More and more online casinos are opening up and accepting payments in Bitcoins, a cryptocurrency that gives players benefits like anonymity, fast transactions, and minimal or no transaction fees. To be able to make payments into your casino account or withdraw your winnings from it using Bitcoins, you need a very important item in your arsenal – the Bitcoin wallet.
What is a Bitcoin Wallet?
As the term suggests, a Bitcoin wallet is a digital wallet that you can use to store Bitcoins. The emphasis here is on the word ‘digital’ as Bitcoins are not available as hard currency.
- You make all your transactions at Bitcoin casinos using the Bitcoin wallet.
- Without a Bitcoin wallet you cannot use Bitcoins to fund your account or withdraw your winnings.
- You can buy a Bitcoin wallet, but there are a large number of them for free.
- You have the option of downloading a Bitcoin wallet.
- You can also opt to create one for yourself online as there is no authority governing it.
- Each Bitcoin wallet has its own unique address.
- The wallet address comprises a maximum of up to 34 random digits and alphabets.
- Alphabets can be in lower case or upper case.
- Ensure you use the same case each time as wallet addresses are case-sensitive.
How a Bitcoin Wallet Works
The way a Bitcoin wallet works is basically simple.
- All Bitcoin wallets store information in the form of public and private keys.
- You can use these public and private keys to get hold of your Bitcoins.
- The public keys allow you to receive Bitcoins. They do not have security issues attached to them and can be published anywhere.
- The private keys are used to send Bitcoins. They need to be completed secured to ensure your wallet’s security is not breached.
- The Bitcoin wallet does not store the Bitcoins, unlike what the term suggests.
- The Bitcoins are stored on the blockchain. The blockchain is like a huge public ledger that anyone can access. It contains details of every single Bitcoin transaction.
- The presence of the Bitcoins on the blockchain allows you to access them from different wallets; you do not have to be stuck with one wallet forever.
Types of Bitcoin Wallets
There are different kinds of Bitcoin wallets for you to choose from.
- Each wallet has its own unique features.
- All of them, however, have to abide by the rules laid down in the Bitcoin Protocol.
- The availability of different kinds of Bitcoin wallets allows you to distribute your Bitcoins across multiple wallets instead of storing all on one particular wallet or wallet type.
The following are the main types of Bitcoin wallets:
Hardware wallets: These are special devices, like smartcards, which make them portable and easy to carry. They are tasked with only generating private keys. The private keys are generated offline. Users need to provide a password to get access to their Bitcoins. Hardware wallets are a good option if you are looking to store significant quantities of Bitcoins. In the case of data loss, recovery is possible with hardware wallets. KeepKey is a fine example of a hardware wallet.
Web wallets: These wallets are accessible from a web browser and do not have to be downloaded to your computer. They are hosted by a separate provider. This provider may require to have at least partial control of your private keys; this is not mandatory with all web wallets, however. The user is required to set a password to be able to access the private keys. A good example is the SpectroCoin web wallet.
Desktop wallets: These have to be downloaded to your computer device. Transactions using desktop wallets are possible only from computers. They are among the most secure Bitcoin wallets around. The first desktop Bitcoin wallet is Bitcoin Core.
Mobile wallets: These are wallets that can be accessed from a mobile device .They are compatible with Android and also iOS mobile devices. They are very practical as they allow you to use Bitcoins even while you are on the move. Multiple layers of security in these wallets is a highlight of these wallets. An example of a mobile wallet is Xapo.
Paper wallets: These are very secure wallets and provide adequate protection against hackers. The Bitcoins are stored offline on physical media like metal strips or even paper. Users can access their Bitcoins only through personalized private keys. Paper wallets do not come with a recovery failsafe, which means any Bitcoins lost from a paper wallet are irretrievable.
Brain wallets: These are specialized wallets that are created through a passphrase. This makes them highly sensitive; if you forget the passphrase you can never again access the brain wallet. This means you lose all the Bitcoins stored in the brain wallet.