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How To Bet Safely Using Crypto?

19 May 2023

Key ways for crypto gamblers to ensure they stay safe in online casinos!

The benefits of betting with cryptocurrency are well-known to online casino players by now. It’s cheaper, more convenient, much faster, and most importantly — much safer. However, if you’ve heard all these things then you’ve no doubt also heard of all the rampant scams and frauds in the crypto space. With so much conflicting information, how safe is it actually to bet with crypto?

What Are The Risks Of Betting With Crypto?

The blockchains’ biggest strength and appeal is decentralization, giving control to ordinary people. However, this strength can also become the biggest weakness. 

For an average gambler, this much control and power is just too much responsibility. Since you’re essentially your own mini-bank you have to take care of all the security measures. And, in case something goes wrong, no one else can fix that mistake.

casino chips with bitcoin

This is why crypto can be a double-edged sword. With traditional forms of payment, you give up control but have much more room for error. 

If, for example, you made a mistake and transferred money to the wrong recipient, your bank will most likely be able to reverse the transfer. With the blockchain, on the other hand, all transactions are immutable and cannot be reversed.

In summary:​

  • Crypto is hard to grasp for beginners.
  • Transactions are irreversible - once the money's gone, it’s gone forever.
  • Scammers/hackers target crypto users because of the anonymous and irreversible nature of the blockchain.
  • Social engineering is the number one culprit in crypto theft since it's secure from a technological standpoint.

Secure Your Non-Custodial Crypto Wallet In 3 Steps

Properly setting up your crypto wallet can protect you from the majority of common scams. Most people do not understand how crypto wallets work or even how to use one at all. 

Non-custodial cryptocurrency wallets are essentially like your personal bank. No one else in the world has access to them and you’re in full control. They’re also free and virtually unhackable since only you have the ‘keys’. Setting up a secure wallet can be done in just a few steps.

trezor wallet on a laptop keyboard

However, it's important to note not to confuse non-custodial wallets like Metamask, Exodus, or Trezor with custodial ones. They are wallets controlled by another party like an exchange or a casino. If a site holding your money was to be breached or go bankrupt, your money is most certainly going down with them.

1) Back-Up & Protect Your Seed Word Phrase

Non-custodial wallets can be opened only one way — with a private key. This of course isn’t a physical key that you carry. It's a secret phrase that usually consists of 12 randomly generated words that are unique to you. Since the wallet’s key security feature is just a few words, many people neglect their secret phrases and don’t store them securely.

Seed word leakage is the number one way people lose their funds from non-custodial wallets. Keeping it safe is of paramount importance. 

Encrypt your seed phrase and place it in a password-protected folder but do not store it locally on your computer/phone. Keep it on an external device like a flash drive and only use it when necessary. In case of a hacking attack, the culprit would have to steal the physical flash drive, brute force his way into the folder, and then also encrypt the password. A very unlikely scenario.

2) Do Not Connect Your Wallet To Sites You Don’t Trust

Another very common way people lose funds is by connecting their wallets to shady or copycat sites. These sites will then bombard you with numerous permission requests through your wallet app. This is not abnormal for Web 3.0 sites, which is why many people blindly accept these requests only to get their wallet ‘drained’.

man lost in a crypto network

Although most online betting sites ask you to connect your wallet, it is not necessary since you can input transactions manually. However, whenever you do choose to connect your wallet app to a website (casino, crypto exchange, DEX, etc.), always make sure you’re on the correct domain or that the website is reputable.

3) Double Check Your Wallet Network & Transaction Details

Hackers and scammers are definitely a big concern but sometimes your own ineptitude can be your undoing since cryptocurrency transactions aren’t exactly cut and dry. 

There are different types of coins, tokens, networks, and gas fees. Wallet addresses look like they’re made of hieroglyphs. And, since you constantly switch tabs to look at the currency conversion (because math is hard), it’s easy to overlook the details, especially when you’re a frequent crypto gambler who deposits and withdraws constantly.

The most common mistake iGamers make is confusing networks. This is because many tokens exist on different blockchain mainnets in the form of wrapped tokens. 

For example, you can find coins like Bitcoin or Ethereum outside of their networks. Solana, Binance Smart Chain, and Fantom all have their own versions of these coins. While they share the same price, they’re not the same. Receiving or sending coins to the wrong blockchain can lead to potentially losing your coins forever.

Be Skeptical Of Crypto/Gambling-Related Emails & Links

It's very common for Bitcoin betting sites or crypto sportsbooks to send promotional emails about their new offers and casino games. However, criminals are more than aware of that. They impersonate the best crypto betting sites you’re familiar with by either spoofing their email or just formatting it in a similar fashion.

access granted message on a website

Infecting people's computers with malware or leaking sensitive information through email links or attachments is one of the most common security breaches. This happens to even some of the most well-educated people in the world, as was the case with John Podesta, the White House Deputy Chief of Staff. In his case, the link redirected him to a fake Gmail website which was convincing enough for him to enter his password.

Avoid Public Wi-Fi

The beauty of online gambling is that you can bet from the comfort of your home or from a cozy sports bar. However, if you’re in a pinch and need to place sports bets quickly, be wary of using public wifi. Much like a crypto wallet, an improperly secured Wi-Fi connection can be exploited by hackers. They can intercept your connection and steal valuable information.

Whenever you’re making cryptocurrency transactions, especially large ones, try to avoid using public wifi. If you truly have to, use a VPN. Even a free VPN service is still miles better than an unprotected connection. This will encrypt your data and provide a layer of protection. But make sure to check the terms and conditions of your crypto sports betting site about the use of VPN.

Use Two-Factor Verification (2FA)

Two-factor verification is one of the most underutilized safeguard measures. It is extremely effective at protecting any online account. Most crypto wallets do not use 2FA, however, you should always activate it for your main crypto exchange and your crypto betting site.

safe transfer in neon letters in front of a man

You can use the traditional OTP method through SMS or take the even safer route by installing an authenticator app such as Google Authenticator. These types of apps do not use SMS text messaging, so even if the attacker transfers your phone service or mirrors your messages, they cannot get your withdrawal code. They’d have to physically take your phone or gain remote access to it.

Play Only On Properly Licensed Casinos

As mentioned in the beginning, the crypto space is filled with dangerous scam projects and dishonest practices. The crypto gambling industry is no different. 

Although there are many reputable crypto online casinos and sports betting sites, for every honest one there are a dozen of unregulated websites. Always make sure to first and foremost check the casino’s license and the experiences other players had with it before trusting them with your hard-earned money.

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