What is a Bitcoin Paper Wallet?

How to make a paper wallet for Bitcoin? What is a Bitcoin paper wallet? Is there a paper wallet for Ethereum? Is a paper wallet like cold storage for Bitcoin? We'll figure it all out and decide how safe or not to store Bitcoins on a paper wallet.

Paper Bitcoin wallet is a Bitcoin wallet where public and private keys printed together. It is an offline wallet and is generally regarded as “cold storage” (ultra-secure storage not connected to the hackable Internet). However, it has some important differences that make its existence in this category worthwhile.

How to make a paper Bitcoin wallet?

Paper wallets are usually made of paper, although technically they can also be made of plastic or any other substance that can print information for a long time.

What is printed on the paper wallet is usually the private key and public key in the form of QR, and the latter is the address.  Just copy and paste the key into a text document, and then print it out (delete the copy on your computer afterwards). If you don’t know how to get a Bitcoin address through the BTC generator, you can use a free web service to generate a printable wallet. Key generation is usually done in your browser, so they are never transmitted over the Internet. To be safe, please clear your browser after printing. Never store the image of a paper Bitcoin wallet on a computer or phone.

Some Bitcoin paper wallet services have exquisite designs that you can cut, fold, and seal them, making them a lightweight and relatively safe form of bitcoins’ offline storage. Bitcoin paper wallet generator usually built in such services. You send bitcoins to the public address shown on the wallet, and then store them in a safe place.

What makes paper wallets safe is that they are offline (called “cold storage”). They are not under the control of hackers, and they do not trust your Bitcoin to third parties. As long as the Bitcoin paper wallet is safe, your property is safe.

However, it lies in the relative lack of security. Someone can find your hiding place, print it out, send Bitcoin from paper wallet associated with these keys, and return the paper, so you never know.

A more secure version involves folding the paper Bitcoin wallet so that the private key is invisible, and tapping the folded part with a seal that cannot be broken and replaced (just look for a “tamper seal”, there are many vendors and models). Ensure the private key cannot be seen even if the folded paper is left under the light. Even that is not safe. What if you fill up folders, drawers, or boxes? Of course, this is not possible, but when you get a lot of bitcoins, consider the worst-case scenario like climate change and etc. Therefore, a tightly sealed plastic bag will help. 

Is there a paper wallet for Ethereum?

There is a great variety of paper wallets. Like zcash paper wallet, litecoin paper wallet, stellar paper wallet, siacoin paper wallet, and an unlimited variety of such wallets for cryptocurrencies, and of course, Ethereum is among them. For example, to make a wallet for ETH you can use the Ethereum address generator. The same websites as for Bitcoin wallets fit other cryptocurrencies too.

How to check Bitcoin paper wallet balance?

To check the Bitcoin paper wallet balance, go to blockchain.info (just enter the public key in the search box). Most of the online wallets allow you to import paper wallet data. To spend these bitcoins, you will be asked to enter private key information or scan a private key QR code (sometimes called a “spending” QR code).

Summing up

Despite the advantages of a paper wallet, we strongly recommend using a hardware wallet for cold storage, as they provide greater security and various cryptocurrency assets to store. For more info about the best hardware wallet ledger, visit our hardware cryptocurrency wallets review here.

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