If you want secure storage for your crypto but don’t have the cash for a hardware wallet, or you just like to DIY, creating cold storage is the answer. You can create a cold storage wallet from any wallet software by running it offline on any air gapped computer.
Things you’ll need:
- A PC with an internet connection
- A separate old (or new) PC with no network connection
- a fresh install of the OS of your choice
- 2 blank USB drives ( 1GB is more than enough )
- Download wallet software to the USB drive from the internet connected PC. For maximum security, this is the last time that you will plug this USB drive into an internet connected PC.
- Insert the USB drive into your offline PC that only has a fresh install of the OS of your choice (Linux, Windows, MacOS… etc). Copy the wallet software to the offline PC or open it straight from the USB drive.
- Create a wallet and write down the seed onto paper.
- Verify what you wrote down is accurate by restoring your wallet from the seed you have written down. If it doesn’t work, you know you have something written or typed improperly.
- Open notepad and copy your wallet address into a newly created .txt file. Optionally you can also copy your “view only” HEX key, and use that to confirm deposits into your wallet on any PC you feel comfortable running a view only wallet. ONLY keep this information on your second USB, do not copy any private keys or seed backups onto your second USB.
- Test a transaction to your wallet address and use your view only key to confirm the transaction was successful.
- Trust the blockchain. It can be strange the first time you use cold storage because nothing is connected to a network. Trust that the blockchain has your transactions on it and you can retrieve them with your keys. A view only wallet helps with this as well.
That’s basically all you need to do. It may seem complicated or like a lot of steps but for the amount of security you get, it’s a pretty simple thing that anyone can do.
Factoid: Stuxnet jumped an air gap by being designed to pass malware from a host computer to any USB that was plugged into an infected PC.
Common Sense: Not your keys, not your coins.
Pro-Tip: Use this article to create offline transactions and never expose your keys to a network connected PC : https://github.com/deroproject/wiki/wiki/Cold-wallet
Written by @Kryptoid