Not Your Keys, Not Your Coins

By Deborah Train, Exchange Desk Agent

One of the fundamental principles of Bitcoin, and the decentralized digital currency world, is that you must hold the keys to your own money – or, it’s not yours. Makes sense, doesn’t it? If you do not have true “custody” of your digital currency, then who does? And why? This is when it’s necessary to read the small print and educate yourself about what the terms and language of this new frontier of assets means in it’s purest context. Sharks are circling the tank, and you are fair bait – so, do your research. 

It isn’t for your benefit, I can assure you, when a company like Pay Pal steps into the arena, and provides you with what looks like a wonderful opportunity to start using and spending your crypto. What it does offer is ease and convenience, but you pay a price. The way they rope you in is that you must buy the currency on their platform AND you do not hold the keys – they do.Which means that they have total control and are holding your digital currency HOSTAGE.

A statement on their site: “You own the Cryptocurrency you buy on PayPal but will not be provided with a private key.” 

This is an oxymoron – IF YOU DO NOT HOLD THE KEYS, YOU DO NOT OWN YOUR CURRENCY. Period. I can not emphasize this principle more emphatically. No one should consider money held entirely by a third party as owned by them. The manipulation and abuse of many third party managers is one of the reasons why our economic system has become a corrupted, self-serving industry – every incremental penny that central banks and wall street can scrape off the top for themselves and their hedge fund managers is less that the client receives. As the government increases your taxes, disincentivizing you to remove your investment without dire consequences, many are held hostage by the sheer magnitude of penalties. 

So, my point is, let’s not step into the same scenario within the digital asset world. Take responsibility for your financial health by understanding what you read, listen to, and watch for educational purposes. It’s a lot to wrap your mind around, so don’t feel stupid if you don’t get it on the first go-round. Ask questions of people you trust. 

I converted my modest amount of fiat and started holding Bitcoin as an asset because it offered me sovereignty and, at least for now, a way to guard my assets against the centralized banking industry and third party corruption. My personal opinion is that you should not take the education that Pay Pal is offering as anything less than misleading – or, they themselves are misinformed about the very purpose of decentralized cryptocurrencies. Do not use Pay Pal to buy and hold Bitcoin. There are other exchanges – preferably a hard wallet – that you can hold it on until you want to move it. This offers you full control over your cryptocurrency. If you choose to use Pay Pal for retail, please, do your due diligence and be aware that what you invest is on their terms, not yours. 

There’s a lot to learn, I admit it, but we must use discretion when the large corporations, like Pay Pal, Master Card, and Visa start to hop into the pool. You may be enticed by their name recognition but they are not the leaders, nor are they who you should turn to for education in cryptocurrency investing or utility. 

The reason why I’m writing about this is because I don’t want millions of people to jump into the pool with sharks before they learn how to swim. Check everything out within the cryptocurrency communities, first. Be clear about what your fees are, what price you are actually paying, and if you can move it off from their platform and into a private wallet. There are custodial options, but, you must hold a set of keys to be in control of your assets. 

All exchanges are not the same. At LUXOLO we sell spot price – which means that you are getting your crypto at the price it was at when your wire clears, and that is that. We charge a structured, one time fee, very transparent, and offer you full custody, or Collaborative Custody, meaning that you always hold a set of your keys. The Collaborative Custody option offers an extra layer of security for those who are interested. This is Deborah, signing off and reminding you: Not Your Keys, Not Your Bitcoin! 

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