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Private Keys


What is a private key in crypto?

A key a random string of numbers that prove authenticity.

Specifically, keys are used to perform several important cryptographic operations like encrypting, decrypting, and signing messages, and they allow you to keep your communications private. You must keep your keys secure for cryptography to be successful. For the purposes of transacting with cryptography, you use keys to sign transactions.


Cryptocurrencies like bitcoin and ethereum are managed differently than other assets. To illustrate, when you keep money in a bank, the financial institution legitimizes different transactions that occur with debit cards, personal checks, wire transfers, etc. Conversely, in crypto, verification is handled by a blockchain which is overseen by a decentralized network of computers.

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Why are private keys important?

How do private keys work?

What is the best way to store private keys?

While we believe that having complete control over your private keys is the best way to protect your digital assets, you also need to be smart about how your keys are stored. As an industry leader in self-custody solutions for digital assets, we recommend the following storage practices:


While custodial wallets might seem convenient, with them you sacrifice the very autonomy on which crypto was founded. On the contrary, self-custody allows you to protect your crypto with a set of keys that you control. At Casa, we make self-custody easy and safe for investors by securing your crypto with multiple keys.

Cold storage

Cold storage for crypto keys refers to the practice of keeping private keys disconnected from the internet for extra security. By storing private keys with cold storage solutions like hardware wallets, you minimize the risk of online hacks and data breaches.

Hardware wallets

Hardware wallets are secure hard drives that offer cold storage solutions for cryptocurrency in order to isolate sensitive information from potential threats. These offline storage devices generally require user authentication - such as a PIN or biometric verification - as an extra layer of protection.

Multiple keys (multisig)

The term “multisig” refers to the use of multiple private keys to verify a single crypto wallet. Since multiple verification methods are required to sign transactions with multisig wallets, they provide you with greater protection from security threats. Due to their robust nature, multisig wallets like the Casa vault are the industry standard for best practices in digital asset custody.

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Frequently asked questions

How is Casa different from other bitcoin wallets?

Casa uses multiple keys to secure bitcoin and other assets for greater protection from hacks, accidents, and single points of failure. Most bitcoin wallets have only one private key that you use to sign transactions, which presents a security risk.

These multi-key vaults are a non-custodial wallet, meaning that you are in control of your keys. Casa holds one key, the Casa Recovery Key, for you in case you need to replace a key, and this key is not enough to access your bitcoin. This way, your funds are safe and you don’t have to worry about a risky custodian.

Do you wonder how technical a vault could be? Fear not. Casa makes self-custody easy, and no technical knowledge is required. Each of our vaults is built around our easy, smooth Casa app, and our support team is just an email or call away if you need help. You can take self-custody into your hands, and we’ve got your back.

Learn more about why Casa is different here.

Why is Casa better than a hardware wallet?

Hardware wallets are safer than leaving your bitcoin on an exchange, but they’re also single points of failure.

Consider: what happens if you lose your hardware wallet or it gets damaged? What if you forget the PIN? Or accidentally wipe it with a firmware update? Seed phrase backups mitigate these risks, but they too are a single point of failure. Many hardware wallets can be hacked by sophisticated thieves. Also, leaving your coins on a single hardware wallet at a single location leaves you vulnerable to threats like robbery or natural disaster.We built Casa to protect bitcoin investors from these dangers. Your bitcoin is protected by multiple devices, so if you misplace your phone, or if your hardware wallet is stolen, your bitcoin will still be completely safe. This resilient design allows you to stay in full control of your bitcoin, and protects you from a laundry list of physical and digital hazards.

How does Casa's multisig design enhance the security of ETH wallets?

Due to the sheer amount of threats to one’s bitcoin, many bitcoin holders will opt for a custodial wallet — one where someone else owns the associated 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 bitcoin, it’s their responsibility to secure it.

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

Although it may seem daunting at first, self-custody eliminates third-party risk and ensures that only you have access to your funds. With the right tools, self-custody becomes every bit as convenient as a custodial service, yet significantly more secure. At Casa, we believe self-custody is the best type of bitcoin custody.

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