A pretty secure Cold Storage setup
To increase the security of your Bitcoin holdings, it is prudent
to send them to an address, the private key of which has never
been exposed to the Internet.
This kind of setups is called Cold Storage.
There are many ways to achieve this. Unfortunately, they are
either relatively expensive, or you have to have somewhat
advanced knowledge of computer systems.
The somewhat expensive route would be to buy a hardware wallet
It costs around $99. If you think this is not too expensive,
stop reading right here and go buy one from their website.
Don't buy from 3rd party vendors, as they might sell you manipulated
or fake hardware, designed to steal your bitcoins.
The cheaper but more knowledge intensive way is to create a bootable
Linux system on a USB thumb drive, start your computer from it and
create from it the wallet for cold storage.
Here's a method which is not as good as having a dedicated hardware
wallet, or a dedicated operating system, but it is still very secure.
Creating a pretty secure Cold Storage setup with your smartphone or tablet:
What you need:
A smartphone or tablet. If possible, one that you don't
care about factory resetting, like an old spare smartphone
you don't use anymore anyway. If you don't have an extra
device, use your regular phone or tablet.
- Pen and paper.
- Either factory reset your device, or if that's not an option
for you, clean it up. Delete all the apps you don't need
anyway. All the fart-apps, games etc. Get it as clean as
- Install Mycelium, but don't open it yet (Available for
- Go offline. Activate airplane mode. If you're paranoid, unplug
your Wifi router and/or remove your SIM card.
- Now open Mycelium.
- Write down on paper the 12 word recovery seed and check if you
wrote it down correctly. Also write on that paper the wallet
you used and the date, i.e. "Mycelium, 31st of August, 2017".
Years later, you might not remember which software in which
version you used.
- Make a screenshot of the first address that is displayed to you.
You can also copy it and paste it into some other file on
your device. Or scan it with another phone or tablet. This
is going to be your long term savings address.
- Secure the seed again on another paper backup. Store it securely,
preferably off-site in case your house burns down. For
example in a bank safe deposit box, in an envelope that you
hide in your grandma's bookshelf, ... something like that.
- Now delete the wallet app from your device completely.
- Restart the device. Now you can go online again.
- To monitor the balance of your long term savings address, you
can type it into
Accessing the Bitcoins you sent to that Cold Storage address:
- Do the same steps as before. The seed you create now will
be referred to as "seed2". The previous seed
that holds your bitcoins is referred to as
- Now that you securely created seed2 with a new
long term savings address, go online again and install
- Restore the wallet using seed1. You should see
your bitcoin balance.
- Send the bitcoins to where ever you wanted to send them.
- Send the remaining balance to your new long term savings
address that you created when creating seed2.
- Archive seed1. Never throw a seed away.
If you want to step up your game and create a highly secure cold
storage paper wallet, this guide is for you:
Cold Storage without a (secure) printer
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