When it comes to storing your crypto assets, you have a wide array of quality choices. For casino players, the need to keep your Bitcoin secure is an essential part of responsible gambling. This guide will take you on a journey through using, securing and betting with a Bitcoin wallet.
Quick Wallet Primer
Cryptocurrency wallets are comparable to bank accounts in the sense that they keep your coins safe.
However, unlike traditional banks used for saving fiat currencies, bitcoin wallets offer you full control and unlimited access to your wallet and funds at all times. And the conditions are much more favorable.
Making sure you properly store your digital coins is extremely important, and there are different ways of storing your cryptocurrencies.
Read on to know more about the best bitcoin wallets you should check out today.
Trezor Model T
Storing your digital money in a hardware wallet is like saving your money with a Swiss bank. Just as Swiss banks offer account holders extra layers of wealth security and privacy, hardware wallets are secure and the privacy is second to none.
A hardware wallet is one of the most secure ways to store and secure cryptocurrencies. Hardware wallets are devices that use encryption to store your digital coins securely. They resemble flash drives with regard to their form and mode of operation. In the same way you plug a flash drive into your personal computer to access stored files, you should plug in a hardware wallet to access your coins.
What makes it a highly secure storage option is the fact that it is an offline storage facility. Your private keys are stored on the hardware device. Consequently, it is completely safe from online threats.
If ever your hardware wallet gets lost or stolen, there’s no need for you to worry.
It is PIN protected, which means that whoever comes across your wallet cannot access your funds. With regard to recovering your assets, all you need is a backup seed.
The recovery or backup phrase is a handy protective feature that you can use if your wallet gets damaged, lost or stolen. It is a phrase that allows you to regenerate your wallet when you lose access to it. Once you recover your coins, you may switch to another wallet.
There are different providers of hardware wallets and some of the most popular hardware wallets are Ledger Nano X, Trezor and KeepKey.
Coinbase Wallet App
Similar to a hardware wallet, a software wallet allows cryptocurrency holders to safely store their digital coins in a device.
Unlike a hardware wallet, a software wallet stores your crypto wallet private keys in the device on which the software is installed or with the provider of the wallet. Software wallets can be installed on a desktop or mobile device. It can even be used online.
Some of the software wallets you can use are Exodus which supports over 100 cryptocurrencies, Electrum Bitcoin Wallet which has been around since 2011, Jaxx, which runs on several operating systems, and Atomic Wallet which supports over 300 cryptocurrencies.
Desktop software wallets can be installed on Windows OS, Linux OS and other operating systems. When you use this type of wallet, your crypto wallet private keys are stored on your PC. If you choose to use the desktop software wallet, you will need to choose a wallet that is compatible with the operating system on your computer.
Mobile software wallets exist as mobile applications that you can install on a smartphone. There are different mobile wallets available, most of which run on Android OS and iOS. Considering that mobile phones are easy to hack, this is not the safest choice.
The use of an online/web software wallet is one of the most commonly used methods of storing cryptocurrencies. When you use online wallets, your digital assets essentially reside on the web. Similarly, your private keys are saved on the service provider’s servers. Therefore, if the servers in question are at any point compromised, you might lose your coins.
Binance Exchange Wallet
Exchange wallets, as the name implies, are wallets designed to allow you to store cryptocurrencies on a crypto exchange platform. They solve the problem of having to move coins from a wallet to an exchange every time you want to trade or transact.
Notably though, you are not in full control of the cryptocurrencies in an exchange wallet since they remain in the custody of the exchange until you withdraw them. They are therefore not ideal for storing large amounts of crypto assets, as your funds remain online. Additionally, this makes them susceptible to cyberattacks.
Exchange wallets usually require you to open accounts using a username or an email with a password that you can retrieve with your email. This access retrieval system can be a handicap if you lose access to your email.
On the bright side, when you use exchange wallets you don’t have to worry about installing any software. Moreover, you can access your wallet from any internet-enabled device. However, the exchange has access to your sensitive data, including all the transactions you carry out and external third parties can get their hands on them.
Some of the common exchange wallets are Binance, Huobi and Coinbase.
MetaMask Browser Wallet
A browser wallet is the most vulnerable wallet among all bitcoin wallets. Browser-based wallets operate on web browsers and are therefore out of necessity always online.
One of the biggest drawbacks of this type of wallet is that it is susceptible to online attacks. Cybercriminals make use of sophisticated tools designed to hijack sensitive information when users send or receive digital coins with browser-based wallets.
With malicious browser extensions becoming rampant, hackers can hijack crypto transactions by using malware that switches wallet addresses. This kind of malware will switch the receiving address you have inputted in your browser wallet. Unless you double-check, you might not notice.
When you store your crypto assets with any wallet provider, you are giving the provider the go-ahead to be in charge of the safety of your assets. Just as banks are accountable for keeping your money safe, they can lose them to bank robberies. On the bright side though, you would get your money back if the bank is insured.
Since crypto wallet providers that offer this service have access to your crypto coins, you are at risk of losing your cryptocurrencies to providers with malicious intent.
Compare Bitcoin Wallets
Below is a side by side comparison of the four different types of bitcoin wallets that we have discussed above. The comparison is based on four critical factors that matter to holders of different cryptocurrencies. These factors are the security of your crypto assets, your control over crypto assets as well as your privacy from the public and the government.
Hardware Wallet – Provides a secure and safer way to store crypto coins. This wallet gives crypto holders complete privacy and anonymity. When you use hardware wallets to store cryptocurrency, you have full control over your coins, but moving them around is not as easy as when you use software wallets.
