So you have your encrypted, cold storage wallet in a thumb drive and you only use it for quick transfers.

What if you lose the thumb drive?

What if the data gets corrupted?

What if it gets erased or reformatted by mistake?

That's why you should always backup your cold storage wallet. That way if something happens, you have a spare copy.

The issue here is where to back up the wallet. There are a couple of options.

1. In a second thumb drive, SD card, Micro SD card, etc.

That's the easiest solution. Simply copy the main cold storage thumb drive to a new drive. But try to store the drives at different locations. Lets say the main drive at your desk and the backup drive at a secret location somewhere around your home. That way if something happens to the main drive, you can get the copy right away.

2. On a cloud drive with 2-step authentication.

Granted, this is no longer cold storage. But you can take steps to secure an encrypted wallet.dat file on a cloud drive to lower the risk of being in a cloud drive.

You can do this by doing the following:

1. Use Google Drive. Since you already have a 2-step authentication account (assuming you already followed the tutorial in section III), you already have protected cloud storage space through Google Drive.

2. Put your encrypted wallet.dat inside a password protected RAR file. Write down the RAR password so you can retrieve it later.

3. OPTIONAL: change the extension of the RAR file to .jpg, and give it a fake name like "vacation.jpg".

4. Upload the file to Google Drive.

Now you can access the file, download it, rename it, uncompress it, and use it.

CAVEAT: If you can access Google Drive from your smartphone or tablet, and somebody accesses the phone or tablet, they may be able to retrieve the file and your Google Authenticator. So keep that in mind.


As discussed in the paper wallet section, if you only have one copy of a paper wallet, and that wallet is destroyed, your bitcoins will be gone as well.

Therefore, print at least one extra copy of the wallet if it is unencrypted. If it is encrypted, print 3 or more copies and keep them at different locations as backups.


Throughout the tutorials we have mentioned using passwords or passphrases for all of the following:
  • Encrypted wallet.dat file
  • Encrypted paper wallet
  • Gmail account
  • Coinbase or Blockchain.info accounts
  • Encrypted RAR file
But we have not mentioned some tips that are necessary to increase security for your passwords. Here they are:

1. Never use the same password for everything. If somebody successfuly figures out your password and you use it for everything, they will have access to everything; Gmail account, Coinbase account, Encrypted wallets, etc.

2. Write down your passwords/passphrases on paper and keep the page in a secure location.

3. Create a plain text file directly into in a new or reformatted thumb drive. Open the text file, write down your passwords, save the file, and unplug the thumb drive. For added security, make a copy in a different thumb drive. Keep the drives at different safe locations.

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