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How to Safely Deposit and Withdraw Bitcoins from a Paper Wallet

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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16 comments on “How to Safely Deposit and Withdraw Bitcoins from a Paper Wallet”

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  1. I need help. I bought some Bitcoin in 2011 and it has been stored on my computer since. I forgot all about to look recently I found it but the files are corrupted. I can see a hash string and words afterwards like “crypto API Key” but I have no clue how to get the Bitcoin out and into a wallet. I am guessing first I should find a file restore and repair option but the windows 7 does not seem to have that feature. Any help would be greatly appreciated!

  2. Hi Ofir, I have BitcoinQT wallet on my old MacBook with a couple bitcoin “trapped” in the wallet. It won’t synchronize. It tries to and will “Index blocks” for days or even now weeks before crashing with some corrupt problem. How can’t i get access to the coins in this wallet? I’ve found a file that has about 20 keys… They are 27 characters in length. I’m guessing this is a public key? Can i use this to move the coin elsewhere?

    1. Isn’t there a backup feature? If so, why not just use it? From there I can help you extract the private key for importing in another wallet.

    1. Hi Sylvia,

      Location in the world isn’t a factor in Bitcoin. Just ask your boyfriend for his Bitcoin address and send the coin amount to that address. He will need some kind of Bitcoin wallet on his site which gives him an address so that he can receive the BTC.

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