Updated: Jul 21
Remember the egregious breach that exposed Ledger’s entire trove of customer data to the public? Now, the hardware wallet company and e-commerce vendor Shopify have been slapped with a class-action lawsuit for failing to contain the damage. This should be a wake-up call for you as a cryptocurrency investor.
It would help if you never grew complacent over the security of either or both your hot and cold digital wallets. But, what if you could still beat the risk of getting “phished” or “wallet hacked?”
Most of the cryptocurrency wallets are centralized in nature, making them prone to man-in-the-middle attacks and a bevy of other hacks. For wallets to be truly secure, they need to be decentralized. Here’s why.
Control of Funds
Decentralized crypto wallets are non-custodial. This means that you, the user, have exclusive access to your wallet’s private keys (and not a third-party custodian). As a consequence of which you stand in a position to exercise complete control over your crypto funds.
A cryptocurrency wallet that doesn’t have anything to do with a third-party intervention doesn’t compromise security. As is the case with Ledger, for instance, and many such centralized wallets are susceptible to despicable hacks. Decentralized wallets, hands down, are way more secure than wallets hosted by crypto exchanges or custodial wallets since users keep the private keys with themselves, as discussed in the previous point.
As is the case with most custodial wallets, they are integrated into a larger ecosystem built around a particular crypto exchange, DeFi trading platform, or other such flagship product. This increases the risk associated with the stored funds in these crypto wallets, as exchanges such as Binance, Coincheck, and Bitrue, Bithumb, and Poloniex have a marred history of facing the brunt of brutal online robberies. Mt.Gox, a Tokyo-based crypto exchange, underwent the largest hack in 2014 but eventually filed for bankruptcy because of a prolonged attack that deprived users of 740,000 BTC.
For non-custodial DeFi exchange wallets, that is not the case, since there is no instance of crypto balances or trading data being stored on a centralized server. On the positive side, a DeFi wallet helps you connect with a plethora of DeFi protocols that operate on a purely peer-to-peer basis, without intermediaries.
No Requirement for KYC Procedures
Another feature that makes non-custodial wallets secure is the non-requirement of users to go through elaborate KYC (know-your-customer) procedures or share background information. This reduces the risk of doxxing or data breaches, something that happened with Ledger.
But centralized wallets, as usual, are operated by specific entities and custodians that seek to comply with the regulations in their respective jurisdictions. So, users have to share their ID data before depositing, withdrawing, or trading cryptocurrencies crypto funds for reasons related to compliance.
Non-Custodial Wallets Are the Way Forward…
All of the above is true for non-custodial wallets. With a decentralized crypto wallet app to gain access to many DeFi opportunities on the go and explore a world of limitless possibilities. And not just with DeFi, you can also leverage such a wallet to play and experiment with non-fungible tokens (NFTs) as well.
So, it becomes quite clear from the above points how non-hosted wallets can truly up the security quotient for your crypto funds. How decentralized crypto wallets can let you interact seamlessly, intuitively, and securely with web 3 technologies while maintaining the core ideology of “being your own bank”.
…But the Road to Wallet Decentralization Has Been Long and Winding
Contrary to what you think, the journey in wallet innovation has taken its own sweet time. As Rome was not built in a day, similarly these non-custodial wallets that guarantee absolute usage of freedom are a result of research and development over the past few years.
Crypto wallet engineering teams worked tirelessly and were able to bring about drastic improvements to their underlying architecture while including other asset management tools, which would allow investors and users to smoothly and securely access the next generation of financial products.
The end result is nothing less than a wonder!
Non-custodial decentralized wallets ensure the complete safety of your stored funds without you having to rely on third-party institutions to guarantee the “well-being” of your assets. Something which Satoshi envisioned when he released Bitcoin’s whitepaper.
The early years saw crypto wallets with poor, crude, and inefficient user interfaces dominate the market. But things have taken a very different turn on the wallet front in the last couple of years. With DeFi’s boom, many wallets have brought in significant changes in their designs and architecture and are helping create better experiences for users.
There are, however, very few wallets that provide a single point of entry into a greater ecosystem that allows you to tap into the world of DeFi.
Non-custodial wallets are secure because they let you have full control over your crypto funds. The risk of a data breach or fund pilferage is substantially less. There is just one primary drawback. You have to keep your private key safe and tucked away at all times. You yourself are the only one responsible for the safety of your funds.
But, nonetheless, given the explosive growth that cryptocurrencies, especially Ethereum and all ERC20 tokens have experienced in the last year you’d be better off storing your digital asset holdings in a non-custodial wallet.
This article originally appeared on YouYaa.com