Create Bitcoin wallet offline
Note: There is no special version of Armory needed for the offline computer, and it does not need to be the same operating system as the online computer. As long as you can install Armory and use USB drives, it will work.
Note: You must be in “Advanced” or “Expert” usermode to use offline wallets. “Advanced” is the default mode when you first install Armory, but some users change to “Standard” to simplify the interface. You can switch modes from the main window menu under “User”.
First and foremost, you will need a computer that you don’t mind keeping disconnected from the internet. Such a computer does not have any particular resource requirements: pretty much any computer that boots into Windows or Linux, can run Armory in offline-mode.
Once you have Armory installed on the offline computer, you create a new wallet. Don’t forget to print or copy by hand a paper backup! Then you “create a watching-only wallet” and load it on the online computer (this part only has to be done once). The nature of Armory wallets is that the online computer will always generate the exact same addresses as the offline computer, but the online computer cannot spend any of the funds!
- Load Armory on the offline computer
- Create a new wallet (with or without encryption)
- Important: Make a paper backup! Connect a printer via USB or copy the paper backup information by hand. Make one or two copies, and store in a secure place. This is a permanent backup of every address your wallet will ever create!
- Double click on the wallet and click on Create Watching-Only Copy on the right menu
- Save the file to the USB drive, eject, insert into online computer
- Load Armory on online computer, and select Import Wallet in the upper-right corner of the main window. Import the wallet file on the USB drive.
- In the wallet-properties dialog, click on Belongs To, and click the checkbox that says This wallet is mine. This makes sure that any funds in this wallet are part of your global balance.
Now that the wallets are setup, you can use the watching-only wallet exactly the same way as a regular wallet, except Bitcoins cannot be sent from it. Use the Receive Bitcoins button to generate addresses for receiving payments, and incoming transactions will show up in the ledger with a slightly different color than your other wallets.