Good morning, I'm just beginning this journey into crypto currencies. Right now, I've got my Bitcoin in a wallet at Coinbase. I'd like to keep my Bitcoin in a paper wallet. I think from Coinbase to my paper wallet is pretty straight forward. I need my paper wallet's public key and send the Bitcoin from Coinbase to the Paper Wallet. So now I go on line and buy something with my Bitcoin. I'd like to transfer just the amount of my purchase from the paper wallet to a hardware wallet while off line and then connect the hardware wallet to the internet to complete a purchase. I'm thinking this would be the way to keep my money safe from hackers. Am I able to do this? Thank you so much in advance for any help.
I'd like to transfer just the amount of my purchase from the paper wallet to a hardware wallet while off line and then connect the hardware wallet to the internet to complete a purchase. I'm thinking this would be the way to keep my money safe from hackers. Am I able to do this?
Not quite, but you're close! I'll explain a couple things about paper wallets, that should make it more clear to you:
A paper wallet is a private key that is stored physically, instead of digitally. So in order to perform functions such as signing a transaction to move the bitcoins, you will need to input that private key into some wallet software that is capable of this.
With most hardware wallets, this means you'll have to input the private key into the wallet software running on a computer that the hardware wallet is plugged into.
Important to understand is that there are two ways of importing a paper wallet: just importing the key, and sweeping the key. Importing the key means your wallet will make a copy of it, so now the key exists in your software wallet, as well as the physical paper wallet. Sweeping the key means the wallet software will import the key, and then immediately initiate a transaction to move the entire balance of the paper wallet to a new address that only the hardware wallet controls.
In almost every situation, you should sweep the key. This is because it isn't possible to "transfer just the amount of my purchase from the paper wallet to a hardware wallet". When any bitcoin transaction is initiated, the ENTIRE balance of an address is moved. The amount being transacted is sent to the recipient, and whatever extra was in the paper wallet will be moved to a new 'change address' that your wallet software automatically creates and controls. For more info on this, look up 'bitcoin change address'.
So if you import your key into wallet software, spend half the bitcoin, and then check your paper wallet balance, it will be zero. The other half of your btc will be found in an address that your wallet software controls, so if you'd like to keep those coins in cold storage, you'll need to send them to a NEW paper wallet.