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Self Custody & Non Custodial Wallet - The Complete Guide

October 17, 2023

Self Custody & Non Custodial Wallet - The Complete Guide

Plena Finance offers self custody and non-custodial services, empowering users to have full control over their digital assets and financial transactions


Self Custody & Non Custodial Wallet - The Complete Guide

10 min read

October 17, 2023

Ever wondered what it means to have a self-custodial wallet in the world of crypto? Well, this guide's for you! In simple terms, a self-custodial wallet means you're the boss of your own digital money. You get the "keys" to your "vault," and nobody else can touch it.

What You'll Learn:

  • 1.)What Is Self-Custody?
  • 2.) Whats Difference between Self Custodial & Non Custodial, Benefits and Drawbacks with Examples
  • 3.)How Self custody wallet different from an everyday wallet? 
  • 4.)Why are they called “self-custody” wallets?
  • 5.)Types of Self Custody Wallet
  • 6.)What Are the Benefits of a Self-Custody Wallet ?
  • 7.)How To Get Started
  • 8.) Conclusion
  • 9.) FAQ’s Related to Self Custodial Wallets

What is Self Custody / Non Custodial ?

"Self-custodial" and "non-custodial" are terms often used interchangeably, meaning you have control over your assets without relying on a third party. Both emphasize user independence in managing digital assets, with no central authority holding or managing them. In practice, they typically represent the same concept of user control in the world of cryptocurrencies and decentralized finance.

Self-Custodial / Non Custodial :

Think of a self-custodial wallet like a safe in your house where only you have the key. You can put money in it, take money out, and you're the only one who can open it. But if you lose the key, you're out of luck; no one can help you get that money back. You're fully in charge, but you also have to be careful.

So, in simple terms, "self-custodial/Non-custodial" means you're your own bank, and you have to take care of your own money. "" means you are not giving custody to someone else and are in charge of your own money.

Self-custody/Non-Custodial means you're in full control of your own assets, like having a personal safe with a key only you possess. In the context of digital assets, a self-custodial wallet lets you manage your own private keys, providing maximum privacy and security but also full responsibility for any loss.

 Whats Difference between Self Custodial & Non Custodial, Benefits and Drawbacks with Examples

There is no such difference between Self Custodial and Non Custodial.

Self-Custodial/ Non - Custodial :

What it is:
Imagine having a piggy bank at home. It's yours, and only you have the key to open it. All your money goes in there, and you're the only one who can take it out.


  • Total Control: It's your piggy bank, so no one else can touch it.
  • Privacy: Since you're the only one with the key, nobody knows how much you have or what you're doing with it.
  • No Fees: No one can charge you for using your own piggy bank.


  • Risk of Loss: If you lose the key to your piggy bank, you lose all your money inside it. No one can help you get it back. For Ex. If you lose your private key you lose your wallet.
  • Security: It's up to you to make sure your piggy bank is in a safe place.

Imagine cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum. In a self-custodial wallet, you have a special 'key' (a long string of numbers and letters) that lets you access your coins. No one else has this key. Plus you can use it anytime, anywhere with the access .But with Plena’s Social Login users now don't need to backup their phrases to create an account. They can just use their social id to create their wallet and then use it to recover account easily making it much more secure and reliable solution for the users

How Self custody wallet different from an everyday wallet?

An everyday wallet, like the one you carry cash in, is something you physically hold. A self-custody wallet is a digital "wallet" where you keep your crypto. The key difference? In a self-custody wallet, only you have the "keys" or codes to access your money, making you the boss of your own funds.While in other type of wallets a third party like bank or exchange has access over your funds whereas in self custodial wallets only you have 100% access of your funds .Like in Plena you own 100% of your assets.

Why are they called “self-custody” wallets?

Certainly! When it comes to managing your digital assets, the type of wallet you choose plays a crucial role. There are primarily two categories: self-custodial wallets and non-custodial (or simply custodial) wallets.

A self-custodial wallet or a non custodial wallet gives you full control over your own private keys, which is essentially the "self custody meaning" in the crypto world. In a self-custody wallet, you are responsible for safeguarding your own keys and, thereby, your own assets. This level of control allows for greater privacy and security but also means you bear the entire responsibility for any loss or theft.

