Update April 2018: We have written a new guide for using paper wallets covering many more wallet types. Please see our new guide below:


https://www.athenabitcoin.com/news/2018/4/9/how-to-use-a-paper-wallet




We recommend the Athena Bitcoin Wallet to make this easy.

If you are using or wish to use the Athena Bitcoin Wallet for Android or Apple iOS, follow the guide under "I GENERATED A PAPER WALLET. WHAT NOW?" at the link below:

https://www.athenabitcoin.com/instructions/



If you are using Mycelium or Breadwallet, please see this guide with a visual walkthrough from CoinATMRadar:

https://coinatmradar.com/blog/how-to-use-printed-paper-wallet-on-receipt-from-a-bitcoin-atm/



If you must use a desktop (PC/Mac) wallet--which we do not recommend for beginners--follow these instructions:

  1. Visit https://blockchain.info/wallet/ and click the "Create Your Wallet" button
  2. Enter your email address and create a new password. Agree to the terms and click "Continue".
  3. Click "Get Started" on the next screen. Congrats, your wallet is now created!
  4. From the links along the left hand side, click Settings > Addresses
  5. Under the Imported Addresses section click "Import Address". An Import Existing Bitcoin Address popup will appear.
  6. If you have a camera attached or built-in to your computer/laptop: 
    • Press the small button that looks like a QR code in the bottom right between "Cancel" and "Import"
    • This will open a small window and activate your camera (If you can't see anything from your camera skip to step 7 below)
    • Hold the bottom QR code from your paper wallet (private key) in front of your camera and line it up within the box in the camera view. Move the code slowly in and out from the camera, if necessary, so it can focus and recognize the code.
    • When Blockchain recognizes your private key it will close the camera, say "Scan Successful", and input your entire private key string into the text entry box
    • Click "Import". You will be shown another popup with the public address from your paper wallet and the amount of bitcoin at that address.
    • Click "Transfer" to move those funds into your new Blockchain wallet!
    • You will see a new transaction on the Transactions screen. As soon as it receives 1 confirmation you may spend those funds elsewhere.
  7. If you do NOT have a camera attached to your computer:
    • Carefully TYPE the private key into the text entry box. The private key is a long string at the bottom of the paper wallet that starts with "5", "K", or "L". This is CASE-sensitive! Type exactly what you see but do NOT insert any spaces or press the Enter key. It must be one long continuous string of characters.
    • As you are typing there will be a warning about an invalid address just below the text field. Once you type the last character that message should disappear! If it does not disappear then that means you made a mistake somewhere typing in the private key. Double-check and correct any errors.
    • Once you've typed the entire string in and it looks valid, click "Import". You will be shown another popup with the public address from your paper wallet and the amount of bitcoin at that address.
    • Click "Transfer" to move those funds into your new Blockchain wallet!
    • You will see a new transaction on the Transactions screen. As soon as it receives 1 confirmation you may spend those funds elsewhere.
  8. You may now use Blockchain.info (and the Blockchain mobile app) to manage your bitcoin. PLEASE click Security Center from the left menu and select Backup Recovery Phrase!! Go through the process to WRITE DOWN the backup phrase (12 words) on paper and store them securely! This is the only way you can recover your bitcoin if you forget your password or Blockchain becomes unavailable for any reason.