How to use a Paper Wallet

I received a paper wallet at the ATM. What do I do now?
— common support request

Athena Bitcoin Paper Wallet - Note that the public address begins with 1 and the private key begins with 5

Athena Litecoin Paper Wallet - Note that the public address begins with L and the private key begins with 6

How to Spend from a Paper Wallet

 

1. Use a compatible wallet application to scan or enter your private key from your paper wallet in order to move the bitcoin or litecoin into that app.

2. Once the digital currency shows in your wallet app, you may send your bitcoin or litecoin anywhere you like!

 

It doesn't matter which wallet app you run as long as it is compatible with both the digital currency you purchased and external private keys. Most online wallet accounts cannot handle private keys.

Below is a list of recommended wallet apps for each currency type along with brief instructions for how to "sweep" paper wallets:

Bitcoin

If you don't have one of the following apps already installed, download one and setup a new wallet.

Android Mobile Phone or Tablet

  • "Bitcoin" wallet
    3 dot menu > Sweep paper wallet
  • Bread (BRD)
    Settings > Bitcoin > Redeem Private Key
  • Coinomi (multicoin)
    Select Bitcoin wallet > QR image button

Apple iPhone or iPad

  • Bread (BRD)
    Settings > Bitcoin > Redeem Private Key
  • Copay / Bitpay / Bitcoin.com
    Press Scan to open camera
  • Jaxx (multicoin)
    Menu > Tools > Transfer Paper Wallet

Desktop or Laptop PC

  • Jaxx (Windows, Mac, Linux)
    Menu > Tools > Transfer Paper Wallet
  • Copay / Bitpay / Bitcoin.com
    Press Scan to open camera
    Note that you may not be able to type in the private key manually in these three wallets unless it has already received funds
  • Exodus (Windows, Mac, Linux)
    Specific instructions on this page
  • Electrum (Windows, Mac, Linux)
    Wallet > Private Keys > Sweep
  • Note: Hardware wallets (Ledger, Trezor, KeepKey) can not currently handle external private keys. Please use another app to move bitcoin to your hardware wallet.

Litecoin

If you don't have one of the following apps already installed, download one and setup a new wallet.

Apple iPhone or iPad

  • Coinomi (multicoin)
    Select Litecoin wallet > QR image button
  • Jaxx (multicoin)
    Menu > Tools > Transfer Paper Wallet
  • Loafwallet
    Menu > Settings > Import Wallet

Android Mobile Phone or Tablet

  • Coinomi (multicoin)
    Select Litecoin wallet > QR image button
  • Jaxx (multicoin)
    Menu > Tools > Transfer Paper Wallet
  • Loafwallet 
    Menu > Settings > Import Wallet

Desktop or Laptop PC

  • Jaxx (Windows, Mac, Linux)
    Menu > Tools > Transfer Paper Wallet
  • Note: Hardware wallets (Ledger, Trezor, KeepKey) can not currently handle external private keys. Please use another app to move litecoin to your hardware wallet.

What are Paper Wallets?

"Paper wallets" are what we call single pairings of a public address and private key that can be printed from home or from most Athena ATMs on receipt paper. When you press "Create New Wallet" at the ATM the machine will print you one of these. Paper wallets are useful as a temporary transfer medium if you are using a desktop computer at home or haven't yet setup a mobile wallet. They are also useful in cases when you can't scan your mobile address. Some customers will also print and fund a paper wallet by accident, usually by typing in an invalid address manually.  Note: Paper wallets from an ATM are printed on thermal paper intended for temporary handling and transfer only. Do not use these for long-term storage of digital currency.

Make sure that the paper wallet prints correctly before inserting cash! QR images and text should be clearly visible. If it isn't, press the red X to cancel this session and choose another delivery method.

You can identify one of our paper wallets by the large QR codes that take up most of the available space, plus the labels "Public Key" and "Private Key". These are good terms to know as the "Public Key" (actually the public address) is where the bitcoin or litecoin was sent. It's also how you can look up the balance in any block explorer: See our guide to looking up an address for Bitcoin or Litecoin.

The "Private Key", on the other hand, is the secret random number that was generated at the ATM. The private key is what you will need to spend your bitcoin or litecoin from this address. ONLY the holder of that private key can spend those funds; Athena does not store or have access to that key and cannot spend the contents of that paper wallet. Therefore, DO NOT LOSE or damage your paper wallet and do not let anyone else see the private key! We are unable to refund any digital currency purchases, including those sent to a paper wallet, even if they have been lost or stolen. Also, please make sure the paper wallet prints correctly (images and text are visible) BEFORE inserting any cash into the ATM.