The safest way of storing Bitcoin (for the long term) is most likely by making a paper wallet. A paper wallet means you create an address on a blockchain and print the private key. This private key can be used at any time to import into a wallet, and for the sake of safekeeping, this key will be written down/printed to then be stored on a safe location. For this example, we will create a paper wallet for a Bitcoin address, but the same principle applies to every blockchain.
Go to BitAddress.org and while on this page, move your mouse cursor for about a minute until the bar on the upper right hits the 100 per cent mark. In case you don’t trust the process of online wallet making, you can solve this by doing the following:
- Go to BitAddress.org
- Unplug your ethernet cable/disconnect your WiFi
- Create a wallet
- Print your wallet
- Close your browser
- Reconnect with the internet
Now you will have two addresses. On the left side you’ll see your public key, which is the address where you or others can send Bitcoins to. On the right side you’ll find your private key. This combination of letters and numbers (hash) is required to fulfill transactions, in case you want to send Bitcoins. The example image below has been edited and it isn’t a functional address.
Print this page by pressing the ‘print’ button on the upper right corner. The address shown on the left is a hashed public key, to which money can be sent, by you or others. Think of it as an email address. It is safe to share this information, since it’s only possible to send cryptocurrencies ‘towards’ this address. It is of vital importance that you safely store the private key, shown on the lower right, and keep this to yourself. When you want to transfer cryptocurrencies you own, you’ll have to use the private key. So store it somewhere safe.