In summary,Self Custodial wallet are those wallet where you get 100% control over your funds and you decide what’s best for your funds. That is why it is called a self custodial wallet,With a self-custody wallet, you are your own bank, responsible for all the perks and risks that come with it. 

Types of Self Custody Wallet

 1. Mobile Wallets

Mobile wallets are like carrying a mini-bank in your pocket. They are apps you download on your smartphone that let you manage, send, and receive cryptocurrency on the go. They're super convenient and great for everyday transactions, but because they're connected to the internet, you'll want to make sure you use strong security features to keep your funds safe. For example Like Plena -Crypto Super App.

2. Desktop Wallets

Desktop wallets are software programs you install on your computer. These wallets usually offer more features and security options than mobile wallets, making them ideal for people who hold a substantial amount of cryptocurrency. Just like your personal documents on your PC, your crypto stays on your computer, so it's crucial to keep it secure from malware and hacks. With Now Plena Connect you can effortlessly connect to all your Dapps Just by Scanning your Dapps via Plena Connect.

3. Hardware Wallets

Hardware wallets are like the Fort Knox of crypto storage. They are physical devices that store your cryptocurrency offline, making it nearly impossible for online hackers to access your funds. These are best for long-term storage and for people who own a significant amount of crypto that they don't need to access frequently.

4. Paper Wallets

Paper wallets are the old-school way to store crypto, but they're still effective. Essentially, you print out your cryptographic keys on a piece of paper and store it in a safe place. This makes you completely immune to online hacking attempts, but you've got to be super careful not to lose or damage that paper, because that's your only access to your funds.

What Are the Benefits of a Self-Custody Wallet ?

  1. Full Control: You hold the "keys" to your own digital kingdom. There's no third party with access to your assets, so you are the ultimate authority on your finances.
  2. Enhanced Security: Because you control the private keys, the security of your assets is in your hands. Use strong passwords and best practices to keep your wallet secure.
  3. Privacy: Self-custody wallets often offer better privacy features. Your transaction history and fund balance are known only to you, not to a third party.
  4. Reduced Costs: Many self-custody wallets don't charge fees for storing or managing your assets, unlike some custodial services that may have monthly fees or withdrawal charges.
  5. Accessibility: Your funds are available 24/7, without needing permission or facing limitations from any financial institution.
  6. Interoperability: Many self-custody wallets support multiple cryptocurrencies, making it easier for you to manage a diverse portfolio from a single interface.
  7. Ownership Assurance: In the case of a service provider's bankruptcy or legal issues, your assets remain untouched and accessible, as you hold them independently.
  8. Quick Transactions: Self-custody allows for direct peer-to-peer transactions without the need for an intermediary, often resulting in faster and more straightforward transfers.
  9. Financial Sovereignty: With no third party involved, you have complete freedom to use your assets as you see fit, free from restrictions or censorship.

What Risks Do Self-Custody Wallets Have ?

Sure, using a self-custody wallet is like being your own bank, but it comes with its own set of risks. Imagine misplacing the key to a safe full of cash; that's basically what happens if you lose your private keys. No one can help you retrieve them, not even the wallet provider. Then there's the risk of hackers. If your computer gets infected with malware, you could lose your funds. Also, being your own security detail means you're responsible for keeping everything up to date and secure. Forget or mess up any of these, and you're in for a world of hurt financially. So, while you get more control, you also get more responsibility and risk.

Why should I use a self-custody wallet, and how do I get started?

  1. Full Control: You have total control over your funds and private keys. No third party can access or freeze your assets.
  2. Enhanced Privacy: Your transactions and holdings remain confidential, known only to you.
  3. Reduced Risk: No risk of the service provider being hacked, going down, or misusing your funds.
  4. No Fees: Unlike some custodial wallets or exchanges, you won't face fees for storing your own assets.

How to Get Started:

  1. Choose a Wallet: Download and Install: If it's a software wallet, download it from the official website or app store. If it's a hardware wallet, set it up as per the manufacturer's instructions.
  2. Backup Your Keys: When setting up the wallet, you'll be provided a mnemonic phrase or seed phrase. This is like the "master key" to your wallet, so write it down and keep it safe.
  3. Secure Access: Use strong passwords, and consider enabling additional security features like two-factor authentication (2FA).
  4. Transfer Assets: Once the wallet is secure, you can start transferring cryptocurrency into it from an exchange or another wallet.
  5. Test: Initially, send a small amount to make sure everything is working correctly. Once confirmed, you can transfer more assets.
  6. Monitor & Update: Keep your wallet software up to date for the latest security features.

