Crypto Safekeeping Specialist Fireblocks Introduces Non-Custodial Wallet Service

The move will free up big fintechs from acting as custodians and makes it easier for their end users to access DeFi and other Web3 applications, Fireblocks said.

AccessTimeIconSep 11, 2023 at 1:00 p.m. UTC
Updated Sep 15, 2023 at 3:19 p.m. UTC

Cryptocurrency custody firm Fireblocks is offering its long list of fintech and corporate clients a non-custodial wallet service, so that the end consumers using firms like Revolut and Nubank can entirely control their own assets – something of a market requirement following the blow-ups of various crypto firms last year.

The move frees up fintechs from inherently acting as custodians, and makes it easier for their end users to access exotic crypto offerings such as decentralized finance (DeFi) and other Web3 applications, according to Fireblocks CEO Michael Shaulov.

In the wake of high-profile collapses of crypto firms like Celsius, BlockFi and FTX, the market has shifted, driven by a general mistrust when it comes to third party custodians being able to hold a user’s cryptographic keys.

Fireblocks’ multi-party computation (MPC) technology works well in a non-custodial setting, shifting counterparty risk away from a corporate entity, while allowing wallets to be recovered in the event of mishap, Shaulov explained in an interview with CoinDesk.

“This non-custodial release allows a fintech, web3 company or corporate to create a wallet, where one of the key shares is sitting with the user – either in their web browser or mobile app, with iOS and Android – and the other key share is held with Fireblocks or with the service provider,” Shaulov said. “Basically, that other key share is responsible for security and the ability to recover the overall wallet if the client loses his phone, for example.”

Shifting custodial responsibilities away from big companies and onto the end user has the added advantage of opening the door to more in the way of DeFi, web3 and NFT-related offerings, Shaulov said.

“A fully non-custodial setup where the customer is hosting the key, allows access to DeFi and other web3 services that are currently outside of a well-defined regulatory scope,” Shaulov said. “What was previously hard for large licenced institutions or big corporates, can be built onto the wallet experience when firms don’t have all those regulatory, custodial limitations.”

Fireblocks currently secures over 130 million wallets for big companies including the likes of BNY Mellon, BNP Paribas, Flipkart, eToro, Revolut, NuBank and Wisdom Tree.

Edited by Parikshit Mishra.


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Ian Allison

Ian Allison is an award-winning senior reporter at CoinDesk. He holds ETH.