Difference Between Custodial & Non-Custodial Wallets

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Today, cryptocurrency is one of the most fascinating subjects on the internet. More and more people are getting associated with it one way or the other. Some are trading, some are buying, while some are just curious about it. Moreover, since many other things are associated with crypto – they come with it. People, however, have started understanding cryptocurrency, but the other things are yet to make their way into everyone’s heads.

 These things are:

  • Cryptocurrency Wallets
  • Custodial & Non-Custodial Wallets
  • Blockchain Technology
  • NFTs
  • Crypto Trading

On that note, today, we will try to cover not all but some of them so that everyone can understand what they are. So, let’s get started.

What are Cryptocurrency Wallets?

Cryptocurrency wallets or crypto wallets are just like the regular wallets you use every day. The only difference is regular wallets are used to store real or fiat currency, while crypto wallets are used to store virtual or digital currency, precisely cryptocurrency. In more exact words, crypto wallets don’t actually store the crypto, but they do store that private key that lets you access the crypto. Now, you must be wondering how it works. So, let’s get this.

How Do Cryptocurrency Wallets Work?

The functions of crypto wallets are not just limited to storing cryptos, but they can also be used to send, receive, & trade cryptocurrencies. There are many types of these wallets depending upon the security and purpose parameters.

Provided by the crypto exchanges, crypto wallets come in many forms like hardware & software wallets. Hardware wallets look like Pendrive. The crypto process works like an account login process to conduct transactions. Like an account has two things – username & password. In the same way, the crypto process too has two things or say keys – a public key and a private key.

The public key is publicly available and visible to others. The private key is private, and it has to be kept a secret. To move your crypto from any wallet, you will need both keys. The function of a wallet is to store these keys safely.

The primary two types of crypto wallets are custodial wallets & non-custodial wallets. Let’s understand them one by one.

Check Out: Top 9 Uses Of Cryptocurrency In Daily Life

What are Custodial Wallets

Custodial wallets mean a wallet having a custodian. A custodian is someone to takes care of or looks after something. Basically, like a guardian. So, custodial wallets are those wallets that are looked after by a third party and not you. You don’t really have complete ownership. You’re relying on an intermediary to help you make transactions, and they have access to your private key.

How custodial wallets function

Custodial wallets function differently from non-custodial wallets. In custodial wallets, a third-party service provider, such as a cryptocurrency exchange or a wallet platform, takes care of the management, storage, and security of your private keys and funds. Users should carefully assess their priorities, balancing convenience with security considerations, when choosing between custodial and non-custodial wallet options.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Custodial Wallets

Advantages of Custodial Wallets

  • User-friendly and Convenient: Custodial wallets are often designed to be user-friendly and accessible, particularly for individuals who are new to the world of cryptocurrencies. They typically offer simplified interfaces and easy-to-follow processes for managing and transacting with digital assets. This convenience can be especially appealing to those who may not be familiar with the technical aspects of managing private keys and seed phrases.
  • Robust Customer Support: Custodial wallet providers usually offer customer support services that users can turn to in case they encounter issues or have questions. This can be reassuring for individuals who are not as confident in troubleshooting technical problems on their own. The availability of customer support can help users resolve issues quickly and efficiently.
  • Additional Services and Features: Many custodial wallet platforms go beyond just storing and transacting cryptocurrencies. They often provide additional services and features, such as integrated exchange services, the ability to purchase cryptocurrencies using traditional payment methods (like credit cards), portfolio tracking, and more. This can make it convenient for users to manage various aspects of their cryptocurrency activities within a single platform.

Disadvantages of Custodial Wallets

  • Lack of Control Over Private Keys: One of the primary disadvantages of custodial wallets is that users do not have direct control over their private keys. This means that the wallet provider holds the keys on the user’s behalf, and users rely on the provider’s security measures to protect their assets. This lack of control goes against the fundamental principle of self-custody in the cryptocurrency space.
  • Centralization and Reliance on Third Parties: Custodial wallets introduce a level of centralization into the ownership and management of cryptocurrencies. Users must trust the custodial service provider to safeguard their funds and ensure reliable access to their wallets. This reliance on a single entity can lead to concerns about censorship, availability, and potential policy changes that might impact the user’s ability to access their assets.
  • Vulnerability to Hacking and Theft: Centralized custodial platforms can become attractive targets for hackers due to the potentially large sums of cryptocurrencies stored in one place. If the platform’s security measures are compromised, users’ funds could be at risk of theft. Numerous instances of exchange hacks and breaches in the past have resulted in substantial losses for users who stored their funds in custodial wallets.

