Encrypt Your Wallet (Bip38 HowTo)

Encrypt Your Wallet (Bip38 HowTo)

For some products we require you to enter an encrypted private key before submitting an order. On this page you can find short tutorials that will help you dealing with BIP38 – the technology we suggest to safely handle your keys. Note that you can also encrypt your private key with other encryption mechanism of you choice. Before diving into it, read carefully the disclaimer below:

Bitcoin and BIP38 are extremely powerful tools if used properly, but they are delicate and you should be careful with it. Make sure you test your keys before committing any significant amount to an encrypted wallet. Choose a complex passphrase and be careful when withdrawing partial amounts from the wallet. If you loose your woodwallet or forget the passphrase your funds will be gone for good and no-one but you will be responsible for your losses.


  • BIP38 stands for Bitcoin Improvement Proposal 38, and is intended for use on paper wallets and physical Bitcoins. It can be considered as a two-factor authentication layer for Bitcoin: you have to combine something that you have (the woodwallet) with something that you know (a passphrase) to access your funds.In practice it’s an open source cryptographic protocol for “encrypting and encoding a passphrase-protected Bitcoin private key record in the form of a 58-character Base58Check-encoded printable string”. It is becoming a de-facto standard since popular services like bitaddress.org and bitcoinwallet.org started using it.When you buy a wallet with a private side, we ask you to enter your BIP38-encrypted private key. This way you don’t need to trust us since we don’t take your plain private key. This means that without your passphrase there is nothing we can do with it. It will take a state-of-the-art supercomputer million years to crack a decent passphrase. You can even take a picture of your private side and post-it online if you feel like. IN CRYPTO NOS CONFIDIMUS.Please refer to the official github repository for more details.


  • Despite BIP38 is quite recent there are an increasing number of implementations that let you play with this technology. It’s good-practice to run them offline on safe machines.With the right tool you will be able to :* Generate a BIP38-encrypted private key (and public address)
    * BIP38-Encrypt an existing private key
    * Decrypt a BIP38-private key
    * Validate a BIP38-encrypted private keyWe partnered up with Inuit wallet to create an easy-to-use tool that encrypts and decrypts BIP38 keys for mostly any crypto-currency out there. Its name is bippy and you will hear more about it as soon as we release a stable version. For the time being you can get the source and read more at bippy.org .In the meantime you can use one of existing tools :Bitcoin : We recommend  to use bit2factor (source code – online version – download zip). Alternatively you can try bitaddress.org  (source code – online version – download zip) or Casascius’ desktop application for windows.

    Litecoin : We recommend  to use liteaddress (source code – online version – download zip) or bitcoinpaperwallet.com (beta) (online version).

    Dogecoin : We recommend to use CLI tool dogecoin-paper-wallet (source code) or alternatively bitcoinpaperwallet.com (beta)(online version).

    Peercoin:  To the best of our knowledge there is no BIP38-enabled tool for peercoin yet. You can generate an un-encrypted address using the bitaddress port of peercoin (source code – online version – download zip) and encrypt them using custom libraries. Please get in touch if you know a better way.

    Vertcoin: We recommend using https://paperwallet.vertcoin.org/ .

    Nxt: Nxt underlying mechanism doesn’t use public/private keys. The private key in this case would be represented by the account’s password. For this reason Nxt users can adopt any strategy they want before sending it: encrypt it, alterate it, or engrave only a hint.

    Blackcoin: We are not aware of any official tools, you can use  http://blackwallet.me/ at your risk.

    Fluttercoin: A fork of bitaddress is available here

    Myriadcoin: A fork of bitaddress is available here


  • The easiest way is using Mycellium app which lets you scan BIP38 keys directly.
    Alternatively, use one of the above-mentioned tools to decrypt the BIP38 private key using your passphrase. Once you obtained your un-encrypted private key you can then import into a software to manage your funds. You can import your private key into desktop clients such as Electrum and bitcoin-qt .Be very careful : We recommend using the blockchain.info web or mobile app to manage your funds. That way you can spend partial amounts without worrying about the change address related issues. With other implementations if you spend only a portion of your funds you risk loosing the remaining part due to the change address : most clients will return change to a newly-generated change address, which is not the same as the address on the paper wallet. So if you spend a partial amount, the rest of the coins will go to a change address in your client and the Woodwallet will result empty. Don’t worry, most software will handle change addresses so you can always put them “back” to your physical wallet. Read more here and here or here.If you use the blockchain.info wallets you are protected from this. The Blockchain.info wallet behaves differently than most wallets. When you spend coins from a Blockchain address, the change goes back into the same address that you spent from. That’s why your change remains in the Woodwallet. But as far as I know, Blockchain.info is the only wallet software that works that way.


  • After you downloaded the wallet generator on your computer, no matter for what crypto, here are some security practices you should follow :* Use a clean operating system. Best if you run a Live Linux distribution DVD.
    * Turn off your Internet connection. (Power off the modem!)
    * Extract the ZIP file of the tool you selected (see above) and drag the HTML file inside of it onto Safari, Firefox, or Chrome (not Internet Explorer.)
    * Generate/encrypt/decrypt your keys.
    * Get back online and enter the data into the woodwallet.io product page.