A cold paper wallet is an option for crypto storage when a user has no intention of managing or interacting with a wallet for an extended period of time. This kind of wallet would be used mainly to collect the accumulated balance of ETH and ERC20 tokens sent to it, and would no longer be a cold wallet once the keys were used in an Ethereum interface online.
To clarify: what makes the wallet 'cold' is the way it's used, rather than the fact of writing the keys down on paper. If those keys are ever used to access the wallet on an online website, the wallet will not be cold anymore. At that point, the best practice would be to move assets to a newly created, secure wallet.
Already have a paper wallet that you’re trying to access? To view your wallet balance and transaction history, simply search your wallet address on a block explorer like Etherscan or EthVM. If you are ready to send funds off a paper wallet, we only recommend doing so through MEW offline.
How to create a paper wallet using the MEW wallet app
Please keep in mind that the MEW wallet app is a non-custodial wallet and does not collect any of your personal information. The app generates private keys securely on the device so MEW has no access to them. For more information about that, go ahead and review the following articles:
To create a cold wallet, first download the MEW wallet app HERE, then:
Open the MEW wallet app and click ‘Create a free wallet’.
Make sure to read the safety tips! Then click ‘Create a wallet’.
Create and re-enter a PIN then wait for your account to generate.
Select ‘Start Using MEW wallet’.
In the MEW wallet dashboard, go ahead and click to back up your wallet. This is where the recovery phrase will be provided for you to write down.
Please note: This step is crucial if you plan on using your wallet in the long term. We cannot recover your account for you, so you must keep track of this information yourself.
Select ‘Back-up now’ then grab a pen and something to write on.
Click 'Start' then write down the 24 words that appear.
Take a quick test to verify that the words were written down correctly.
When done, you’ll be taken back to your MEW wallet dashboard. Here, would be the best place to copy down your wallet’s public address. This address is needed to send ETH and ERC20 tokens to your wallet.
When done, delete the app from your phone.
Please keep in mind that when doing this, all information is removed from your device and can't be restored for you by MEW, so be sure that you wrote everything down correctly before deleting.
Please note: The recovery phrase is your key to the wallet and is enough to restore your wallet anywhere. Extraction of individual private keys from phrases exposes your wallet to risk. For more information about that, go ahead and see the following links:
Until you’re ready to access that wallet again, feel free to send crypto to your wallet's address at your leisure. You can always access your wallet’s balance by searching for the public address on a blockchain explorer, like Etherscan.io.
Whenever the time comes for moving your assets and you’re ready to restore your wallet in the MEW wallet app or any other interface, you can do so using the recovery phrase given to you.
To restore or access the wallet on the MEW platforms, go ahead and review the articles below:
How to create a paper wallet using MEW offline
MEW web allows you to create a wallet with a keystore file or mnemonic phrase, and view your private key. However, we only recommend using software methods of wallet access in an offline setting.
Step 1. Follow instructions in the MEW offline guide to download MEW offline and open the correct file on a computer that is not connected to the internet.
Step 2. Click on 'Create wallet' at the top of the screen.
Step 3. Click 'Software', and then select your preferred method, Keystore file or Mnemonic phrase.
Step 3a. For keystore file: Make sure to create a strong password, write it down in a secure location, and save the file to an external, offline drive. After your wallet is created, access the wallet using your password and file, and copy your wallet address from the account card in the upper left corner of the dashboard.
Step 3b. For mnemonic phrase: Write down your 12 or 24 words (use the dropdown to select the number of words). NEVER share your phrase with anyone for any reason, do not take a screenshot, and do not save it in a cloud or on your online computer. The phrase gives full and complete access to your wallet, so anyone who has the phrase can steal your assets.
You can use an extra word, also known as a passphrase, to make the phrase more secure, however keep in mind that not all interfaces support an extra word so you may be limited in terms of where you can restore the wallet in the future.
After your wallet generation is complete, access wallet by entering your phrase and selecting a wallet address to interact with.
Multiple addresses are generated from the same phrase – always the same addresses and in the same order. To learn about how recovery phrases work, see 'What is a Recovery Phrase'.
Step 4. When you access your wallet, either through keystore file or recovery phrase, you can also view your private key. Click the dropdown on the account card in the upper left of the dashboard and select 'View paper wallet'. For more guidance on doing this, please see the ‘Finding your Private key'.
If you have any questions, feel free to contact us at email@example.com. We’ll be happy to help.