Cold Storage Wallet Instructions For Ethereum
If someone gets a hold of your coin and takes off the hologram, they own your private keys to this wallet. Real Crypto has no liability for your lost, stolen or hacked private keys. These instructions are here to help you stay safe but we make no guarantee that this will prevent hackers from obtaining your private keys. By making a cold storage wallet on a computer and printer that has or will ever be connected to the internet, you must accept a level of risk that your private keys could be compromised.
We are making videos for all these tutorials so you can see how it's done instead of having to read.
You don’t have to put your private keys on the coin. You can take your QR Code deposit address from your ledger nano s, Trezor, Coinbase account or even an exchange and put it on your coin. There is a recessed area on the coin and the hologram will have an air pocket behind it if you don’t have at least one piece of paper behind the hologram. Cut that paper to .37'x.37" or 9x9mm so it fits correctly in the hologram window. This allows you to still accept crypto from your friends to your other wallet
Computer with access to the internet
Printer. A wired laser printer with no internet access is preferred for security and printing quality.
Make your Wallet
Make sure your computer and printer are free of any malicious software before you start.
- There are several ways to generate your private keys. You can use an internet connected computer and myetherwallet.com, an offline computer with a downloaded file, a raspberry pi with a new OS, or Tails OS. We will show you how to do this with your computer offline and the downloaded file. We plan on making more tutorials to show you other methods in the future.
- To begin, go to: https://github.com/kvhnuke/etherwallet
- Scroll down and click “Download the latest Release”
- Click on:etherwallet-v3.21.08.zip(latest version as of this write-up) to download the file to your computer.
- If you’re going to use the same computer to create the wallet, clear your browser cache, disconnect your computer and printer from the internet now.
- If you’re on a mac, open the etherwallet folder you just downloaded and click on “index.html” and open with Google Chrome because it typically has the least amount of problems.
- If you’re on a PC, unzip the files and then click “index.html.” All browsers should work but we recommend using Google Chrome.
- This will bring up the page without being connected to the internet and will allow you to create a cold storage wallet.
- Create the wallet by creating a very strong password. We recommend avoiding dictionary based words. Use special characters, upper and lowercase letters as well as numbers. Make sure you have this written down somewhere safe and do not save this to your computer or any device that connects to the internet. The password is not needed once you have your private keys.
- Click on create new wallet.
- Download and save the Keystore file to your computer. Do not lose this file as it’s the only way to recover a lost wallet without your private keys. Your keystore file is encrypted by your password that you had entered above.
- Now Click continue on the myetherwallet page
- Hit the print button on the screen. Make sure you are using standard US Letter printer paper. For US Letter paper size, find the scale section on your printer popup and change the scale to 22% and 24%. You will print in two sizes. The public key is 22% and the private key is 24%. If you are using a different size printer, play with it until you have a size that fits the QR Code window and scans. The private key can be larger since it is hidden behind the hologram. This ensures it will be scannable. The private key has more detail so the size needs to be slightly larger to scan.
- Print the page on the highest quality. A laser printer is best because the ink on inkjet printers can run.
- We recommend keeping multiple copies of your private keys in case your coin is lost or stolen. It is best practice to print your keys at 100% scale and store them in a safe place. If you don’t do this and lose your coin, your crypto currency that is on that coin could be lost forever.
- Use your smartphone to scan the small version of the public key that you printed earlier just to verify that your QR codes were printed clearly. The public address is your deposit address that you can share with anyone, while the private key is like your password to access your crypto. Whoever has access to your private key has control of all the funds in your wallet so be careful with your private keys.
- You need to ensure your printer doesn’t store any data that could be hacked to recover your private keys. The process for wiping your printer’s memory varies so we cannot talk this in detail. Just google it for your respective printer and you should be able to figure it out.
- The final step is to clear your browser cache and restart your computer before reconnecting to the internet to help mitigate security breaches.
Apply Keys to Coin
- Place the deposit address key (QR Code) face down into the clear area of the hologram so you can see it from the front. The orientation of the QR code does not matter as it will scan in any direction. Press down on the QR code to make sure it is adequately stuck to the hologram.
- Place the private key face down into the recessed area of the coin.
- Now carefully place the hologram on to the designated area of the coin ensuring there are no creases or bubbles. The hologram is specifically made to fit perfectly inside the circle frame on each coin. If there are creases that lead to the edge of the hologram, water can seep inside and damage your private keys. The hologram is tamper proof so you cannot take it off once it has been applied without damaging the hologram sticker. It will also leave a film behind on the coin to show the hologram was taken off. We have supplied an extra hologram in case you mess up the first one. If you need more, you can buy them on our website and we can ship them out in an envelope for minimal shipping costs to you.
- Now you need to decide if you want to keep the private keys left on the piece of paper or if you want to dispose of them. If you dispose of them and something happens to your coin or the QR Code didn’t print correctly, your coins will be lost forever. If you dispose of the keys and the encryption password, make sure they cannot be read by anyone sorting through your trash. We recommend going outside and burning all the paper if you decide to dispose of them.
You did it!
Hopefully it wasn’t too hard.