Software Wallet – You will have full control over your crypto assets and will also enjoy privacy when you use this wallet. This wallet also grants you full control, enabling you to manage your crypto coins as you like.
Exchange Wallet – This bitcoin wallet allows you to store cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and exchange them for fiat currencies. The downside is that this wallet doesn’t offer privacy and you don’t have full control over your crypto assets.
Browser Wallet – This bitcoin wallet is also known as a browser-based wallet. Though you enjoy control and partial privacy, this wallet is not safe for storing your digital coins.
Best Wallets for Bitcoin Gambling
The gambling industry is one of the fastest adopters of cryptocurrency use by virtue of the inherent advantages of the crypto asset class.
If you own cryptocurrencies and would like to use them for online gambling, choosing the right wallet has obvious advantages. Not only will it offer matchless convenience, but it will also keep your funds safe.
Fortunately, due to the popularity of bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies in the bitcoin casino sector, there are plenty of options available. These fall into two main categories – hot wallets and cold wallets.
Use Hot Wallets to Fund Your Bitcoin Casino Account
Hot wallets simply refer to wallets that operate on the internet. The main highlight of this wallet is accessibility. When playing bitcoin games online, a hot wallet provides convenient storage facilities for the funds you need during your session. However, remember to only store a minimal amount of funds on hot wallets.
Based on the above definitions, mobile wallets, web wallets, exchange wallets and browser wallets are all hot wallets.
What sets hot and cold wallets apart is the storage of public and private keys. To access the funds in any wallet, you need a combination of public and private keys.
Public keys are comparable to a bank account in the sense that they provide a source or destination address for your funds. Private keys, on the other hand, ensure the security of your funds, acting like a PIN code that unlocks your wallet when you need access.
For hot wallets, a third party stores your private keys and therefore, they are more vulnerable than cold wallets.
Use Cold Wallets to Store Your Casino Winnings
Cold wallets are wallets that are not connected to the internet. They are also known as offline wallets. They offer the most secure way of storing cryptocurrencies like bitcoin.
When you use a cold wallet, you get to store your own private keys rather than entrusting them to a third party.
Private keys stored on the internet can be intercepted by hackers and used to steal the crypto assets of unsuspecting owners. This is what makes cold wallets such as hardware and paper wallets as the most secure storage option.
However, even though cold wallets promise security, moving cryptocurrencies in and out of cold wallets take a lot longer than on hot wallets. For instance, if you are using a hardware wallet, you would need to plug in the device, wait for it to load, enter your security PIN and then access funds.
Therefore, cold wallets are an ideal way to secure funds that you will not need to use for a while.
Avoid Exchange Wallets To Not Get Blacklisted
Exchange wallets may seem like a great choice for crypto gamblers. Using these wallets, one can easily convert cryptocurrencies when necessary. Moreover, by virtue of being online, they offer convenience in terms of accessibility.
However, there is one major drawback when you use them for certain activities such as gambling. There have been wide reports among crypto gamblers suddenly having their accounts banned or blacklisted after making a deposit to sportsbooks, casinos or betting platforms. The main reason for this has to do with regulatory requirements.
Many cryptocurrency exchanges are regulated and have to abide by certain regulations. Some of which forbid offering services linked to gambling. Additionally, there are multiple institutions that require the financial details of customers on these crypto exchanges. For example, in the US, the Financial Crimes Enforcement Network (FinCEN) which is under the US Treasury requires US companies to share the financial information of their customers. The IRS is also another institution that demands financial information of US citizens that use these crypto exchange sites.
Therefore, when a wallet on a crypto exchange sends money to any gambling company or is suspected of participating in any gambling activity, it places the crypto exchange’s license at risk. Consequently, exchanges often move fast to ban such accounts and avoid regulatory trouble. At times, the ban, account closure or blacklisting takes place without prior notice, thus freezing your funds in limbo.
To avoid such an eventuality, steer clear of bitcoin exchange wallets if you plan on accessing gambling sites.
Cryptocurrency owners have become targets of hackers who employ different strategies to hijack transactions and wallets of unsuspecting victims.
Some of the methods used by hackers to steal crypto assets are phishing, malware and browser extensions. These increasing attacks call for the need to be highly selective when choosing bitcoin wallets and to be extremely attentive when carrying out crypto transactions.
Depending on your needs, make sure whichever bitcoin wallet you choose to use for storing your crypto assets offers robust security. This will help keep your funds out of harm’s way by ensuring you do not become an easy target of hackers.
A hardware wallet is by far the best and the most secure way to store crypto assets like bitcoin, as it comes with multi-layer security that is almost impossible to bypass. On the other hand, software wallets and browser wallets offer significant convenience in terms of easy access.
If you are going to move crypto coins in and out of your wallet frequently, it is best that you use software wallets that allow you to do this efficiently. But keep the bulk of your digital assets in cold storage for safety purposes.
All in all, you should remember to take into consideration the safety of your crypto assets from internet predators, your control over the management of your crypto assets and your privacy before you choose a bitcoin wallet.
Nick is the CEO and founder of The Bitcoin Strip and has reviewed and written about Bitcoin casinos, sportsbooks and poker rooms for 9 years. He first entered the Bitcoin gambling market in 2011 following a widespread closure of poker rooms in the US.
As website manager, Jen contributes reviews and updates to The Bitcoin Strip on a daily basis. Jen worked in the casino industry for 9 years before focusing on Bitcoin in 2016. She writes on subjects ranging from traditional slots all the way through to unique Bitcoin games, provable fairness and Ethereum smart contract gambling.
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