Disclaimer: I am not responsible for your investments. Invest what you can afford. Invest responsibly.
Recently I decided that I would diversify my cryptocurrency portfolio, so I decided to dip my toe in the Ripple (XRP) pool. One of the first things I do when looking to invest in a new currency is to see if there exists a method to easily create a paper wallet.
Before I go any further lets agree on the definition of a “paper wallet” aka “cold wallet”:
A secure backup of cryptocurrency coin wallets typically stored offline, in a secure location. Owners of paper wallets usually store high value amounts of currency, which they do not access often. The secret key is generated securely and is not shared with anyone other than the holder of the paper wallet
One of my fears about storing my currencies online on an exchange, e.g., Coinbase, is that hacking services like that must be a big target, and I’d put money on it that people are constantly trying to attack it. Therefore, the solution is to keep your wallet offline and you control the security and are responsible for the protection of your wallet (BTW I’m sure coinbase do a great job at protecting their infrastructure, it’s merely my “healthy” paranoia).
What is Ripple?
Ripple is an altcoin which was designed to work with banks, to enable real-time international payments. Currently to send a payments to an international bank a number of intermediary banks are involved in the transfer process, of which each bank takes a “cut” of the payment. With Ripple banks will be able to send money to one another instantly and at no cost. Ripple have produced a really excellent short video, which I would encourage you to watch:
Before you invest in any cryptocurrency, it’s really important to do your research and try to understand the technology. Useful links:
Please note; in order to create an XRP wallet you need to purchase at least 20 XRP. For this guide you’ll need:
- A Coinbase account (At time of writing exchanges that trade XRP have a 2 to 4 week verification period).
- Some ETH or BTC that can be exchanged into XRP via ShapeShift.io.
- The Minimalist Ripple Client: GitHub Download.
- Two USB sticks or blank DVD and a USB stick.
If you completely trust your computer and believe that you are not compromised in any form, then you can skip to the next section. If however, you would like to generate your wallet with some paranoia then the general idea is to boot into a live Linux operating system:
- Get a live Linux OS e.g., TAILS, Ubuntu, Fedora, etc. Burn the image to USB or DVD to boot from.
- On second USB copy onto it the Minimalist Ripple Client.
- Unplug internet and reboot computer with disk loaded and boot into the live Linux OS.
Generating & funding your paper wallet
By this point we assume you have completed the prerequisites.