GUIDE: how to turn any USB flash drive into a secure hardware wallet with Electrum and Exodus

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**What is Cold Storage and why do I need it?**

A cold storage it a wallet that never touches the internet, so as long as you don’t give out your secret keys or accidentally plug in your flash drive, there is no way it can be hacked. Not everybody needs one but it definitely doesn’t hurt to add more security. All online wallets like Coinbase, Binance, etc can and have been hacked in the past, so they can’t ever be 100% secure. So having a cold storage is a great way to ensure your funds are as secure as possible.

**Who is this guide for?**

This is for anybody who wants to step up their security to the max. That being said, this tutorial isn’t for absolute newbies, but it should be straight forward enough that anybody could do it.

If you already have a hardware wallet this guide isn’t necessarily for you but you’re welcome to leave any feedback or tips.

If you don’t have the money for a real hardware wallet like the Ledger Nano, Trezor, or anything else, or maybe you simply want to keep an additional backup laying around. In any case, you’re here reading this tutorial. This may look daunting but it’s fairly straight forward and easy.

**Materials:**

* USB flash drive (you’ve probably got one collecting dust somewhere)
* Computer
* Electrum or Exodus Wallet
* Pen & Paper

**Electrum Tutorial**

1. Download [Electrum from here](https://electrum.org/#download) but DO NOT open it until you have completely disconnected your PC from everything; WiFi, Ethernet, and Bluetooth too I guess if you’re *really* paranoid.
2. Seriously, make sure your computer is completely disconnected from any and every network. As long as your PC is disconnected, your USB wallets are unable to accessed from the internet.
3. Plug in your flash drive, format it, and name it whatever you want. Don’t put anything else on this drive other than your wallet(s).
4. Create a folder on flash drive and call it whatever, this is where you will be keeping your wallet. Copy the file path from the folder you just created, it should look something like /USB/electrum/offline_wallet
5. Open Electrum and select Auto connect. Click next
6. Paste the file path into the field that says Wallet. The …/offline_wallet at the end is what your wallet will be called, but this can be renamed later. Click next
7. Select standard wallet and click next
8. Select create a new seed and click next
9. Write the 12 seed words down and keep them in a secure place. Click next
10. Write the 12 seed words in the box and click next
11. Create a secure password and it’s probably a good idea to write it down somewhere safe. Click next
12. In Electrum select Wallet > Information, a box should appear with your Master Public Key. Your Master Key starts with zpub and is followed by a bunch of letters and numbers. Copy that and close Electrum
13. Eject the flash drive and reconnect your computer to the internet.
14. Open Electrum and create a new wallet. Name it whatever you want, this wallet is going to be a watching-only wallet that can’t touch your funds. Click next
15. Select standard wallet again and click next
16. On this screen, select Use a Master Key and click next
17. Paste you Master Key into the box and click next
18. Enter a secure password, not the same one you used for the last password. Write this down somewhere if you aren’t confident that you’ll remember it. Click next
19. Once you’re in, navigate to the Receive tab at the top. Set the Expires After to never and click New Address. This will generate your Bitcoin address you can use to get paid. You’re pretty much done here if you only want to use it as a vault.
20. Remember to eject the flash drive before you reconnect to the internet.
21. If you want to send Bitcoins, you’ve got more hoops to jump through. Fill out the transaction and save it somewhere on your PC. You’re going to have to disconnect from the internet, insert the flash drive, and sign into your offline wallet. Then go to Tools > Load Transaction > from file and select the file you saved earlier. I’m not 100% sure tho because I’m too broke to send anything lol

**Exodus Tutorial**

Fair warning this method converts Exodus into a “warm” wallet instead of a hot wallet. I mainly use Electrum so Exodus isn’t my strong suit.

1. Download [Exodus from here](https://www.exodus.com/download/) and DO NOT open it until you have completely disconnected your computer from the internet.
2. Seriously, make sure your computer is completely disconnected from any and every network. As long as your PC is disconnected, your USB wallets are unable to accessed from the internet.
3. If you previously installed Electrum, just create a new folder and name it whatever. Then copy Exodus into the folder.
4. If you didn’t install Electrum, plug in your flash drive, format it, and name it whatever you want. Don’t put anything else on this drive other than your wallet(s).
5. You can then open Exodus and copy your crypto addresses.
6. Remember to eject the flash drive before you reconnect to the internet.

**Closing Remarks**

You can also [encrypt the flash drive with VeraCrypt](https://veracrypt.fr/en/Home.html) to increase security even further. Encrypting your wallets basically ensures the only way you’d ever lose your crypto is if you lost the flash drive. Even if somebody were to steal it, when they plug it in, the wallets are on an encrypted partition and are inaccessible anyway.

I made an app for MacOS to help prevent accidentally opening the wallet while connected to the internet. It’s [available for download here](https://drive.google.com/file/d/1ZuRneNg0LhptTPoIm6qDvQIs-5u1annT/view?usp=sharing) if anybody is interested. Feel free to open it in Script Editor before you run it to check the code. I threw it together as I was learning AppleScript so it’s nothing fancy. It just disconnects the WiFi and opens a prompt to insert the flash drive, and then select a wallet to open. If there’s enough interest I could probably make it compatible with Windows and maybe Linux.

If you made it this far without skipping to the end, congratulations!

**TL;DR**

It’s a guide, just read it.

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Free Bitcoins: FreeBitcoin | BonusBitcoin

Coins Kaufen: Bitcoin.deAnycoinDirektCoinbaseCoinMama (mit Kreditkarte)Paxfull

Handelsplätze / Börsen: Bitcoin.de | KuCoinBinanceBitMexBitpandaeToro

Lending / Zinsen erhalten: Celsius NetworkCoinlend (Bot)

Cloud Mining: HashflareGenesis MiningIQ Mining

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