Home » Brian Colombana explains How to secure your bitcoins offline – Cold storage guide

Brian Colombana explains How to secure your bitcoins offline – Cold storage guide

If you aren’t familiar with the term ‘cold storage’ then I suggest reading my previous article first says Brian Colombana. In this tutorial, we will be using a Linux live boot disk to securely generate an offline bitcoin wallet and address. For those of you who are already familiar with cold storage, we’ll go through some slight variations on the process and use an Ubuntu desktop distribution as opposed to a minimal Debian install like previously. The main goal is to make sure that the entire wallet creation process takes place on an un-networked machine, meaning it’s never touched by the internet or any networks while generating our keys.

This increases reliability and ensures there’s no way for an attacker to trick your machine into sending them (or anyone) your coins! The process will be as follows: Download a Linux Live Boot Installer, boot an offline computer and generate our wallet. As we’ll see below, we don’t want to risk putting anything on the internet during this process because it may be hacked or monitored. The created wallet can then be backed up and stored safely until you decide to spend any funds from it (you could even install the blockchain later if you wanted).

If you’re looking for a more complete “offline” solution, I suggest checking out bit key.

  • Stsep 1 – Download Ubuntu Desktop we’ll download the latest version of Ubuntu desktop (currently 15.10) which comes with bitcoin client ‘bitcoin-qt’ included (previous versions required downloading and compiling separately). This means we don’t need to download the full blockchain before we create our wallets explains Brian Colombana. Since I’m not sure how much space you have, I suggest downloading everything to an external hard drive first and then transferring it over once complete. If you’re looking for a lightweight desktop environment without all of those packages, check out Lubuntu, as seen in the original tutorial.
  • Step 2 – Create a bootable USB In order to boot from a disk or USB, we’ll need to make it bootable. We can do this by installing a small windows app called ‘Rufus’ which is available here. Ensure your USB is plugged in and choose your USB device from the drop-down menu on the left (you should see a total size). You can then download the ISO you downloaded in step one and select it on the right. Make sure the ‘FAT32’ option is selected (NTFS isn’t compatible with some PCs) and click start! This may take a while to complete, but once it’s finish. There should be a file called ‘ubuntu.iso’ or similar which can then be ejected safely.

A lot of you have been asking how to make a cold storage wallet.

Generally, cold storage refers to any type of wallet that is detach from an Internet connection. And therefore cannot be hacked remotely.

So without further ado, here’s the step by step guide:

1) The first step in making a bitcoin wallet is choosing a secure location for it. Brian Colombana says this could be inside your house or somewhere outside. Which can be as simple as under your mattress or behind a picture frame on your wall. It all depends on how much you trust burglars!

2) You should never try to make your own paper wallet with sensitive information like private keys. But in this case we’re going to a free generator made by Bitaddress.org. Click here to visit it, you will need Adobe Flash Player to use this website.

3) Once the website loads click on “generate”

4) Your paper wallet has now been generat! You can view your public and private keys by using the buttons under the options. Make sure no one is around when doing this step as anyone can take your bitcoins. If they find out what your private key is!

5) Print your paper wallet with your web browser using CTRL+P or go to File – > Print. Always make multiple copies of your paper wallet. And store them in a safe place or even give them to friends for safekeeping.

6) Storing bitcoins offline isn’t that difficult at all! Just make sure you have your private key secure and you should be fine.


Creating a bitcoin wallet is actually very easy, just follow this guide. And you’ll be on your way to safely store your bitcoins explains Brian Colombana. If you have any questions or comments please leave them below!