Read More: About What is the Difference Between Fiat and Cryptocurrency?

What are Non-Custodial Wallets?

Non-custodial wallets are just the opposite of custodial. They provide complete ownership, authority, & access to your private key. No one other than you can see your private key. And you are solely responsible for conducting all your transactions.

For a better understanding, let’s see the difference between custodial wallets & non-custodial wallets.

How non-custodial wallets function

When you create a non-custodial wallet, a pair of cryptographic keys is generated: a private key and a public key. With a non-custodial wallet, you have complete control over your private key and funds. It prioritize security by allowing you to manage your private key locally on your device. This reduces the risk of hacking and breaches that can occur on centralized platforms.

Advantages & Disadvantages of Non-Custodial Wallets

Advantages of Non-Custodial Wallets

  • User Control Over Private Keys: In non-custodial wallets, users have full control over their private keys, which are necessary to access and manage their cryptocurrency funds. This control ensures that users are not dependent on third parties for their funds’ security.
  • Enhanced Security and Privacy: Non-custodial wallets prioritize security by allowing private keys to be stored locally on the user’s device. This reduces the risk of large-scale hacks and breaches that can occur with centralized platforms. Additionally, user privacy is maintained because the wallet provider doesn’t have access to private key information.

Disadvantages of Non-Custodial Wallets

  • Higher Responsibility and Risk: While having control over private keys is empowering, it also places a higher level of responsibility on users. Losing access to private keys or mishandling the seed phrase can result in permanent loss of funds. Users must take proactive measures to secure and back up their keys.
  • Learning Curve for Beginners: Non-custodial wallets can be more technically complex for beginners. Learning about private keys, seed phrases, and the mechanics of blockchain transactions can be overwhelming for those new to cryptocurrencies.
  • Limited Customer Support: Non-custodial wallet providers might offer limited customer support compared to centralized platforms. Users might have to rely on community forums, online resources, or documentation to troubleshoot issues.

Also Read: Is a non-custodial wallet safe?

Key Differences Between Non-Custodial and Custodial Wallets

1. Control and Ownership

  • User Control Over Private Keys (Non-Custodial): In non-custodial wallets, users have complete control over their private keys, which gives them ownership and autonomy over their cryptocurrency funds.
  • Trust in Third-Party Service Providers (Custodial): Custodial wallets require users to trust the platform provider to manage and secure their private keys and funds. Users relinquish direct control in favor of the convenience provided by the service.

2. Security and Privacy

  • Decentralization and Trustlessness (Non-Custodial): Non-custodial wallets embody the principle of decentralization and trustlessness, as users control their private keys without relying on a single entity. This enhances security and reduces the risk of single points of failure.
  • Vulnerability to Hacks and Breaches (Custodial): Custodial wallets are potentially more vulnerable to hacking and breaches, as attackers might target centralized platforms that store large amounts of cryptocurrencies and user data.

3. User Experience and Convenience

  • Learning Curve and Technical Complexity (Non-Custodial): Non-custodial wallets can have a steeper learning curve due to the need to understand private keys, seed phrases, and blockchain mechanics. This might be challenging for beginners.
  • Accessibility and Additional Services (Custodial): Custodial wallets are often more user-friendly and accessible, catering to a broader audience. They might offer additional features like integrated exchanges, fiat-crypto conversion, and portfolio tracking.

4. Risk and Responsibility

  • User Accountability and Recovery Options (Non-Custodial): Non-custodial wallets require users to be accountable for their private keys and seed phrases. Loss of these critical components can lead to irreversible loss of funds. Users have the option to create secure backups to mitigate this risk.
  • Reliance on Customer Support and Backup Systems (Custodial): Custodial wallets offer recovery options if users lose access to their accounts, but they come with the caveat of relying on the platform’s support and procedures. This introduces a different kind of risk if the platform experiences issues.

Also Read: Is Cryptocurrency Truly the Future of Money?

Custodial Wallet vs Non-Custodial Wallets

Refer to the below table to see the advantages and disadvantages of custodial wallets versus non-custodial wallets.

