Casa, a popular cryptocurrency self-custody firm historically focused exclusively on the Bitcoin blockchain, added support for Ethereum on Wednesday, completing an expansion plan announced late last year.
Large centralized platforms have historically been the go-to custody solutions for crypto consumers due to their ease of use. But last year’s collapse of entities such as Celsius, BlockFi, FTX, along with the current legal woes besetting two of the world’s largest cryptocurrency exchanges – Binance and Coinbase – have left those consumers skittish, with billions being withdrawn from centralized platforms after each scandal.
Companies like Jack Dorsey’s financial-technology firm Block (SQ) have started moving into the self-custody space, and now Casa, a five-year veteran of the area, is reasserting its position in digital self-custody by offering private-key management services – previously only available to bitcoin customers – to ether holders as well.
“Securing ETH has consistently been our most frequent customer request,” Casa CEO Nick Neuman told CoinDesk. “That was the core driver behind the decision to build Ethereum support in the first place.”
Casa’s services primarily rely on multisignature or “multisig” functionality. Multisig crypto wallets require more than one signature to spend funds. A Casa user holding ether in a 2-of-3 multisig would have three potential keys that could sign transactions but only two would be required to sign at any given time.
That means a user could keep and use two keys, hand off the third to Casa for safekeeping, and if that user loses one key, Casa would help sign transactions with the third key in its custody, ensuring the user’s funds remain accessible.
“We've seen all the problems that come from using centralized custodians,” Neuman said. “We've seen how important it is to get the average person holding their own keys. We're just providing the software to make it easier to use those keys.”
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