Following the collapse of FTX the discussion about trusting centralized organizations with crypto keys was brought back to the forefront. According to initial bankruptcy filings, several million customers still wait to reclaim between $1 billion and 10 billion dollars worth of crypto assets that were held in the Bahamas-based Exchange.

The collapse reminded consumers that keeping their cryptographic keys on their own computers or a hardware device not connected to the internet or even on a piece paper in a secure would save them from being burned by schemes such as FTX.

This is an excerpt from CoinDesk’s Consensus at Consensus report , which was the result of intimate and curated group discussions held during Consensus 2020.

Crypto purists argue that self custody is the only option, and that controlling one’s keys will avoid the dangers of centralization. Crypto users have noted that it is difficult to keep track of their keys, and there are no recovery mechanisms if they lose them.

In a closed-door discussion at Consensus2023, policymakers discussed how they can create guidelines that protect consumers without undermining or advancing the crypto ethos, which is to control your own assets. Participants came from different backgrounds, including technology, regulation and business.

The challenge is urgent. Take a look at the answers to a question asked to the Consensus audience. What percentage of users are able to store crypto key?

Thank you, Sam! Opinion

The electronic survey was completed by 169 participants. Of these, slightly over half (54%) said that less than 10 percent of crypto users are competent and confident in storing their keys.

The private discussion held at Consensus amongst four groups at roundtables was framed by this reality. Questions were raised about whether central institutions would always be the custodians of the industry.