Getting your bitcoin off the exchange and into a wallet you control

Pragmatic Application

Before jumping into the theory I like to understand it practically in the real world. The best tool for this is setting up (and printing) a paper wallet.

Do not send bitcoin to the paper wallet yet, we are only trying to grasp the wallet idea

Go to either of:

You will need to move your mouse around to add randomness (entropy) to ensure the private-public key pair generated is random enough.

Print out the wallet.

Read the instructions.

Look at the key contents of it:

  • Private key
  • Public key

Your public key, is something that can be shared and given to anyone. It is public information. If you want to receive sats (portions of bitcoin) then this key is what you will give someone.

The private key, is something that should be kept private. Only you should know your private key (or have access to it). Your private key is what is used to sign transactions - movement from your address to somewhere else.

If you control the private key, you control the sats.

The reason paper wallets are not recommended anymore is because they encourage address reuse.

Paper wallets should not be confused with mnemonic seed backups. Paper wallets store one public-private key pair, whereas mnemonics are human-readable seeds for re-generating multiple keys and addresses.

If a hardware wallet malfunctions, is stolen, or destroyed, the private keys can be restored to a new wallet using the mnemonic seed backup.

Can a duplicate of the wallet you just viewed or printed exist? Can the next person generating a wallet randomly get the exact same wallet at you?

A Word on Researching Bitcoin

An important tip is that you should beware of researching content that mentions "cryptocurrencies" and not just bitcoin. People who do no understand the superiority of bitcoin over the shit coins have usually not done enough research.





  • makingtheswitch
  • Certified Bitcoin Professional Exam Prep by C4
  • Hands-On Bitcoin Programming with Python by Harish
  • Grokking Bitcoin by Kalle Rosenbaum
  • Programming bitcoin learn how to program bitcoin from scratch by Song, Jimmy
  • Bіtсоіn Standard Beginners Guide. 2021 Beginners Guide. Everything You Need to Know About Bitcoin (Miner, Wallet, Standard, Mining Hardware etc.) by Bitensbury, Andrew [Bitensbury, Andrew]
  • The Blockchain and Bitcoin Fundamental Understand the Basic Principles of Blockchain and Bitcoin in This Master Course by Fredrick Martins [Martins, Fredrick]
  • Mastering Bitcoin by Andreas M. Antonopoulos

Books to avoid:

  • Making the Switch: A Guide to Safely Joining the Bitcoin Economy by Matthias J Karber - is a rank average book with lots of waffle but not content that will truly help you understand. Furthermore it talks about cryptocurrencies - not just the real deal - Bitcoin.


I like python, so testing out yeticold was alright. I managed to get it up and running on my raspberry pi (although thy recommend using a generic craptop).

There are 3 options of wallet to choose:

  • Level 3 (for > $50000) - never connected to the net
  • level 2 (for $5000 to $50000) requiring a single laptop
  • level 1 (for up to $5000) only requiring a single laptop

Yeticold Level 1

I would suggest using the testnet as the blockchain is about 14 Gb and not 380Gb.

The process:

  1. It downloads bitcoin core and verifies its has not been modified
  2. It installs bitcoin core and downloads the block chain
  3. Then it starts a flask app (yeticold)
  4. The webpage gives a few options: create wallet, recover wallet and erase laptop
  5. Creating a wallet - requires the full blockchain to download - which takes fucking ages at least from my context. Espescailly with bitcoinqt - bitcoind takes less time.
  6. You then click Next and it will go to YHopenbitcoin redirecting to YHgetseed - to further randomise (add entrophy) to your bitcoin type 0 and 1 for 256 characters and then click Next