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Bitcoin security firm Casa plans to expand its services to Ethereum and Ethereum-based assets, the company announced Wednesday.
Casa, which offers user-friendly security infrastructure for maintaining self-custodial crypto wallets, will roll out Ethereum compatibility to members in January, according to a statement from the company.
The company, co-founded in 2018 by CEO Nick Neuman and noted Bitcoin advocate Jameson Lopp, previously offered security services exclusively for Bitcoin assets. Per Neuman, it was existing users’ overwhelming demand for Ethereum support that prompted led the company to expand its offerings.
“We've continued to have our members ask us for Ethereum support over the last two years, to a point where it became very clear to us that this was a huge need not just for our customers, but also for the broader community,” Neuman told Decrypt.
Initially, Casa leadership had its doubts about Ethereum’s staying power and centrality to the crypto ecosystem. But, Neuman conceded, a lot has changed since 2018.
“The Ethereum ecosystem has evolved significantly since then, and proven out some things that were questions for us early on,” Neuman said. “Everything from the trustworthiness of multisig smart contracts, which we are building on top of, to the number of people building in the ecosystem, to the size of the community.”
Casa offers a free-to-use Casa Wallet app for retail Bitcoin holders, and a new, revamped version of the app will debut in January with both Bitcoin and Ethereum compatibility. The firm also offers more advanced security services for paying customers with larger holdings, and will roll out additional membership tiers in 2023.
All plans offered by Casa are fundamentally premised on users retaining custody of their own crypto assets.
In the wake of the shocking collapse of crypto exchange FTX earlier this month, skepticism has grown of centralized crypto firms that act as traditional banking intermediaries for crypto assets. Companies like Casa say that the ability for any crypto holder to control their own money is fundamental to the concept and promise of crypto.is.
While Neuman is in no way pleased with the fact that billions of dollars worth of FTX users’ funds are currently trapped, or possibly forever lost, within the now-bankrupt company’s murky mechanisms, he does think the calamity could provide a silver lining for self-custody advocates.
“This is a bit of a validation of what we've been saying all along,” Neuman said. “The best way to secure your assets, to have real control over your digital wealth, is to hold the keys yourself.”
Neuman is hopeful that recent events will serve as a wakeup call for all crypto holders—tech-savvy and casual investors alike—to embrace the industry's earliest principle: decentralization. And he’s confident that the current dominance of once-FTX rivals like Coinbase and Binance will soon be a thing of the past.
“This concentration of customer base around centralized custodians will probably be a blip,” Neuman said. “Will they ever go away completely? No. But for the average person, I think most people will be holding most of their assets themselves.”