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How To Import And Redeem Bitcoin Paper Wallet

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Earlier this week we published a guide to create Bitcoin paper wallet for cold storage. Today we’ll show you the other part, where you’ll learn to import private key in to your Bitcoin QT wallet or online wallet, so you can redeem your Bitcoins out of cold storage.

There are several ways to import the private key data from a paper wallet to other wallets. Original bitcoin QT wallet supports an “importprivkey” RPC method for this purpose. Several online wallets like blockchain.info  also import them directly into wallets.

Bitaddress Paper Wallet

Most popular Bitcoin exchange Mt. Gox also provides the ability to Add Funds using a private key. In this article we’ll use official Bitcoin QT wallet and blockchain.info online wallet. Let’s start with QT wallet.

Import Paper Wallet to Bitcoin QT Wallet :

First of all make a backup of your wallet.dat file (instructions here) before starting.

Step 1 : Launch your Bitcoin-QT wallet. Go to Help >> Debug window from the menu bar and then click on “ Console ”.

Step 2 : If your wallet is encrypted you must unlock it first. If not just skip this step and encrypt your wallet later for more security (instructions here)

To unlock your wallet run the following command without quotes, where 600 stands for the seconds your wallet is unlocked.

walletpassphrase "Your Passphrase" "600"

Bitcoin Paper Wallet

Step 3 : Now import your private key using following command without quotes.

importprivkey "yourPrivateKey" "Label"

Bitcoin Paper Wallet

Step 4 : Wait for 2-5 minutes while Wallet imports your private key. After 2-5 minutes check your address book for newly imported address.

Bitcoin Paper Wallet Address

Step 5 : That’s it. Now you can send these coins to wherever you want.

Note : Since the private key has now been imported to your wallet, it would be no longer consider as cold storage anymore.

Import Paper Wallet to Blockchain.info Online Wallet :

Importing paper wallet to Blockchain wallet is much easier than QT wallet. You don’t need to execute any command, simply type your private key and that’s it.

Step 1 : Log in to your Blockchain.info wallet and click on import / export button.

Blockchain Paper Wallet

Step 2 : Type your private key in “ Import Private Key ” box and hit the “ Add ” button.

Import Blockchain Paper Wallet

Step 3 : That’s it. Now you can check your coins in your wallet balance.

If you still have any doubt, feel free to ask us in comment section below.

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Comments ( 2 )

Have Something To Say ?

  1. marco October 20, 2013 Reply

    Thank you !

  2. Ilan December 8, 2013 Reply

    Hi I have been trying to import my litecoin wallet to my online litecoin QT client by following the same steps as above, however it won’t unlock the pass phrase for some reason and will not import the wallet, it works fine with a single paper wallet (no encryption) any ideas why I am having problems?

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