An Interesting Tool for creating Paper Wallets

I have written various postings now, about Bitcoin Wallets. One of the themes which I have brought up, is that the online account, of how much money has been Sent To and From a Bitcoin Address, is more important, than the offline account of it, which can therefore sometimes be reduced to only a Private Key and a Public Key. The Public Key can be converted to and from a Bitcoin Address to Send funds To, while the Private Key can be used to authorize, that funds be Sent From the same Address.

And so one subject which I also wrote about, is that if a person has the Private Key, he or she can use some existing Bitcoin Wallet apps, to Sweep that Address, thus giving the command to the network, to Send all its funds to another Address, which is online.

There is some minor discrepancy, between what I called an ‘Offline Wallet’, and what the Internet calls an “Offline Wallet”. What I was referring to by that term, would actually be called “A Wallet In Cold Storage”. What the Internet may refer to instead, is a kind of Wallet, being accessed by a program, but on a computer which is separated from the Internet by an Air Gap.

In reality, the subject of the security of Air Gap systems, is quite beyond what I am currently willing to write about. My personal guess is, that if most of us wanted that, we might be a bit too paranoid for the mundane world. There exist some organizations and even companies, who need Air Gap Systems, but then there is a whole rigamarole, of what needs to be done, for an Air Gap system actually to receive the full benefit, one hopes to gain by using them…

But, having done some reading, I have come across a tool which even everyday users could find useful, in creating an actual Paper Wallet:

Online Tool

Because all that is needed for one Bitcoin Address to exist, in principle, is a correctly-formatted set of Private and Public Keys, a tool can be useful somewhat, which only does that, and which offers to print those out as QR Codes. The above Link is a Web-page, which does this.

(Edit 10/08/2016 : Actually, I had previously posted a mistake here. As it stands, if a person transfers a Bitcoin-amount to an Address that is validly-formed, that amount will remain associated with the Address, even if no attempt is made to query the Address. This Bulletin-Board Conversation seems to state so.)

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Bitcoin, more specifically

One Bitcoin Address effectively works like a Public/Private Key-Pair, except that the trapdoor function used is not RSA. Given the Public Key (aka Address), it is possible to Audit that Address, i.e. to listen for payments made to it. And, there are specific cases where a Public Key can be associated with a known identity.

For example, an Address may have been published openly, to accept donations or vending-machine payments. Because the Public Keys can be tested for equality, any additional occurrence of the same one, will be known to belong to the same identity.

Further, while the Private Key associated with an Address is needed to Send a Payment from that Address, how many BTC any Address holds is decided by the system of Peers, more than by the one Wallet. Therefore, if a third party can obtain a Private Key, he or she can use the network in order to “Sweep” that Key, which means, to order any BTC held by that Private Key Sent to some other Address. This can work without physical access to the version of the Wallet which has actually been stored on a given Computer.

What this might mean for me, if the HD of my older computer was to die, is that if additionally, I had an offline copy of its Private Keys, I could Sweep those Keys into my new Wallet, on my new computer, without having to revive the old computer necessarily.