Location: New York
Date: Thursday 9th December
Not your keys, not your coins.
Despite being a central mantra of Bitcoiners, self-custody is still an issue for the ecosystem. Whether it be major institutional investors or new small volume retail buyers, there are material concerns over the risks and technical skills required with being responsible for Bitcoin keys.
Whilst delegating custody removes perceived barriers to entry, they present new risks to individuals and the wider network. These new risks may be nebulous and abstract to many. But they are real and significant issues that contravene Satoshi’s central mission for a decentralized self-sovereign system of peer to peer cash.
The paradox is that rather than requiring specialist technical skills, modern hardware wallets are both significantly more user friendly and intuitive than their recent predecessors. This is both in terms of the products themselves and the support infrastructure (i.e. helplines etc.) provided by manufacturers.
Whilst it may be easy to have someone else store your bitcoin, it is still the case that if you don’t own the keys, you don’t control the coins. The irony is you may only discover this at the time you are in most need of your bitcoin.
In this interview, I talk to Nick Neuman, CEO of Casa. We discuss the scale of third-party custodying of bitcoin, the inherent risks of delegating bitcoin custody, the security and support provided to users of hardware wallets, and the latest innovations.