How to Secure Your Factoids with Factom Papermill on Windows

If you’re like me, you have enough Factoids (Factom cryptocurrency tokens) on Poloniex where you occasionally wake up sweating and check to make sure the site hasn’t been hacked.  You’ve been waiting for a 3rd party wallet and are getting frustrated by the delays.  You’ve heard of the Factoid Papermill and Factom Enterprise Wallet but either heard they’re a pain to get working or suck.  Let me dispel the myth.  Factoid Papermill is VERY easy to use and highly secure and the Factom Enterprise Wallet has come a LONG way.  I personally keep the bulk of my Factoids in my paper wallet then import them to the Enterprise Wallet when I need to send them to an exchange.  This is a guide on how to do exactly that.

Step 1: Make certain your Windows computer and network are highly secure.  If your computer and/or network has been compromised, you could lose all your Factoids!  I personally use a freshly formatted computer with all the updates and a host of security features that is ONLY used for cryptocurrency uses and does not connect to the internet unless it needs to send or receive coins.

Note that once you have your factoidpapermill.exe file on your computer, you don’t actually have to be connected to the internet anymore which increases security big time.

Step 2: Download the Factom papermill onto your Windows machine here: https://github.com/FactomProject/factoidpapermill/blob/master/bin/factoidpapermill.exe?raw=true and note where it downloads to.

Step 3: Open a command prompt by going to your Windows icon and typing, “CMD” (no quotes) in the run box.

Step 4: With the command prompt open, browse to where you downloaded the Factoid Papermill to.  Literally drag the Factoid Papermill .exe file into the command prompt box.  Once you do that, hit Enter on your keyboard.  Something like the following will appear:

The above is your, “Keypair”.  DO NOT give the “Private Key” to anyone as they can steal your Factoids with it.  You can provide the, “Factoid Address” as that will only let people send you Factoids or see the balance.

Step 5: Print the Private Key and Factoid Address.  Put this “Paper Wallet” in a HIGHLY SECURE location such as a safe deposit box or a well-rated safe that is bolted to your foundation and guarded 24/7 by killer bees.  If you put this in your wallet you carry around with you every day, you’re an idiot.  If it’s on your desk, you’re an idiot.  If you mail it to me, thanks!

Step 6: Copy the Factoid Address and go through the withdrawal process at Poloniex or whatever exchange you use.  For the withdrawal address, use that Factoid Address.  I STRONGLY SUGGEST SENDING A VERY SMALL AMOUNT THE FIRST TIME UNTIL YOU GET A FEEL FOR THINGS THAT WAY YOU CAN’T BLAME ME IF YOU SCREW UP.

Step 7: After a little while, copy your factoid address you sent the tokens to and then go to the Factom Block Explorer at https://explorer.factom.org/ — at the top, paste your Factoid address into the search bar and hit enter.

This will bring up the, “Address Information” for that Factoid address.  As long as you sent the Factoids correctly and it has been confirmed, your Factoid balance should now display here.  If so, congratulations, your Factoids are securely stored on your paper wallet!

But how do I get the Factoids OFF my paper wallet?

Easy!  You use the Factom Enterprise Wallet.  Below is a guide on how to import the private key and send the coins.

You can do it one of two ways.  You can do it the slower way where you download and sync the entire Factom blockchain.  If you want to do it that way, skip to Step 10.  If you want to do it the quicker way where you only download transactions, continue to Step 8 below.

Step 8: Go to: https://github.com/FactomProject/distribution — and download the “Enterprise Installer” then install the Enterprise Wallet.

Step 9: As of Enterprise Wallet version 01.3.1 you are automatically set to connect to the, “Courtesy Node”. This allows you to just sync the transactions but it will be MUCH faster than downloading and syncing the entire blockchain. Simply run the Enterprise Wallet, you do not need to run Factomd.

Skip to Step 13 if you did step 9 above.

Only do steps 10-12 if you didn’t do step 9 above and want to sync the entire blockchain.

Step 10: Download and install two things from here: https://github.com/FactomProject/distribution — the “Enterprise Installer” which will install the Enterprise Wallet, and the, “Factomd Installer” which will install Factomd.

Step 11:  Browse to where you installed Factomd and start it.  A box will come up with lots of weird looking programmer-fu type crap in it.  Don’t worry if it says it can’t find the .conf file, that is normal. Minimize it.

Step 12:  Start the Enterprise Wallet.  Go to, “Settings” at the left and uncheck, “Custom Factomd location” and hit save. It will begin to sync.  This will take quite awhile, especially if your hard drive is not an SSD.  However, you can continue with the following while you wait for it to sync.

Step 13: Go to the, “Address Book” at the left

Step 14: At the very bottom right of the wallet, you will now see a yellow cross where, if you hover over it, will look like this:

Step 15: Click on that.  Then go to the, “Generate Address From” dropdown box and select, “Import from private key”

Step 16: Select that, type your private key from your Factoid Paper Wallet into the private key field, assign a Nickname such as, “Test import” or whatever you want, and then, “Add to address book”.  BAM!  You’ll notice the Factoid Address on your Factoid Paper Wallet is now in your address book.  Once your wallet finally syncs, your balance in that address will be displayed.  You can send Factoids to an exchange or other address by going to the, “Transactions” tab at the left, then the yellow cross at the very bottom right once again.  Select, “Send Factoids” and from there it’s easy!

WARNING: Imported addresses from paper wallets, Koinify, and other sources are NOT backed up with the Enterprise Wallet backup function. Send them to an Enterprise Wallet generated address. Yes, send them to yourself within the wallet so they can be backed up under the settings tab at the left.

Note that this wallet is NOT encrypted.  I personally wouldn’t store my coins on it unless it’s an air gapped computer (a computer that doesn’t connect to the internet) specifically acting as my cryptocurrency hardware wallet.  Once you’ve imported your Factoid Paper Wallet balance into the Enterprise Wallet, you can’t use that paper wallet address again solely as a paper wallet as it’s imported into your Enterprise Wallet and no longer, “cold storage” it is now, “hot”.  You need to generate a new paper wallet keypair and send the Factoids to it in order for it to be considered, “cold storage” again.

2 thoughts on “How to Secure Your Factoids with Factom Papermill on Windows”

  1. This is super helpful and one of the few sites that is clear and concise. I’m new to the crypto game and have invested in Factom, and was specifically wondering how to get Factom into cold storage (along with Eth, Maidsafe and ripple haha).

    Thank you and appreciate the help, your posts and website!

  2. Many Thanks for this post and the great explanation.

    I wonder if there is a way to validate that I’ve written my private key correctly on paper. Is there a tool to enter the private key and it will list the associated address?

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