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Bitcoin And Custody Solutions

May 30, 2024

Bitcoin, the first decentralized cryptocurrency, is widely regarded as digital gold due to its value storage capabilities. With increasing institutional interest and multiple Bitcoin ETFs approved, securing Bitcoin through effective custody solutions has become critical.

Bitcoin and cryptocurrencies are gaining traction, especially in lower and middle-income countries, where they are used for investments, remittances, preserving savings, and as alternatives when traditional financial services are inaccessible. However, the rise in adoption has led to increased hacks and thefts. In 2022, $3.8 billion worth of cryptocurrency was stolen, though this amount decreased to $1.7 billion in 2023 even as the number of hacks increased.

Investors and users must choose appropriate custody solutions that align with their risk tolerance, investment goals, and regulatory requirements. There are several methods for holding Bitcoin, each with its own advantages and risks.

Centralized exchanges like Coinbase and Kraken are popular entry points for retail investors due to their convenience and regulatory compliance. These platforms perform KYC checks and offer easy fiat-to-crypto transactions. While some users might prefer to leave their Bitcoin on these exchanges, this approach carries risks, such as potential hacks or exchange insolvency.

Self-custody allows users to maintain full control over their Bitcoin by managing their private keys. This method adheres to the principle of “not your keys, not your crypto.” Self-custody options include:

Private Hot Wallets: While convenient for frequent transactions, they are vulnerable to hacking and should only be used for small amounts needed for immediate use.
Private Hardware Wallets: Als known as cold storage, these devices only connect to the internet when necessary, minimizing the risk of hacks. Offline wallets are among the safest methods for holding Bitcoin.

Security Measures for Self-Custody

Private Key Storage: Safeguarding the private key is crucial. Avoid storing it as plain text on devices. Options include paper wallets or durable metal solutions that engrave the key or seed phrase for long-term protection.
Multisig Wallets: These wallets require multiple signatures to authorize transactions, adding an extra layer of security. They are ideal for organizations or individuals seeking protection against single points of failure.
For high-net-worth individuals and organizations, relying on reputable third parties for custody can be a sensible approach. These custodians adhere to high security, insurance, and compliance standards, providing robust solutions that include physical security, cold storage, and access controls.

Ownership, jurisdiction, and tax efficiency are critical factors influencing custody choices. Legal and regulatory environments can dictate the best practices for securing Bitcoin, especially for global institutions and family offices. Consulting financial and legal experts is essential to ensure compliance and optimize privacy and tax benefits.


With Bitcoin’s growing popularity, effective custody solutions are vital for safeguarding assets. Users must balance convenience, security, and compliance when choosing between centralized exchanges, self-custody, and third-party custodians. Employing best practices, such as using cold storage for long-term holdings and securing private keys, can help mitigate risks and protect Bitcoin investments.