How to Safely Deposit and Withdraw Bitcoins from a Paper Wallet

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Last updated on March 18th, 2015 at 10:38 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.

 

Ofir Beigel

Owner at 99 Coins ltd.
Blogger and owner of 99Bitcoins. I've been dealing with Bitcoin since the beginning of 2013 and it taught me a lesson in finance that I couldn't get anywhere else on the planet. I'm not a techie, I don't understand "Hashes" and "Protocols", I designed this website with people like myself in mind. My expertise is online marketing and I've dedicated a large portion of 99Bitcoins to Bitcoin marketing.
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8 Comments on "How to Safely Deposit and Withdraw Bitcoins from a Paper Wallet"

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Raven
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Raven

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

Ofir one
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Ofir one

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

Carl
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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
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Felicia

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

Dave J
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Dave J

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

Joseph Hall
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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
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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
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Member
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.

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