It is highly recommended to create an Ethereum paper wallet as one of the safest methods of securing your cryptocurrency. Essentially, an Ether paper wallet is a record of your Ethereum Wallet’s Private and Public keys which you need to access your wallet and make transactions.
Possessing a piece of paper with a code on it and calling it a wallet may come off as a little weird to some. However, it is the safest method you can employ to store your precious Ether coins. Paper wallets provide an extraordinary advantage over other conventional cryptocurrency storage techniques. Imagine the comfort you will feel knowing that your Ether can be stored safely in your house, deposit box, or safe or even buried in your backyard. Advantageously, the paper wallet isn’t part of the internet. Therefore, no hacker can ever gain access to your precious cryptocurrencies. A potential thief would have to crack your safe or dig through your whole backyard to find your wallet and cryptocurrency information.
A Paper wallet is perfect for people who wish to keep their Ether in “cold-storage” that is, un-connected from the internet and safely stored away. With a paper wallet the speed for transfers and exchanges, as well as the overall speed at which your Ether becomes available, is greatly reduced. This is due to the coins having to be relayed back to an online wallet before they can be utilized.
If you wish to use your Ether at am exchange or for speculation purposes to make some money and benefit from market price fluctuations, then your Ether always has to be readily available. For those purposes, an online wallet is recommended, at least for the sake of efficiency.
However, if you plan on sticking with your Ether for the long run by being a “Hodler” and don’t care much for market fluctuations, you can keep your coins safely in your physical paper wallet until the need to use them arises. Additionally, paper Ether wallets make for a fantastic gift idea: Just make sure to preload it with a decent amount of Ether and tell them to hold it to the moon!
Using MyEtherWallet to Make a Paper Wallet
Important Note: When visiting MyEtherWallet, please make sure you are on the correct website.
Make sure the URL is correct in your browser and look for their verified SSL certificate which looks like this:
Make sure you bookmark the correct URL and always use that to visit the site, never click links in emails, twitter, Facebook, Slack, private messages etc. This is because there are fake “Phishing” website which are set up with similar URLS and designed to steal your private keys and therefore your cryptocurrencies.
Pop open a web browser and head over to the site, then figure out what kind of a password you would like to use. A combination of at least 15 different characters, including special characters and lower- and upper-case letters, is recommended. You should store your password outside of your computer for safety’s sake, and keep in mind that this password is essential to decrypting your Ether wallet.
After entergin a password you will be promoted to download the keystore file – meaning an Ether wallet is saved as a file to your USB drive or personal computer, hit the “Download Keystore” file button at this point.
Congratulations, at this point you have successfully generated a paper Ether wallet; all you need to do now is print it out by hitting the “PRINT” button provided to you. Keep in mind that the paper wallet holds your official, public Ether address. This address is comparable to an IBAN of any regular bank account; therefore, it can be published. If you provide your official address to another individual, that person may then send you Ether. However, if a person gets hold of your private key, then he or she can access all of the Ether funds you keep on your Ether paper wallet.
Important: Never disclose your private key to other people.
In addition to printing out a paper wallet, you can also download a JSON file from the website. The JSON file carries all of the information pertaining to your Ether wallet. The information may be downloaded, encrypted, and even unencrypted. However, the password that was created in the beginning of the entire process is needed for decryption. You can put your JSON file onto a USB drive to prevent it from getting lost or misplaced.
Using Ether with Your Ether Wallet
Before utilizing your newly created paper Ether wallet to full throttle, it is advised to first transfer a little bit of Ether to your wallet as a quick test. After your test is successful, you should be good to go to transfer more Ether safely. You can set up your Ether wallet to automatically receive Ether if you frequent a cloud-mining service, like Genesis Mining. It is recommended to save the official public address of your wallet to your computer, while keeping your private key hidden elsewhere to avoid any troubles.
You can easily use Etherchain to figure out the exact amount of Ether that is stored on an Ether wallet. Don’t worry about having to enter your address information in the upper field to search up your information; Etherchain is legitimate and will not compromise your data.
To send Ether from your wallet, you can visit MyEtherWallet. Generally, there are two ways to send Ether to someone else. Once on MyEtherWallet, navigate to the “Send Transaction” page. Now, if you used a JSON file to create your wallet, you can simply select your JSON file when prompted and use it to send Ether to other addresses almost immediately. However, if the JSON file is encrypted, then you will be prompted to enter the password; following this, you will be allowed to send Ether.
If you decided to utilize a standard paper Ether wallet, then simply type in or paste your private key when prompted by MyEtherWallet. If you believe that someone may have observed your transaction and that your Ether wallet is compromised, have no fear; you can easily transfer all your Ether to a new wallet and destroy your old paper wallet for the sake of safety.
Although a paper wallet is one of the safest ways to secure your cryptocurrencies, you are still exposing your private key on your computer when you enter it in the MyEtherWallet website. If you have malicious software such as a keylogger on your machine, which could come from a Virus or Malware, then your key could still be stolen. For the ultimate security and peace of mind, we recommend you look at using a Hardware wallet which adds an additional layer of protection and makes it impossible to ever steal your private keys. Take a look at our guide to the Trezor and Ledger which are the two most popular devices.
Good luck and may your Eth be forever safe!