AttributesCustodial WalletNon-Custodial Wallet
Key ResponsibilityThird PartyYou
AuthorityThe Wallet OwnerYou
SupportGoodNot So-Good

Let’s talk about the benefits and drawbacks of both of these wallets.

The choice between a non-custodial and a custodial wallet depends on your priorities, familiarity with cryptocurrencies, and risk tolerance. Here are some considerations to help you decide:

Which should you choose?

Choose a Non-Custodial Wallet If:

  • Security and Control: You prioritize security and want full control over your private keys. Non-custodial wallets provide the highest level of control and security, as you’re not relying on a third party to safeguard your funds.
  • Trustlessness: You value the principle of trustlessness and decentralization that cryptocurrencies are built upon. You want to minimize reliance on intermediaries and prefer to interact directly with the blockchain.
  • Long-Term Hold: If you’re holding a significant amount of cryptocurrencies for the long term, non-custodial wallets may offer greater peace of mind against potential exchange hacks or platform failures.
  • Technical Proficiency: You are comfortable with the technical aspects of managing private keys, seed phrases, and conducting transactions on blockchain networks.

Choose a Custodial Wallet If:

  • User-Friendly Experience: You’re new to cryptocurrencies and prefer a more user-friendly and convenient experience. Custodial wallets often have intuitive interfaces suitable for beginners.
  • Convenience and Accessibility: You value convenience and ease of use. Custodial wallets often offer integrated exchange services, making it straightforward to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies within the same platform.
  • Limited Responsibility: You want a wallet solution that requires less technical knowledge and responsibility for securing private keys. Custodial wallets handle security on your behalf.
  • Trading and Active Use: If you’re an active trader or frequently engage in transactions, custodial wallets might provide smoother and faster transaction experiences.


Crypto is a vast world and we are living in the crypto era. The peak is yet to come and so we should be ready for it. Even if you have nothing to do with crypto – we recommend you to have a bit if not all knowledge about it because you never know when you get to deal with it. Custodial & non-custodial wallets are just one kind – there are many other kinds of crypto wallets as well – about them, you can read here. Many exchanges and individual crypto ecosystems are offering their customised wallets with more advanced and user-beneficial features like the Funex wallet.

Your choice should align with your comfort level and goals. Many individuals use a combination of both types of wallets to take advantage of the strengths each offers. For larger amounts of cryptocurrencies, it’s generally recommended to use non-custodial wallets for long-term storage, while keeping smaller amounts on custodial wallets for day-to-day transactions. Always prioritize security by using reputable wallets and following best practices for backup and protection, regardless of the type you choose.


Q1. Can I switch from a custodial to a non-custodial wallet or vice versa?

Yes, you can switch between custodial and non-custodial wallets. However, the process might involve transferring your funds from one wallet to another, and you need to be cautious about potential fees and the security of your funds during the transfer. If you’re switching from a custodial to a non-custodial wallet, you’ll need to generate a new non-custodial wallet and transfer your assets there. If you’re switching from a non-custodial to a custodial wallet, you’ll need to create an account with the custodial platform and deposit your funds.

Q2. Which type of wallet is recommended for beginners?

For beginners, custodial wallets often offer a more user-friendly experience due to their simplified interfaces and integrated services. They can help you get started with cryptocurrency transactions without the need to manage private keys and seed phrases. However, as you become more comfortable with cryptocurrencies and learn about security practices, you might consider transitioning to a non-custodial wallet for greater control and security.

Q3. Can I use both types of wallets simultaneously?

Yes, you can use both types of wallets simultaneously. Many people use a combination of custodial and non-custodial wallets to cater to different needs. For example, you might use a custodial wallet for frequent transactions and a non-custodial wallet for long-term storage of larger amounts.

Q4. How do I choose the right wallet for my specific needs?

Choosing the right wallet depends on your priorities and use cases. If you’re looking for short-term trading, long-term holding, or a mix of both. If security is a top concern and you’re willing to take on the responsibility of managing private keys, a non-custodial wallet might be suitable. Look for reputable wallet options in each category. Read reviews, check their security features, and verify their track record. Consider using a combination of both wallet types. Keep smaller amounts in a custodial wallet for convenience and active use, and larger amounts in a non-custodial wallet for enhanced security.