How to Create a 99.9% Secure Bitcoin Paper Wallet

What is a Bitcoin paper wallet ?

Some people would prefer keeping their private key offline in what is known as Cold Storage. This means that instead of saving that long series of characters known as a private key on their computer they rather print it out and save the paper somewhere safe – hence a paper wallet. Usually this process will be done for the purpose of storing large amounts of Bitcoin since it’s consider safer.

How do I create a non secure paper wallet

Creating a paper wallet is pretty easy, the trick is to secure it correctly. In order to create a NON SECURE paper wallet just head over to BitAddress, create a private key, then choose “Paper Wallet” and print out the results. Your Bitcoins can then be stored through the public address on the left.

Why is this considered non secure ?

First of all you’re connected to the web while doing this, this means that someone may have the ability to see what’s going on on your screen.

Second, if someone was able to hack BitAddress for example, he can collect all of the private keys that people create on the site.

Last but not least, if you’re using Windows you may have been subjected to Malware which you are unaware of. This may put your private key at risk as people may be monitoring your actions.

How to create a SECURE paper wallet

If you’re really serious about safeguarding your Bitcoins you have to make sure you create a secure paper wallet. This process is a bit tedious but is worth the effort.

Why is this process considered secured ?

1. You’re not connected to the Internet while producing your private key.

2. You’re using an “out of the box” operating system which is less prone to Malware.

3. You are using an offline version of BitAddress so no one can “hack” this site.

Download the necessary tools

Ubuntu download (latest version)

LiLi download (latest version)

BitAddress download

Step 1 – Install Ubuntu on your flash drive

IMPORTANT: This step will erase everything you have on the flash drive.

  • Open up LiLi and insert your flash drive.
  • Make sure you’ve selected the correct drive (click refresh if drive isn’t showing).
  • Choose “ISO/IMG/ZIP” and select the Ubuntu ISO file you’ve downloaded in the previous step.
  • Make sure only “Format the key in FAT32” is selected.
  • Click the lightning bolt to start the format and installation process

lili-setup

After the process finished unzip the BitAdrress file you’ve downloaded in the previous step and copy it into your flash drive as well.

Step 2 – Disconnect your computer from the Internet

At this point you would want to disconnect your computer from the Internet whether it’s Wi-Fi or a LAN connection. Make sure there’s no way remote access can be granted to the computer. When finished make sure you are still able to print a test page so you’ll know your printer is good to go.

Step 3 – Run your computer using Ubuntu from your flash drive

By clicking F12 or F1 on computer load you will be able to choose to run your operating system from your flash drive.

load ubuntu from usb

After the Ubuntu operating system load you will choose the “try Ubunto” option.

Step 4 – Setup a printer on the Ubuntu operating system

At this point you will want to set up your printer on the Ubuntu OS:

  • Click on System Settings (a monkey wrench and cog wheel icon)
  • Click on “Printers”
  • Click on “Add”
  • Add your printer
  • Print out a test page

add printer

Step 5 – Open BitAddress and print your new paper wallet

The final step will be to open the copy you have of BitAddress.org and create you own paper wallet locally on your machine.

  • Open private browsing in FireFox (right click -> “Open a New Private Window”)
  • Type in the following in the address bar: file://cdrom/bitaddress.org-master/
  • Click on the link “BitAddress.org.html”

firefox bitaddress

  • Create your paper wallet by moving the cursor around until the number on the top right reaches 0
  • Choose “Paper Wallet” from the menu
  • Print out your paper wallet

bitaddress print

You can now load your paper wallet by using the public address on the left side.

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Cyrus
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Cyrus

I have created a private key and address on bitaddress.org. How can I check the balance of this paper wallet? blockchain.info requires a password. Am I doing something wrong here? on bitaddress.org, is there a feature to create this password?

John
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John

What is to prevent malware from infecting the ubuntu ISO post download?

Yho
Guest
Yho

Hi! Please, For which other crypts do paper wallets exist? (Ada, Miota, Xem … anyway). Thanks

Rino
Guest
Rino

Hello, I have many doubts about the safety of the crypto currencies …. I am interested in Bitcoin but I want to protect the Altcoins on which I have invested …. I really liked the article on the paper wallet and I want to put it into practice immediately but first I have 2 questions to ask: 1) Instead of opening private browsing in FireFox, can I use Chrome’s incognito navigation ??? Is it the same or can it create problems ??? 2) In addition to downloading the archive “Bitaddress.org-master.zip” I can also use “Walletgenerator.net-master.zip” from https://github.com/MichaelMure/WalletGenerator.net and above all,… Read more »

Guest123
Guest
Guest123

Is there a possiblity that the website creator already has these pub keys + secret keys stored and just basically random it away those instead of just actually “Generate” them?
And they could just randomly check which one got coins in it then search for our secret keys in their database and fuck us all?

hello
Guest
hello

Hi Steven Hay, how can we be sure that these kind of sites doesnt store our private keys and public keys somewhere??
Is there a way to create our own keys without using these kind of sites?
I’m having trust issues here
Thank you

Jose
Guest
Jose

How is it possible for public and private key to be added to the blockchain if you are offline?

Val
Guest
Val

I am having a really hard time understanding this whole bitcoin thing. Okay, your idea is to basically create an offline paper wallet using clean or offline machine. I get that, makes sense. But then how will you access your funds even single time without entering your password/key into the web? There is no such thing as magic, for every transaction you will need to enter a key somehow, which still means you need to share it with some web service again. Creating a wallet is only half the challenge, using it securely is a totally different thing and is… Read more »

Abraham
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Abraham

Hi Ofir! Thanks a lot for your post, it has been very helpfull. I have a question about the BIP38 Encrypt option that appers on the bitaddress page, What is it for? Does it add more security to my wallet?

Thank you in advance for your time….

Dan
Guest
Dan

Hi there ! The content you just presented is amazing and it really helped me (as a newbie in crypto) to understand what a paper wallet is. However, doing the tutorial step by step, it all goes really smooth until I need to insert the link into firefox in order to open bitaddress.org . It just says that the file can’t be found and I’m really stuck here. Can you please give any kind of advice?