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How to securely create a Bitcoin paper wallet

For holding (or hodling!) Bitcoin, there's arguably nothing better than a "paper wallet", which is a single Bitcoin address to which you own the private key, which you can print or write down on a piece of paper for safe storage in bank vault or other secure place.

Here is a proposed process to securely create your Bitcoin address, safe in the knowledge that the private key wasn't eavesdropped upon by a computer virus or keylogger:

  • It is best to use a separate computer for your Bitcoin-related activities. A cheap Google Chromebook is recommended, since it is a restricted operating system, developed by Google, and is hence harder to hack than a Windows or Mac PC. Be sure to update the operating system to the latest version.

  • Reboot your computer (to ensure it boots up as cleanly as possible), then open a new Incognito Window in Chrome, and visit www.bitaddress.org.

  • Once the website loads, switch off your wifi/network connection. This is to ensure that if ever your PC was infected by a virus, that the virus couldn't send any data over the network.

  • With the wifi/network off, you can then follow the process described at bitaddress.org to create your Bitcoin address. Once the address is created, you can print it on a piece or paper, or copy it into your password safe. Once done, close down the Incognito Window in Chrome, and boot down your PC. Note that during all this time, your wifi/network should remain disabled.

You are now the proud owner of a Bitcoin address and its associated secret key. Keep it locked up safely!

For experimenting with small amounts of Bitcoin, you may also use Binary.com's simple web wallet. However note the disclaimer at the bottom of that website - the wallet sacrifices some security features for sake of ease of use.