By following these steps, you'll have a self-custodial wallet that gives you both control and responsibility over your digital assets.

 Step 1: Know the different types of self-custody wallets

 Step 2: Choose a wallet

Step 3: Generate a recovery phrase (or import an existing one)

 Step 4: Create new crypto addresses (or import existing ones)

 Step 5: Transfer crypto to your self-custody wallet, or purchase directly


In the end, the choice between a non-custodial wallet /a self-custodial wallet boils down to your preferences for control versus convenience. A non-custodial wallet provides you with full control of your private keys and assets, prioritizing security and privacy. On the other hand, custodial wallets offer the ease of third-party management at the expense of some control and trust. When considering custodial vs non-custodial wallets, it's essential to weigh the pros and cons based on your needs. Both types of wallets have their merits, but understanding the fundamental differences—custodial vs non-custodial—will help you make an informed decision on how you'd like to manage your digital assets. But Plena Being at the pinnacle of Self Custodial Wallet not only provide you with the bet solutions but also it makes your crypto journey better with the benefits it offers like Plena Portfolios , Account abstraction Solution etc.

Faq’s of Self Custody Wallets

Are self-custody wallets secure ?

Absolutely! Self-custody wallets like Plena offer ultimate control over your crypto. While normally losing keys means no recovery, Plena changes the game. With its Crypto Super App Social Login, your social media account is your key, ensuring easy logins and account recovery. No more backup stress!

Does custodial wallet require KYC?

Absolutely! In plain terms, a custodial wallet is like a bank for your cryptocurrency. Because they hold your funds, many countries require these wallets to know who you are. So, yes, most custodial wallets will ask you to complete a KYC (Know Your Customer) process, similar to opening a bank account. It's all about ensuring safety and abiding by the rules.

Can a self-custody wallet provider access my funds?

Absolutely not!In a self-custody wallet like Plena, you alone control your private keys, ensuring no third party can touch your funds. It's your personal crypto vault. With Plena, you can also customize security, adding features like 2FA and trusted devices for an extra layer of protection.

How do I know if I'm using a self-custodial wallet?

If you're using a self-custodial wallet, it means you're in full control of your private keys, and no third party oversees them. A quick way to check? If you were provided with a seed phrase or private key when setting up your wallet and there's no other entity with access to it, then you've got yourself a self-custodial wallet. Always remember: "Not your keys, not your coins!"

 What are the disadvantages of a custodial wallet?

The Scoop on Custodial Wallets is that Custodial wallets are user-friendly with bonus features, but there's a catch. You trust a third party with your crypto, risking loss if they're hacked or closed. They can also freeze assets due to legal reasons or suspect actions, and sometimes, there are extra fees. It's convenient with some trade-offs.

What is an example of a self custodial wallet?

Plena Crypto Super App is the best example of Self Custodial Wallet. With Plena, you control your "digital money vault" and its secret keys. While the app facilitates transactions, your crypto stays secure on your device. And, if you opt for Social Login, you can recover your account without seed phrases. Just remember, don't lose your secret!

Why is Plena the Best Self Custodial Wallet?

Plena's Crypto Super App Stands Out because it lets you easily set up self-custodial wallets with social login via your (twitter, gmail ,fb or apple account ). You get full control of your crypto and top-notch features like chat & pay, smart portfolios, and paying gas in any token. Plus, access over 100K+ cryptos. It's all about making your crypto experience smooth and efficient.

Are all cryptocurrency wallets self-custodial?

Nope, not all cryptocurrency wallets are self-custodial. There are two main types of wallets: self-custodial and custodial (sometimes called non-custodial to contrast them).

In a self-custodial wallet, think of it like having a safe in your house where only you know the combination. You keep your money (or in this case, your crypto) in there, and only you can get to it. You're the boss, but if you forget the combination, you're out of luck. There's no customer service to call to reset it.

In a custodial wallet, it's more like a bank account. You put your money in, and the bank (or the company that runs the wallet) takes care of it for you. They have the "master key," so to speak. If you forget your password, you can reset it through them, but you have to trust them to keep your money safe.

So, to sum it up: not all cryptocurrency wallets are self-custodial. You've got options depending on how much control (or help) you want.

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