How to Safely Deposit and Withdraw Bitcoins from a Paper Wallet

Last updated on January 2nd, 2018 at 12:00 am

Back in July I’ve created a very detailed tutorial on how to create an ultra-safe paper wallet for storing your Bitcoins. Since then I’ve received questions about how to withdraw Bitcoins from a paper wallet. Since it’s easy to deposit Bitcoins into a paper wallet but not as intuitive to withdraw them I created a short video tutorial on the matter.

Step 1 – Find your private key

Your private key is a string of long numbers and characters which acts like the password to your Bitcoins. It should be kept secret at all costs. Make sure you are not confusing it with the public key – also a long string of numbers and characters, but still shorter than the private key. While the public key is used to deposit Bitcoins into a wallet, the private key is used to withdraw them.

private key vs public key

Step 2 – Import your private key into a Bitcoin client

A Bitcoin client is just a program which is used to send and receive Bitcoins. The most basic example which is given in the video is Bitcoin Core. You can use whatever client (i.e. wallet) you want (and there are many). I’ve tried to compare most of the popular Bitcoin wallets in this table. Each client will have a different way of importing your private key – some will have you upload a file, others will ask that you just type in your private key. It’s better to refer to the help section of your selected wallet to figure this step out.

Keep in mind that once you’ve imported the private key the paper wallet becomes useless. There’s no way of importing only a certain amount from the paper wallet – it’s all on nothing.

 

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10 Comments on "How to Safely Deposit and Withdraw Bitcoins from a Paper Wallet"

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Kendrick
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Kendrick

What if I don’t have the private key for the blockchain wallet?

Steven Hay
Member
Active Member
Steven Hay

Hi Kendrick,

Then you could be in trouble… Do you have the seed phrase, the long list of random words which the site tells you to record when you create a new wallet?

If so, no problem, you have the private key (which is generated from the seed phrase). If you have neither the privkey nor the seed, then I’m afraid you’ve lost access to the wallet and any funds which it contains.

Raven
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Raven

If this is true then why do stores that accept bitcoins do so by scanning coes?

Ofir one
Member
Active Member
Ofir one

I’m not sure I understood your question can you please rephrase it?

Carl
Guest
Carl

Finally, I understand what a Bitcoin paper wallet is and how the Bitcoins get transferred to another wallet and so on. Very good and simple explanations, thanks!

Felicia
Guest
Felicia

What happens if you misspelled something and the private
key is incorrect?

Dave J
Guest
Dave J

It won’t work. Then, you’ll just need to start over.

Joseph Hall
Guest
Joseph Hall

OMG! I have to write that whole, huge line of numbers and letters? Isn’t there a faster way of doing this?

Dave J
Guest
Dave J

Use a QR Code app on your mobile phone. Scan the QR code, email it to your computer, then copy and paste the key into the bitcoin client.

Also, most cell phone bitcoin wallets allow you to scan the private key directly into your mobile wallet.

After you do this once, you’ll have the hang of it. EZ PZ.

William Silva
Guest
William Silva

Thanks for actually showing me what a paper wallet looks like – this was very helpful for me! Your video is very informative and after seeing it I’m more confident in withdrawing my Bitcoins.