If you’re new to cryptocurrencies it can be a confusing concept to have Bitcoin stored on a paper wallet. When you’re storing Bitcoin on a paper wallet, no funds actually get stored on the paper. Instead the paper holds two very important pieces of information which are the Bitcoin Address & Bitcoin Private Key. These two keys are used together to access your funds on the network.
This is the address your funds are stored at. Think of it as being similar to an account number. You can at any time look up your address using blockchain.info to see how much funds are stored at the address.
For example details of the following address (1KdEvinu1B4LWbY8DqTKGju4sd7HPBUQgn) can be seen here:
Bitcoin Private Key:
The private key is like a password that is needed to access the Bitcoin address. Without it you will never be able to access your funds. Here is an example of a private key:
It is very important that nobody ever sees your private key!
How Can I Make a Paper Wallet?
It is very simple to create a paper wallet.
Firstly use an address generator such as bitaddress.org. It will ask you to move your mouse around the screen, and then a Bitcoin Address & Private Key will be generated for you. Easy!
Now all you have to do is securely store this information. Don’t let anybody see the private key, and don’t lose this information.
A popular way to store this information is to print it out on a piece of paper… hence the name ‘paper wallet’.
How Do I Access My Bitcoin On A Paper Wallet?
Paper wallets are suitable for storage. If you wish to spend your Bitcoin, you’ll need to ‘sweep’ your paper wallet. This involves sending funds to another Bitcoin Address. You’ll be required to provide your private key to make the transfer. Sites such as Blockchain.info offer this service.