No matter how much you trust a digital currency online exchange or service, they are not subject to the same tough regulations as banks and won’t be bailed out by governments should something bad happen (at least not at the time of writing). If you hold an amount of bitcoin, dogecoin, whatever-coin and are planning on keeping it, you should store it safely and that means storing it offline in a paper wallet. It’s not hard but it can be confusing so here are a few basic facts to start you off.
What is a paper wallet?
A paper wallet is a piece of paper with two codes written on that can store digital currency offline. It’s like a postbox (mailbox) — anyone can put stuff in but only the person who has the key can get stuff out. Once you put your virtual coins in the wallet they are no longer accessible through the internet and thus are safe from hacking or online theft. The wallet can be physically stolen, however, so you should protect it as you would your cash or passport. Actually, the wallet doesn’t even have to be paper. It simply contains two codes which could alternatively be scribbled on the back of an envelope, painted on a plank of wood or artistically engraved into a block of stone.
How do I get a paper wallet?
For security, it’s recommended to make one yourself by printing it. The following two sites make it easy with a step-by-step guide and nice ready-to-print design:
For extra security, you should save the generator page and open it offline. Moolah also has a paper wallet generator for bitcoin, dogecoin and litecoin.
How to put coins in the wallet
The wallet will have a public address, which is the shorter of the two codes. Anyone can send coins to this address from an online service or a software wallet. You can check the balance at any time by searching for the address at dogechain.info.
How to get coins out of the wallet
The longer of the wallet’s two codes is your private key which you must keep secret. You enter this key into a software wallet to get (or import) your coins. If you’re using the default software wallet available from dogecoin.com then you go to “Help” -> “Debug window” -> “Console” and type in
importprivkey [your-code] MyWallet and press Enter (you can replace “MyWallet” with any name you wish). Note that the first time you run this software wallet it will take several hours (and use up several gigabytes) to synchronise. A faster alternative, which will take just a few minutes, is available from WowDoge.org and is also free and open source. After you install and run it, go to File -> Import Paper Wallet and type in your private key.
Can you only use a paper wallet once?
No, you can re-use it as often as you want.
Can you send coins more than once?
Yes, send coins to the public address as many times as you like.
Can you take part of the coins out?
No. Once you import the private key the whole amount is accessible.
Can you send the private key to an online wallet?
Not at the moment, and it’s not recommended anyway. Use a software wallet.
Can I have more than one copy of the wallet?
Yes. In fact, please do but remember to keep them all in safe and trustworthy locations.
Can I check how much is in the wallet?
Yes, go to dogechain.info and search for the public address (and wait a few minutes for it to be updated).
Do I have to import the private key each time I send coins to the paper wallet?
No, it’s updated automatically — once you import the private key there’s no need to do it again.
Can I re-use the private key in a different wallet once I’ve imported it?
Yes, so you can effectively have the same balance in two different wallets. However you can only send or transfer the coins once.
Can I use a single wallet for both bitcoin and dogecoin?
No, the codes (public address and private key) are different so you’ll need separate paper wallets.
Can I donate my wallet to someone else?
Sure. The coins are usable by whoever knows the private key written on the wallet so you could use it similar to a banknote or as a form of gift certificate.