An Experiment with Paper Wallets

in paperwallet •  2 years ago 

Before sending any amount of crypto to a paper wallet, its a good idea to perform some tests to ensure your confidence in where you're holding your coins.

For this experiment I'm going to use a Bitcoin private key (5K8KTVTgrgogeCHJKF72hYDLQJYtxQaQg439E3Xj89JbdVKSMUU) attached to a public key (16VbP4nQdea4zG92jQMTSScUxQVdtVsC86). I would like to point out that this is a practice wallet so don't send any funds here. The wallet was generated here

When I copy/pasted the private key on a different paper wallet site by clicking skip, and then paper wallet (second tab on the left) the site gives you the option to import a private key. When I imported the private key the site gave me a page for printout with a nice looking wallet design, and more importantly both the public key and private key matched the first wallet. Remember I only imported the private key.

Another experiment you can try is to import a private key into a wallet like Electrum (or another wallet if you prefer) and check to see that the public key also matches. When you generate a wallet through one of the above linked websites you can also input the private key (by means of the QR code) into a number of mobile phone wallets, provided the mobile wallet has a "scan" ability.bitcoin[1].png

Its important to test wallets out before sending any coins there for a number of reasons. The most important reason is to ensure confidence that you will have access to your coins. Secondly test runs are good in the event there is an unexpected problem, allowing you to analyze the problem without freaking out over where your coins went.

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Using a website to generate the private keys is risky if you do not trust the website owner. The best idea would be to use an offline well know application that has been properly audited.

You are correct. The safe way to create a paper wallet is offline. The first time I did the test I wanted to be sure the addresses would line up with the private key because I was nervous to send coins there.