If you want cold storage for your cryptocurrency, a paper wallet can be a cheap and fast way of storing your cryptocurrency. There is no high-tech infrastructure to paper wallets, it is just a paper (really!).
You print your private and public keys on a piece of paper and store it in a safe place to keep your information and funds secure. This gives you complete control over your wallet, your keys and your funds.
The keys are not printed in letters but stored in the form of QR codes which you can scan for all your transactions. Although this method of storing cryptocurrency is very safe, being cold storage, but anyone would admit that it is very slow as well.
The biggest benefit is that no hacker can crack the code of entering into a physical location without actually breaking in your home.
A paper wallets also limit how you make transactions. If you are going to make frequent transactions, a paper wallet isn’t really practical.
A paper wallet is best kept as a ‘piggy bank’ in which you keep storing your funds until you spend them all at once.
This is because to spend your funds, you need to sweep (transfer) them from your paper wallet to a live wallet such as Trezor or to an exchange service such as Coinbase. And if you make transactions every other day using these online services, then the very purpose of a paper wallet is defeated.
That being said, if you need to store funds for a long time in cold storage and don’t intend to use them anytime soon, getting a paper wallet is a good idea. One great option for getting a paper wallet is Ethaddress.
Ethaddress Paper Wallet
Ethaddress is an open source service that lets you print a paper wallet. With, Ethaddress, you can print your keys on a paper and store your Ethereum. If you want to store any other cryptocurrency such as Bitcoin, there are other services for that: such as Bitaddress.org and walletgenerator.net.
Ethaddress is a free service and gives you all the advantages of cold storage. It even provides encryption for your keys for added security. However, keep in mind that if you want to frequently use your cryptocurrency, wallets such as Coinbase are better for you since they have their own cold storage and keep your funds perfectly secure.
However, Ethaddress does not support Ethereum Classic which you should know before you decide to print a paper wallet with it. It just supports ETH. In the end, you are responsible for the security of your cryptocurrency. And a piece of paper can be stolen just like any other commodity. So keeping it safe is entirely up to you.
- A cheap way to get cold storage and complete privacy of your keys
- Highly secure like hardware wallets
- Isn’t practical for using cryptocurrency, just useful for storing it over long periods of time and spending it all at once. This isn’t a drawback of Ethaddress, but of paper wallets in general
- Doesn’t support Ethereum classic
- Just a piece of paper: can be damaged or stolen, no robust infrastructure like with hardware, software or web wallets. Again, this isn’t a drawback of Ethaddress, but of paper wallets in general
Should You Choose Ethaddress?
At this point, the question isn’t whether to choose Ethaddress but rather, whether you should choose paper wallets at all. Because if you want to play crypto games, you need to spend cryptocurrency from time to time and paper wallets don’t let you spend your cryptocurrency periodically.
They are just virtual piggy banks. If you want to store Bitcoins instead of Ethereum in paper wallets, you can use Bitaddress.org or walletgenerator.net.
Nonetheless, Ethaddress is a good option if you want to store ETH (not Ethereum Classic) for a long time. It is open source, it offers cold storage, high security, complete privacy – all for free.
For more info on paper wallets, read this paper wallet guide.