

4th step. Transfer bitcoins from your paper wallet back to your mobile wallet (just to practice)

  1. Open up your mobile wallet
  2. If you use Copay, go to “Advanced”, click on “Sweep Paper Wallet”
  3. Scan a QR Code of your paper private key
  4. Insert a passphrase into the box — remember, the phrase from the website www.bitaddress.org that you wrote down?
  5. Hit “Sweep Wallet”. The transaction will be soon received and shown in your app. Voila!

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Blockchain Content Writer