Bitcoin’s streak of breaking its own record price has been relentless for the past few months, with the cryptocurrency climbing over $14,000 (about Rs. 9 lakh) this week, from having been less than $800 (about Rs. 51,600) this time last year. This unprecedented growth – nearly 10 times its value since the start of 2017 – has brought Bitcoin squarely into mainstream attention.
Though the debates over the currency being in a bubble continue to have voices from all directions, what’s clear is that those with a big stake with Bitcoin need to be safer than ever with their digital investment. After all, it’s real money that’s at stake.
Bitcoin wallets have faced multiple hacks in the past, so it’s worth going the extra step to secure your funds. Here’s how to set up cold storage for your Bitcoin wallet:
- Paper Wallet
The easiest way to take your Bitcoins offline is by using paper and a printer. Yes, really. You’ll also need a website that allows you to create an offline Bitcoin address, such as Bitcoin.com or Bitaddress.org.
While taking your computer and printer offline is a good security measure, it’s not as safe as using a clean operating system. BitKey is basically a free bootable Linux distro that you can write to a USB drive or CD-ROM. Plus, it can run live from computer’s memory (RAM) so you can eject the drive/ disc once it’s running.
For the even more paranoid, an even safer way to store Bitcoin involves something called a brain wallet, which generates an address by using a memorised passphrase. WarpWallet takes that a step further with “salt”, an additional piece of data such as your email address which forces attackers to target you individually instead of casting a wide net.