Scams Abound - The Right Way to Claim Your Bitcoin Gold
Since Bitcoin Gold launched, there has been a lot of confusion about how to claim the newly forked currency. Scammers are also having a field day as phishing sites and fraudulent claims flood the internet and appear on search engines. So what is the correct way to claim a Bitcoin Gold balance without getting scammed? Read on.
Get a Wallet
The first step to holding a cryptocurrency is getting a wallet. There aren't many wallets or exchanges that hold Bitcoin Gold yet since the currency is so new. Multi wallets like Jaxx and Exodus may eventually support it, but they don't yet.
To get a wallet, log on to the only official Bitcoin Gold website, bitcoingold.org. Any other website claiming to represent BTG or offer you a way to claim BTG is almost certainly a phishing site. More on that later.
You can check your BTG balance on the main page, just be sure to only enter your public receive address, not your private key or your 12-word recovery phrase. Your Bitcoin wallet may have multiple receive addresses where you BTC may be stored. Check with your wallet developer for details.
Choosing the Right Wallet
At the present time, you can choose from up to five officially supported wallets. The first is the main Bitcoin Gold wallet. Most users should avoid this as it requires that you sync up and download the entire Bitcoin blockchain, which at present is in the hundreds of gigabytes and grows constantly. This choice would only make sense for users that intend to solo mine BTG, or that want to operate a full node.
Most likely you will want to use one of the three mobile wallets that currently support BTG. Those wallets have posted guides for how to claim BTG. They are Coinomi, Guarda, and Freewallet. The final choice available at the moment is the online BTGWallet, which can be found at BTGWallet.online.
Thieves Target BTG Seekers
The cryptocurrency world has and always will have large numbers of inexperienced users. These users may not realize what a private key is, or a 12-word recovery phrase, and how much power these security measures hold. Scammers know this, so whenever a high profile event like a Bitcoin fork occurs, they will try to take advantage. Bitcoin Gold is no different.
A quick search on Google for 'Bitcoin Gold' results in a number of first page scam and phishing sites. Some have names like 'claimbtg' and 'btggolds' and 'mybtg', among many others.
These sites work by trying to trick the site visitor into giving up either their private key or their 12-word recovery phrase. On the 16th of November, Exodus support reported that a user had all of their funds stolen when they gave out their recovery phrase to a site claiming to "the Bitcoin Gold balance".
To avoid getting scammed while attempting to claim Bitcoin Gold, never give out your private keys or recovery phrase.
Disclaimer: These are the writer’s opinions and should not be considered investment advice. Readers should do their own research.