April 3, 2024

Digital Asset Custody: Pros and Cons

The financial landscape is undergoing a significant transformation fuelled by the surging adoption of digital assets like cryptocurrencies. This presents a critical question for investors: how should institutions securely store and safeguard their valuable digital assets?
Digital Asset Custody: Pros and Cons

What is digital asset custody?

Digital asset custody is a method of storing and protecting digital assets on behalf of their owners. Unlike traditional financial assets, digital assets exist purely in digital form and are managed on decentralized networks such as blockchains. Thus, ensuring the security of these assets requires specialized technology, such as MPC-CMP technology, and expertise. In addition, by providing a secure framework for storing and protecting digital assets, digital asset custody mitigates risks associated with theft, hacking, and unauthorised access.  

Digital Asset Custody vs. Digital Asset Custodian

Digital asset custody encompasses two main approaches: self-custody and custodianship. Self-custody refers to the secure storage and management of digital assets by individuals or entities, involving the protection of cryptographic keys or access codes that grant ownership and control. On the other hand, custodianship entails delegating custody responsibilities to a specialised entity, known as a digital asset custodian. One of the primary advantages of custodianship is the transfer of liability and operational burdens from asset owners to the custodians. This shift offers notable advantages, including enhanced security measures, regulatory compliance, and streamlined operational management.  

Exploring the pros and cons of digital asset custodian

Pros of Digital Asset Custodians

Custodianship of digital assets offers several advantages and disadvantages, that should carefully be considered before making decisions. One of the key pros of custodianship is enhanced security and risk management. Digital asset custodians, with their specialised expertise and active insurance policies, provide a secure environment for storing digital assets, and mitigating the risk of loss due to theft, hacking, or operational errors. Moreover, custodians often undergo rigorous audits and obtain certifications such as ISO 27001 and SOC 2 Type 2 attestation, demonstrating their commitment to maintaining robust security and compliance measures.

Additionally, digital asset custodians can offer regulatory compliance, ensuring that client’s assets are fully segregated and managed according to relevant laws and standards, which can provide reassurance to investors and promote market integrity. The operational benefits can extend to efficiency and transparency in reporting.

Cons of Digital Asset Custodians

However, crypto custodians also present certain challenges and drawbacks. One notable con is the potential loss of control over assets. By entrusting their assets to a custodian, investors relinquish direct control, relying instead on the custodian’s policies and procedures for the management of private keys and subsequently, the assets under custody.  

Additionally, custodial services due to their value-added benefits and risk management mechanisms often come with higher fees compared to self-custody, which can add to the overall cost of digital asset management. Overall, while employing a qualified digital asset custodian offers benefits in terms of security and compliance, investors must weigh these advantages against potential drawbacks such as loss of control and regulatory uncertainty.  

Ultimately, the landscape of digital asset custody displays display both promising opportunities and significant considerations for investors navigating this rapidly evolving space. While crypto custodians offer enhanced security, regulatory compliance, and streamlined operational management, it also introduces challenges such as potential loss of control over assets, associated fees, and regulatory uncertainties. Therefore, investors must carefully evaluate the trade-offs between the benefits and drawbacks of custodianship to make informed decisions aligned with their risk tolerance, investment objectives, and regulatory requirements. As the digital asset ecosystem continues to mature, collaboration between custodians, regulators, and investors will be essential in fostering a secure, transparent, and thriving environment for digital asset custody.  

About Rakkar

Rakkar stands as Asia's leading qualified digital asset custodian, offering unparalleled asset security to financial institutions. Fortified by our strategic backing from SCB 10X, the investment arm of the Siam Commercial Bank, Rakkar Digital helms the industry’s leading bank-calibre security measures and compliance frameworks. Founded in 2022 and belting esteemed security excellence certifications such as ISO 27001 and SOC 2 Type 1 and Type 2, Rakkar Digital remains unwavering in its mission to offer the most secure, institutional-grade custodian services across Asia.

Disclaimer: Digital assets involve risks; investors should complete independent due diligence and research to carefully make investments according to their own risk profile.
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Date
May 27, 2024
Category
Institutions
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