Bitcoin Paper Wallets

Definition:

A paper wallet is a way to store Bitcoins that involves printing the Bitcoin addresses and private keys directly on a piece of paper. When done properly, paper wallets are one of the safest ways possible to store Bitcoins.

Purpose:

The purpose of these types of wallets is to produce private keys safely and securely. There are many tools for producing these types of wallets, including BitAddress.org, Vanitygen, LinuxCoin, and Bitcoin Address Utility. There are many recommendations for wallets and a small list is as follows:

  1. The wallet generator should produce pure, random numbers and unpredictable addresses. A pseudo-random generator will produce unsecure keys and addresses.
  2. Never save private keys to your computer’s hard drive.
  3. Paper wallets should be produced on a computer not connected to the internet.
  4. Don’t produce keys on web servers. Only have them produced on your computer in a secure environment.

Printing keys or addresses is not recommended because some printers store data that can be recovered if your printer is taken. It is best to use other methods for redeeming keys. Some of the most trusted methods are Armory, which imports them directly to wallets, and Mt. Gox, which has the ability to add funds using a private key and exchange it to a paper wallet. It is in a person’s best interest to take a little extra time and make sure that the methods are from a secure, reputable company.

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