Crypto Wallets: How to Safely Store Your Online Casino Funds
After purchasing cryptocurrency on an exchange, you have two main options: keep the coins on the exchange, or move them to a wallet.
Keeping coins on an exchange is convenient, especially when dealing with small amounts. You might also consider this option if you’re sending the crypto directly to an online casino afterward.
Putting crypto in a wallet, though, is the only way to maintain full control over your coins. You don’t have to place blind faith in an exchange when you hold the keys to the wallet.
If you’re interested in having full control over cryptocurrencies, then you can check out the following guide on wallets. It covers the basics of crypto wallets, setting them up, and what options are available.
What Is a Crypto Wallet?
A crypto wallet is exactly like it sounds—a digital wallet that holds cryptocurrency. It stores the public and private keys associated with the wallet.
The public key is your wallet’s address and is available for anybody to view. It’s used to receive cryptocurrencies that are sent to your wallet.
The private key, meanwhile, is personal to you and should be stored away from prying eyes. It’s essentially a digital signature used to confirm that you approve any transaction coming from your wallet.
A cryptocurrency wallet can come in different forms, including a physical device (e.g. cold storage), app, or online website. Crypto exchange sites also provide wallets, although they hold the private keys.
The fact that the exchanges hold your private keys is exactly why you don’t have full control over the coins. It inspires the old crypto saying, “Not your keys, not your coins.”
What Types of Crypto Wallets Are Available?
Cryptocurrency wallets essentially break down into two types, including “hot” and “cold” storage. Hot storage refers to when wallets are connected to the internet, including an online wallet, desktop/laptop program, or phone app.
Hot storage is good for when you have limited crypto and don’t want to spend extra money on cold storage. It’s also more susceptible to hackers, though, because it’s online. Here’s a closer look at each hot storage method:
- Desktop/Laptop Wallet – These apps run on a desktop or laptop PC/Mac and store cryptocurrencies on your computer hard drive. You might want to store a backup file of these wallets just in case something happens to your PC or Mac. Additionally, you should take steps to ensure that nobody can access your computer and find the keys. Popular desktop wallets include BitPay, Exodus and Electrum.
- Mobile Wallet – These apps store crypto on your smartphone or tablet. They’re commonly available through devices that run iOS or Android. Mobile wallets let you use QR codes to make fast crypto payments at stores. Much like with a desktop wallet, you should back up wallet files on another device in case your phone is damaged or lost. Popular mobile wallets include Atomic Wallet and Mycelium.
- Online Wallet – Many crypto exchange sites, like Binance, and Coinbase, act as custodians for your coins. They provide online wallets that you can use to store crypto on their exchanges. Reputable exchanges are usually insured in case they get hacked and your coins are stolen. As discussed before, though, the exchange sites—not you—control the private keys. Although uncommon, they could theoretically prevent you from making crypto casino deposits at some point. Read more about Exchanges here.
Cold storage, or a “cold wallet,” refers to portable hardware devices that let you download and store crypto on them. It’s more secure than hot storage because it stores coins offline. Nobody can hack a cold wallet since it’s not connected to the internet.
The drawback to cold storage, though, is that it typically costs between $100 and $200. Here are a couple of cold wallets along with their price ranges:
- Ledger – A Ledger is a thumb drive-like device that costs between $60 and $120. Buy it here
- Trezor – A Trezor is a key-sized cold wallet that costs between $60 and $200. Buy it here
How Should You Store Your Private Keys?
Private keys are extremely important because, without them, you lose ownership of any associated crypto. Assuming you lose the private keys to 10 ETH, for example, then you’ve lost the 10 ETH forever.
That said, the storage of private keys is a necessity. You need to store them in both a way that you won’t lose them and other people won’t find them. Here are some different options for storing your wallet’s keys:
- Write the keys on a piece of paper and hide/store the paper somewhere safe.
- Keep a secure backup of an online wallet file on a separate device.
- Use a hardware wallet and hide/store the device somewhere safe.
- Use a mobile or PC wallet and make sure that the device is safe and well-protected.
Beyond these options, you simply need to use commonsense when interacting with people. You never want to share your private keys or where they’re stored with anybody.
When dealing with large amounts of crypto, you should consider splitting the assets between multiple wallets. This way, you won’t lose everything if you somehow happen to lose one set of private keys.
What Cryptocurrencies Can You Store in a Wallet?
Bitcoin wallets are definitely the most popular in crypto. After all, Bitcoin comprises over half the entire crypto market in terms of market cap.
However, you can essentially store any cryptocurrency in a wallet. If you’re using Ethereum, for example, you’d look for an online or physical wallet that’s capable of storing ETH. The same goes for other cryptocurrencies, such as XRP, Litecoin, Dogecoin, Cardano, etc.
What Type of Wallet Should You Use for Crypto Online Casino Funds?
The type of wallet that you use to store online casino funds on depends upon your personal situation. If you’re a low-stakes player with a small bankroll, then you should be fine with online wallets. The latter are typically secure enough, provided you’re smart about not visiting sketchy websites where hackers might dwell.
When dealing with thousands of dollars’ worth of Bitcoin or another cryptocurrency, then you should consider cold storage. You don’t need to worry about anybody hacking into a Trezor or Ledger because they’re not available online.
Finally, you could just go with an old-fashioned slip of paper. As long as you correctly write down the private keys and hide the paper well, then you should be fine.