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Private KeysDigital Asset SecuritySelf-custodyDigital Autonomy

Start with our security primer

Explore “The do’s and don’ts of key management” from our co-founder, CTO, and security expert Jameson Lopp.

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Private keys

What is a private key?

In today’s digital world, most of us are accustomed to using passwords to safeguard our accounts and valuable data. Private keys are similar to passwords, but much more secure.

Both bitcoin and ethereum private keys consist of a string of random characters known as a 256-bit number. These numbers are so astronomically big that any attempt to forge or guess them would be a waste of time and resources, even with the world’s most powerful computers.

Why are private keys important?

Private keys allow you to prove your ownership of digital assets.

To spend bitcoin and ethereum from an address, you need to have the associated private key, the root of your security protection. With a private key, you can generate addresses where you send and receive assets.

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Digital asset security

How does crypto security work?

Crypto security is easier than you might think — it’s all about keys. To spend assets like bitcoin and ethereum, you need access to your private keys.

At Casa, we help you take self-custody of BTC and/or ETH with multiple keys. If you lose a key due to an accident, theft, or disaster, you can use other keys in your vault to help recover your funds. This planned redundancy and distributed security is superior to leaving your crypto assets with a custodian or a single hardware wallet. With Casa, you take self-custody with total peace of mind that your investments are safe.

How do I create a secure crypto wallet?

Security requires a balanced approach. You want to protect against evolving threats while preserving personal access so you can safely recover your assets.

Sound recovery methods are important because eventually you will want to send funds to someone else, whether you spend them or transfer control to someone you trust. As a non-custodial digital vault provider, Casa helps you create protection that is right for you, and we have a variety of other best-in-class services to meet your needs, including crypto inheritance plans.

Which crypto wallet is the safest?

There are a variety of ways to store your private keys; cold storage (offline/hardware device) is the best option. If you protect your bitcoin or ethereum with a single key on an internet-connected device such as a phone or laptop, your funds are susceptible to attacks.

At Casa, your digital assets are protected with multiple keys, each stored on a different device in a different location. These keys are secured in cold storage beginning with your hardware device of choice. Casa works with popular hardware devices Trezor, Ledger, Coldcard, and Keystone.

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Why is it risky to leave bitcoin and ethereum with a custodian?

Not your keys, not your problem, right? More like: not your keys, not your assets.

Securing crypto is different from securing other funds. When you allow another entity to secure your crypto, the same threats that face you as an individual still face the third party, but you no longer have control. Custodial services carry many threats to your assets:

Internal attacks within the custodial organization
External attacks incentivized by the custodian holding funds of several people
Organizational bankruptcy and legal action
Collusion against you by the custodian

Taking self-custody allows you to sidestep these third-party risks.

What’s the difference between custodial and non-custodial wallets?

Due to the sheer amount of threats to one’s bitcoin or ethereum, many holders will opt for a custodial wallet — one where *another entity* owns their private keys — in an effort to shoulder less risk. If a custodial solution (e.g. an exchange, family office, wealth fund, lender, etc.) holds your funds, it’s their responsibility to secure it.

Unlike custodial crypto wallets, a non-custodial wallet is one in which *you* own the associated private keys. By using a non-custodial wallet, you gain the freedom to do as you wish with your assets while simultaneously taking on the responsibility of securing it. This is why non-custodial wallets are often called self-custody.

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Digital autonomy

What is digital autonomy?

Digital autonomy is a quality of life associated with ownership, freedom, and self-reliance, all made possible through self-custody of private keys.

Private keys grant people ownership in the digital realm that is free from interference from other people, corporations, and even governments. At Casa, we build tools and services to help you take control over your digital future, beginning with securing self-custody of your keys and assets.

How do I take control of my digital future?

When you hold your private keys and distribute them effectively, you are leveraging the power of cryptography to protect your property rights.

Taking self-custody of your keys ensures you have control over how your funds are used without outsourcing that authority to risky third parties like exchanges and custodians.

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