Meet paper wallets, one of the simplest and safest ways to create a cryptocurrency wallet or purse capable of providing you with a level of security that few options can offer you.
paper wallets are one of the most famous and easy to make Cold Wallets. This type of wallets provide a higher level of security compared to other wallets because they provide storage, disconnected from the internet. Therefore, they allow us to safeguard and protect our private keys in a much more secure way, if it is done correctly.
For this, several aspects must be considered when generating one to ensure the integrity of our funds. Here we will explain everything related to paper wallets, what they are, how they work, what are the most trustworthy generators and how we can make use of them.
What are Paper Wallets?
As its name implies, it is a wallet printed on paper that contains the private keys and addresses to manage cryptocurrencies. They were very popular during 2011 with the rise of Bitcoin, as they offer a level of off-line security and cold storage. So they are not prone to cyber theft; And obviously, they are not prone to virus and malware attacks, as it is a role.
Paper wallets are ideal for storing and safeguarding funds that will not be used or moved for a long time. Thus, they can be used as a safeguard of value and savings. However, it is necessary to know in detail how they work and how to manage them so as not to make mistakes that could affect the integrity of our funds.
These types of purses are very easy to create. You must access a paper wallet generator and generate a private key. Once this, the option to print paper wallet is chosen and how many backup copies you want. It is important to mention that these wallets can be encrypted before being printed, which provides greater protection.
But it is also important to clarify that the “paper wallet” concept can be extrapolated to other materials, not just paper. For example, the seed can be generated with the security measures previously explained and, instead of printing it on paper, engraving it on a long-lasting metal plate.
Characteristics of paper wallets
- It provides excellent protection against hackers as the printed paper contains the private key that gives you ownership of your assets.
- They allow cold storage, since they do not need to be constantly connected to the blockchain or internet services.
- They are ideal for storing large amounts of money; although the necessary provisions must be taken to safeguard and protect them.
- Only funds can be loaded or sent to the paper wallet. And at the moment in which you want to make use of these funds, you must import the private key into a software to have access to them and be able to spend them.
- Generating a paper wallet is a really simple and fast process to do. It only takes a few minutes to create your wallet and the generators explain and point out the process step by step.
- The balance contained in a paper wallet can be verified in the block explorer. All you have to do is enter the public address or scan the wallet’s QR code.
Recommendations for its use
These general recommendations will help you generate a much more secure paper wallet. Of course you can go further, but these recommendations followed correctly will help you have an ultra-secure paper wallet in 99.99% of cases.
- Always consider your paper wallet as cash. Take the necessary precautions to care for and protect your wallet.
- When running a paper wallet generator, do it without an internet connection. This way you will not run the risk of a third party intercepting your keys and stealing your money.
- Make sure your computer is clean of viruses and malware. Also check for browser extensions that could compromise your privacy.
- Use a totally clean operating system installation. For this, the Linux Tails distribution can be used (every restart erases everything completely)
- When generating your paper wallet, do not do it in front of other people or cameras.
- It is important to make a backup copy of the private key and store it in a safe and secure place.
- Never make digital backups of your keys.
- When you print your paper wallet, do so from a trusted printer. Never use a shared or wireless printer. And make sure the document is not saved in the printer or in the printer’s print queue. This is usually a very typical hack point.
- Print your paper wallet on a security paper and if possible laminate it. This will ensure that your wallet is protected and will not be affected by external agents such as water, among others.
- Store your wallet in a safe or secure place that only you can access.
- When exchanging your cryptocurrencies, import your private keys into a wallet software. Thus, you can send the full balance of your paper wallet to a deterministic wallet.
- Please note that when you import your private key to a P2P client and make use of their funds, your key will be bundled with other private keys in the P2P client’s wallet. Thus, when you make a transaction, your change will be sent to another bitcoin address within the P2P client’s wallet. So you must make a backup copy of the P2P client’s wallet and keep it safe. Since the remaining cryptocurrencies will be stored there and not in your return paper wallet.
Ways to create your paper wallets
As we mentioned at the beginning, they became very popular in 2011 with the rise of Bitcoin. Users required them to safeguard their funds from piracy on the Internet, so they entered a generator and created them. But at present, there are even ATMs that are used to issue them in case a user does not have a wallet.
Let’s see which are the most popular paper wallets on the market and the services they offer.
The public and private keys generated through BitAddress, together with the addresses, allow the reception of funds. Which can be later spent importing the private key to some other deterministic wallet.
Provides safe and efficient offline cold storage. The Bitcoin.com key generator is based on Bitaddress.org, which we mentioned above, and allows you to generate a paper wallet quickly and safely. It uses the user’s browser to generate the wallet, and no data is transmitted to the servers of Bitcoin.com or the internet.
Another based paper wallet generator is Bitconpaperwallet. It will create a hard copy of a colored paper wallet with the appropriate fold lines. The company offers the possibility of purchasing inviolable security stickers to seal the wallet. The fold shape of this wallet allows important data to remain hidden inside the wallet. So they will not be exposed to third parties.