Add Bitcoin To A Paper Wallet

If you need to add Bitcoin to a paper wallet for offline storage this tutorial shows you how. You can transfer your Bitcoin from the exchange where you bought them.

This is part 3 of a 5-part series on paper wallets. If you don’t already have a paper wallet to use find out how to make one.


Part 1. PGP Software Verification.

Part 2. Generate A Paper Wallet.


You will also need a Coinbase account and own at least a fraction of a Bitcoin.

We are using Coinbase because it is the first place most people start buying cryptocurrency from. 


Add Bitcoin to a paper wallet

1. Look at the paper wallet you generated in part 2 and locate the public key. You will need the key to tell Coinbase where to send the Bitcoin. Remember to use the public key and not the private one.

Add Bitcoin To A Paper Wallet


2. Login to your Coinbase account and click on accounts. Locate your Bitcoin wallet and click send.

Add Bitcoin


3. The Send BTC form will appear.

Paste or scan your wallet public key into the Recipient box. If the address is the correct length a green circle will appear next to it.

BTC Details

4. You can see how many Bitcoin you have to send in the Withdraw From box. You have to take into account the network fee (An outrageous $19.68 in this example. Hope the Lightning Network brings the price down and the speed up!) and type the amount you want to send in the amount box.

If you click on the Amount box a blue Send Max box will appear. If you want to send all your Bitcoin you can click on this and Coinbase will work out how much you can send plus the fee.

Send Max


5. Click continue and the Confirm Send box will pop up.

Confirm Send

6. Double-check everything. Make sure the key is the right one and the amount is correct.

7. When you opened your Coinbase account you would have set up 2-step verification on your phone. Coinbase will text you a code to make sure the account owner is the sender of the Bitcoin.

Input the code and click Confirm.


7. A Send Complete box will pop up confirming sending the Bitcoin.

Send Complete


Checking The Transaction

1. Bitcoin transactions can take many hours. You can view the transaction progress from the view details box. You can also go back to the dashboard and click on the transaction under Recent Activity.

Recent Activity


2. The Sent Bitcoin box will pop up. It shows the details of the transaction and at the bottom, you will see it is pending.

Transaction Pending


3. If you click on View transaction a link for Blockcypher will open. This has details of the transaction.

For an explanation of the Blockcypher page go to the end of this tutorial.


Blockcypher Output Raw



4. Finally, here are the confirmations from Coinbase and Blockcypher. They show that the transaction went through and the Bitcoin is now in the paper wallet. It took over an hour to go through despite what it says.

Blockcypher Confirmation

Coinbase Confirmation


The Blockcypher Transaction Page Explained

If you’ve never seen one of these before it can be confusing. It seems as though a lot more Bitcoin is being sent and it’s going to more than one place. Here is a simple (I hope!) explanation. You do not need to know this unless you want an explanation of the Blockcypher page.


Blockcypher Output

Using the numbered boxes.

#3 shows how many confirmations needed before the transaction is complete and irreversible.


Coinbase didn’t have the precise amount to send to my wallet in an unspent transaction output. So, instead, this is what happened.

#1 is the amount (0.80550986 BTC) that Coinbase has. As you can see it is more than I am sending.

This is like a regular Fiat (government issued currency) transaction. When someone pays $20 for an item that costs $10, they get change. So, Coinbase will be needing change because they are sending too much. But this is what they have available.

#2 is the fee (0.00131361 BTC) for the transaction. You already knew about that from Coinbase.

#4 is the total amount Coinbase is sending. 0.80550986 BTC (from box #1) + the fee 0.00131361 BTC = 0.80682347 BTC.

#5 is the address where the change (0.8036881 BTC) goes to. The calculation of the change comes from Box #4 (0.80682347 BTC) minus the Bitcoin sent to my wallet (0.00182176 BTC). Then minus the fee (0.00131361 BTC). 

#6 is, as you will notice, the public key for my paper wallet. This is the amount of Bitcoin sent to my wallet (0.00182176 BTC). The same amount I sent in Coinbase.


*When you add Bitcoin to your paper wallet make sure it’s secure. Check out our security tips.


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