Make Paper Wallets to Keep Your Bitcoin Addresses Safe.
For long-term storage of bitcoins (or giving as gifts) it's not safe to store your bitcoins in an exchange or online wallet. These types sites are regularly hacked. Even keeping a live wallet on your own computer can be risky.
Be your own bank.
By printing out your own tamper-resistant bitcoin wallets and generating your own addresses, you can minimize your exposure to hackers as well as untrustworthy people in your home or office. Just transfer your bitcoins into your new wallets, and use common sense to keep your wallets safe the way you would jewels and ordinary cash. Or give them away!
What's special about this design?
But first read everything on this page since you should take some precautions to make sure your new wallets are secure.
This bitcoin key generator guides you to print both a front side and a back side for your paper wallet.
All sensitive details on the front side (the private key and QR code) are folded up and securely taped shut so as to stay hidden.
For additional security, you can seal your wallets with the tamper-evident serialized hologram stickers available for purchase on this site—though any sufficiently opaque (light-blocking) tape will work fine.
2. Tamper Resistant
One risk with a paper wallet is that someone with physical access to your wallet may "sneak a peek" at the private key and withdraw your funds without your knowledge. This wallet's folding design and obfuscating security patterns resist "candling" -- the process of shining a bright light through the paper to reveal what's printed inside. Serialized hologram stickers guard against stickers being removed and simply replaced with new ones.
3. Perfect for Giving
Want to give bitcoins to someone who isn't tech-savvy? Need to send bitcoins by mail? Use a pre-loaded paper wallet. The sealed-shut folded design helps to ensure that the recipient won't accidentally reveal the private key. For recipients unfamiliar with bitcoin, the reverse side of the wallet has printed instructions for checking the wallet balance and withdrawing funds.
Helpful tips organized in ascending degrees of paranoia
Keeping it Safe
The biggest threat to your wallet isn't an evil WiFi packet-sniffing robot. Your worst enemy is water.
If you have access to a laser printer, use it—because laser printers melt waterproof plastic (toner) onto paper instead of using ink.
When using an inkjet printer, consider storing your wallet in a zip-sealing plastic bag (like those sold on this site) or printing on waterproof paper, or treating the paper with a clear coat spray like Krylon "Preserve It".
tldr: Treat a paper wallet like cash. If you lose it or if it becomes illegible, the coins are gone forever.
Even the condensation from the outside of a glass set on top of an inkjet print can destroy it.
Here's what a tiny bit of water will do to an inkjet-printed wallet:
tldr:Add funds to your wallet as often as you like, but withdraw them all at once—otherwise your balance may disappear forever.
Your wallet may be vulnerable to prying eyes when you are generating the keys and printing them out.
Although the wallet generator on this website is SSL-encrypted, it's still possible for someone to be snooping on you.
(For example, your computer might have malware that broadcasts your screen to a remote location.)
The problem with printing out secure documents—even if your computer is 100% virus/trojan free—is
that your printer driver and/or operating system may be keeping copies of the documents you print in
some sort of "spool" or print queue. If a hacker or virus gets into your computer and knows to look for
these cache files, then they can get your private keys and "sweep" your wallets. Here are some tips on how to
securely delete your printer "spool" files.
Enable 'FileVault' to encrypt your filesystem so that cache files cannot be 'undeleted'.
Set up a symbolic link from /private/var/spool/cups/cache/ to a removable media volume (e.g. a SD card) and disconnect it when not in use.
Use an encrypted filesystem so that your cache files cannot be 'undeleted'.
Use a live-boot CD instead of a regular hard drive OS install. This way when you reboot your computer, all cache files are deleted from memory and no jobs are ever written to disk.
Hey, do you know much about printer spools on your operating system? I need your help for this section! firstname.lastname@example.org
Using a Clean OS
If you've got loads of applications on your computer, or if you use your computer for "risky behavior"
(like installing freeware or visiting java / flash websites)
consider dedicating a computer (or at least a bootable partition / thumbdrive / "live CD") for paper wallet
printing. Never take that install online. Transfer the wallet generator ZIP file from GitHub to your clean OS using
a thumbdrive or other non-networked method.
tldr: Run the wallet generator on a dedicated offline computer / OS.
Using a Dumb Printer
Some advanced printers have internal storage (even hard drives) that preserve copies of printouts. This is a risk if someone gets access to your printer,
or if you dispose of your printer. There is also the possibility that a smart enough printer can be hacked.
This isn't quite tinfoil-hat level paranoia, as we've seen examples in the wild of viruses
that rewrite the firmware of non-computer devices indirectly connected to the Internet. If this concerns you,
don't use a fancy printer, and never let your printer have access to the Internet or to an Internet-connected computer.
tldr: Smart printers save copies of what they print and may be vulnerable to super-smart viruses. Use a dumb offline printer whose firmware can't be reprogrammed.
Overwhelmed? Scared silly?
There's no need to follow all of these precautions. If you're just generating some give-away wallets for fun or to store small amounts of bitcoin, relax. Just use the online wallet generator on a trusted computer and secure Internet connection. For storing larger amounts, follow as many of these security precautions as you can.
I love Bitcoin. I love how it's elegant, functional, philosophical, and radical.
Unfortunately, for folks not steeped in cypherpunk ideology and network security, bitcoins are hard to understand, hard to purchase, and hard to keep safe.
The primary purpose of this site is to make it easier to keep your coins safe once you've gone through the hard work of acquiring some.
The secondary purpose of this site is to encourage you to expand the understanding and acceptance of Bitcoin by loading up and giving away these beautiful and fairly idiot-proof paper wallets.
Hey, here's a couple bitcoins. Keep this paper somewhere safe for now, because some day it might be worth a whole lot and you can buy yourself something nice. Enjoy!