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Token custody options

If you want to buy, hold, or manage digital assets like cryptocurrency tokens, you need to have an account that provides custodial services or that offers a self-custody solution. Custodial services work much like a bank or brokerage that holds shares of stock or bonds on your behalf and manages the security of your holdings. With a self-custody solution, you have sole responsibility over your digital assets and over the management of your secret keys, without the need of a third party to act on your behalf.

The most common custody option for digital assets requires you to have at least one public and secret key pair to lock and unlock a digital wallet. Wallets give you complete control over your digital assets. However, you should be aware that there are many different kinds of wallets to choose from and that they vary in their security and ease of use.

For example, there are many desktop, mobile, web-based, and hardware wallets that you can choose from that provide different features, more or less security, and ease or difficulty of recovering your account, if you lose access. Before you decide on a specific wallet or custody solution, you should spend some time learning about the various options available and how they differ.

This guide provides a brief introduction to the concepts of hot wallets and cold storage as part of your custody strategy and the most common types of cold storage available. For additional information about wallets and other custody options, you should do your own research and be sure that you understand the ramifications of your choices thoroughly before proceeding.

Hot wallets

The most common type of custody is often referred to as a hot wallet. A hot wallet is a software application that connects to the internet to give you easy access to your account from a computer or a smart phone. Hot wallets store your secret keys online, so you can sign transactions from anywhere you can get an internet connection. However, because the wallet is connected to the internet, your secret keys are more vulnerable to attack and the account can be difficult to recover if the secret key is compromised.

If you select a software wallet the requires an internet connection to sign transactions, you should consider taking additional security measures, such as two-factor authentication or use of biometrics to secure access to your account.

For more information about the advantages and disadvantages of hot wallets, see the following resources:

Cold storage

Cold storage means that you are keeping secret keys stored offline in a device that is not connected to the internet. Cold storage is a popular solution for self-custody of digital assets because it makes it more difficult for your keys to be compromised if there is a software security breach or if your cold storage solution is lost or stolen.

For more information about approaches to cold storage and best practices for securing your secret keys, see the following additional resources:

Common cold storage options

The most common types of cold storage include the following:

  • Hardware wallets
  • Air-gapped computers
  • Paper wallets

Hardware wallets

A hardware wallet is a physical device that holds your digital assets. Secret keys are stored in a secure part of the device that does not come into contact with the internet. The partitioned storage on the physical device reduces the risks that are associated with devices connected to the internet. Because you are relying on a physical device, however, losing the device also means losing access to your digital assets.

In most cases, you can recover from the loss of a hardware wallet because the assets stored on hardware wallets are secured using a secret seed phrase. If you copy and secure the seed phrase—for example, by storing it in the form of a paper wallets—you can initialize a new device with the seed phrase and regain access to your digital assets.

For more information, see Crypto Wallets, Explained.

Air-gapped computers

An air-gapped computer is isolated from insecure networks that interact with the internet or unsecured local area networks in your home.

Converting a standard personal computer or similar device into an air-gapped computer might require you to physically remove network cards, disable certain software, or be prepared to completely wipe the machine before connecting it to the internet again.

Depending on how secure you want you air-gapped computer to be, one option is to use a bootable image that provides a minimal operating system to collect your digital assets then remove any artifacts from that process and reboot the computer normally after completing any transaction. For more information, see Extreme Security Measures for the Extra Paranoid and The Ultimate Defense: What Is an Air Gapped Computer?.

Paper wallets

A paper wallet is a piece of printed paper that contains your important key information (in some cases, even a QR code) and is used for facilitating digital asset transactions. Paper wallets are often not recommended because they are susceptible to degradation and could be insecure or lost easily.

As a backup to a hardware wallet, however, you might want to create a paper wallet and store it in a secure locations such as a safe deposit box.

For more information, see Paper wallets.

Wallets for Kadena transactions

The native cryptocurrency token for the Kadena network is KDA. To submit transactions on the Kadena public blockchain or test network, you must have an account that has funds in the form of KDA tokens. There are several wallet options that enable you to hold and transfer KDA, including the following:

  • Chainweaver is the official Kadena wallet for advanced users and smart contract developers. Chainweaver has an integrated signing API that enables you to sign transactions interactively from applications that implement the API. For more information, see Get started with Chainweaver.
  • Linx Wallet is a mobile wallet that provides a "chainless" user experience. For more information, see for download links or join the community on Discordor Telegram.
  • Koala Wallet is a mobile or web-based wallet that makes it easy to buy, send, receive, and safely store your Kadena. For more information, see for download links or send a request to Support.
  • Zelcore is a multi-network wallet for storing and trading tokens and has a signing API to interact with applications on the Kadena network. For more information, see and the Zelcore Guide.
  • eckoWallet is a Kadena-native web browser extension wallet, also available on iOS and Android that allows seamless interaction with all the applications on the Kadena network. For more information, see eckoWallet or download the wallet from the Chrome Web Store, Google Play for Android,or the Apple App Store for iOS
  • Ledger is a hard wallet device for storing cryptocurrencies. For more information, see Ledger and

Additional community resources

Additional tools

Keeping assets safe

It is ultimately your responsibility to research the custody solutions available to you and to keep your digital assets safe. With this in mind, you should note the following general recommendations:

  • Don't use a work computer to configure a digital asset storage solution. Your private personal data could be lost or compromised while hosted on a work computer, especially if that computer is routinely connected to the internet.

  • Don't leave your cold storage wallet or any private information in a public place where it could be compromised.

  • Don't lose your secret key. If lost, you will be permanently unable to access your digital assets.