Understanding the paper wallet

Your paper wallet is divided into two sections. Namely your public address and the private key (which is folded in).

The public address

The public address is the deposit box of your paper wallet vault. Anyone who has this public address can deposit funds on it, read the balance and browse the transaction history. This means that you can also use this to add funds to your paper wallet.

The private key

The private key on your wallet is your key to the public address mentioned above. With that private key you can gain access to your vault and empty it if you wish.

Gaining access to your funds

There are two ways to read in a paper wallet, you can either import your private key or sweep the paper wallet. Knowing the difference can be vital for the safety of your coins; especially when you’re using paper wallets.


When you’re importing your private key into your wallet, you’re simply making a copy of that key and adding it to your online keychain. The vault on which the key fits remains the same. That means that anyone else who can access your private key will also be able to copy it and gain access to that same vault. So any FairCoin send to your public address will be available for spending for anyone who at some point in time (past or future) has seen (and copied) your private key.

At this point, you may want to recall who gave you the Paper Wallet, was it you of someone you trust, then you can either destroy the paper wallet or keep it somewhere safe as a backup. Otherwise you may consider sweeping the vault and storing the contents behind a private key that only you know.


Sweeping the vault is an import with an extra step; you’ll transfer any FairCoin that have been deposited on paper wallet on your own private wallet. This is done by performing a payment to self. Your transaction has to be validated by other nodes, so for a successful sweep you need an internet connection. After the sweep, the paper wallet vault is depleted and you can safely destroy it.

Depending on the client you’re using, sweeping a vault can be tricky. Sometimes extra caution is required so that you don’t accidentally destroy the wrong private key.

Name Import Sweep Notes
FairCoin Android Wallet No Soon There is currently a bug in the Android wallet that prevents it from scanning the network for transactions. Once this is resolved it will out of the box support scanning and sweeping of paper wallets.
FairCoin Core Yes Manually Follow the steps below to manually sweep the contents of a paper wallet.
Electrum Yes Yes The Fair.Coop is working on Electrum support for FairCoin.

Sweeping a private address with the FairCoin Core wallet

  • Make sure you’ve downloaded the latest wallet from http://fair-coin.org.
  • Take notice of one of your FairCoin addresses on the ‘Receive Coins’ tab
  • Open up the wallet and under the the ‘Help’ menu open up the ‘Debug window’.
  • Switch to the ‘Console’ tab.
  • Locate the private key on your paper wallet and type in:
    importprivkey [yourPrivatePaperWalletKey] [nameOfYourPaperWallet].
  • Find out how much value was stored on the paper wallet, the following should help:
    getreceivedbyaddress [yourPublicPaperWalletKey]
  • Now send the coins on your paper wallet address to your trusted address:
    sendfrom [nameOfYourPaperWallet] [publicTrustedAddress] [value] 1
  • Using the command listaccounts you should be able to validate that the transaction was succesful