Not Your Keys Not Your Coins

‘Not Your Keys Not Your Coin’ (NYKNYC) is a popular mantra in the world of cryptocurrency that emphasizes the importance of owning and controlling your private keys. 

Private keys are a string of characters that act as passwords to access and transfer your cryptocurrency funds from one address to another.

You don’t control your private keys when you hold cryptocurrency on a centralized exchange or custodial wallet. 

Instead, the exchange or custodian holds them on your behalf. 

If the exchange or custodian is hacked, goes bankrupt, or decides to freeze your account, you may lose access to your cryptocurrency.

By owning your private keys and controlling your funds, you have complete control over your cryptocurrency and reduce the risk of losing your assets due to external factors. 

Therefore, the phrase “not your keys, not your coins” reminds us to always store our cryptocurrency in a secure wallet where we own and control our private keys.

Not Your Keys Not Your Coins

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The Origin of the Phrase 'Not Your Keys Not Your Coins'

The origin of the phrase “not your keys not your crypto” is not entirely clear, and it is difficult to attribute it to a single person. 

It has been used in various forms, including “not your keys, not your coins”, “not your keys, not your Bitcoin” or “not your keys, not your crypto.”

But while Andreas Antonopoulos did not coin the phrase “not your keys not your coins,” he has certainly played a significant role in popularizing it within the cryptocurrency community. 

Antonopoulos is a respected Bitcoin educator, author, and speaker and has been a vocal advocate for self-custody and secure cryptocurrency ownership.

Antonopoulos has used the phrase “not your keys, not your Bitcoin” in his talks, books, and other writings to emphasize the importance of owning one’s private keys and taking control of one’s digital assets.

 His work has helped to raise awareness of the risks associated with leaving cryptocurrency on centralized exchanges and has inspired many people to take steps to secure their private keys.

Maximizing Your Cryptocurrency Security: Understanding the Role of Private Keys

Cryptocurrency exchanges have become popular for people to buy and sell digital assets. However, they also pose significant risks to the security of your crypto assets.

When you leave your cryptocurrency on an exchange, you trust the exchange to keep your funds safe. 

Unfortunately, history has shown that this trust can be misplaced. Exchanges can be hacked, bankrupt, or become insolvent, leaving you at risk of losing your funds.

And if you have your crypto assets in a cryptocurrency exchange that goes bankrupt or insolvent, there is a high probability that you will lose part or all of your funds. This is because the exchange will halt all withdrawals due to a lack of liquidity. 

Private keys play a critical role in securing your cryptocurrency assets, and understanding how they work is essential for maximizing your digital security. 

Private keys are the passwords that allow you to access and control your digital assets on the blockchain. They are unique, complex, and generated using advanced cryptography.

Wallet private keys

Learn why your wallet's private keys are important.

While private keys provide a high level of security for your digital assets, they also come with a significant level of responsibility. 

If someone gains access to your private key, they can easily steal your cryptocurrency holdings. 

Therefore, it’s crucial to take the necessary steps to protect your private keys from scams or accidental loss.

Phishing scams

How to recognize a phishing attack and protect your assets.

Overall, understanding the role of private keys is essential for maximizing your cryptocurrency security. 

By taking the necessary steps to protect and secure your private keys, you can minimize the risks of theft or loss and enjoy peace of mind knowing that your digital assets are safe and secure.

The safest crypto wallet

Find out which crypto wallet is the safest for your specific needs.


The questions from other people are windows to knowledge that maybe we need, but we never consider we missed.

Do you own your Keys on Coinbase?

No, if you are using Coinbase to store your cryptocurrency, you do not own the private keys associated with your cryptocurrency. 

Instead, Coinbase owns and controls the private keys, and you are essentially storing your cryptocurrency with them.

Coinbase is a centralized exchange that provides a user-friendly platform for buying, selling, and storing various cryptocurrencies. 

While Coinbase takes security measures to protect user funds, it is still a third-party custodian of your cryptocurrency.

Do you own your Keys on Binance?

If you are using Binance to store your cryptocurrency, you do not have control over the private keys associated with your cryptocurrency, and therefore, you do not own your keys on Binance.

Binance is a centralized cryptocurrency exchange that provides users with a platform to buy, sell, and trade cryptocurrencies. 

Similar to Coinbase, Binance is a third-party custodian of your cryptocurrency, and you essentially store your cryptocurrency with them.

While Binance takes measures to secure user funds, it is crucial to understand that storing cryptocurrency on a centralized exchange means trusting the exchange to keep your funds safe. 

If the exchange were to experience a security breach, it could result in losing of your funds.

Do you own keys on a hardware wallet?

Yes, if you are using a hardware wallet to store your cryptocurrency, you own and control the private keys associated with your cryptocurrency. 

A hardware wallet is a type of cryptocurrency wallet that stores your private keys on a physical device, such as a USB drive. 

This means that your private keys are not stored on a server or online, but are physically kept in your possession.

By owning and controlling your private keys, you have full control over your cryptocurrency and are not reliant on a third-party custodian to store your funds. 

This reduces the risk of your cryptocurrency being lost or stolen due to a security breach on a centralized exchange or other custodial platform.

It’s important to note, however, that owning and controlling your private keys also means that you are solely responsible for the security and management of your cryptocurrency. 

This includes keeping your hardware wallet safe, protecting your recovery seed, and taking other necessary security precautions.

What Types of Cryptocurrency Wallets Allow You to Own and Control Your Private Keys?

You can own the private keys to your cryptocurrency on various types of cryptocurrency wallets. Here are a few examples:

– Hardware wallets: As mentioned earlier, hardware wallets are physical devices that store your private keys offline. 

Examples include Trezor, Ledger, and KeepKey.

Trezor hardware wallet

Cold wallet for desktops and mobile devices

Ledger hardware wallet

Cold wallet for desktops and mobile devices.

– Software wallets: Software wallets are applications you download and install on your computer or mobile device. These wallets can be further categorized into two types: desktop wallets and mobile wallets. 

Examples of software wallets include Exodus, Electrum, Mycelium, and Edge.


Hot wallets for desktops and mobile devices

Paper wallets: Paper wallets are essentially a printout of your public and private keys. They are created using an offline computer and are intended to be stored in a safe place. This option is considered to be one of the most secure forms of cryptocurrency storage, but only if you know very well how to safely create one.

Web-based wallets: While not recommended for long-term storage, some web-based wallets allow you to own and control your private keys.
Examples include MyEtherWallet and MetaMask.

Metamask crypto wallet

Hot wallet for browser extension and mobile devices

It’s important to note that each type of wallet has its advantages and disadvantages, and it’s essential to do your research and choose the option that best fits your needs and preferences. 

Additionally, it’s important to follow best practices for securing your cryptocurrency, such as using strong passwords, enabling two-factor authentication, and keeping your recovery seed phrase in a secure location.

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