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Self-custodial wallet apps: the future of payments?

Akshat Singh


What does the future of crypto-based payments look like? The answer is simple: self-custodial payment apps, just like Kaala. Self-custodial payment apps are self-owned and -controlled mobile wallets that give you full control over your private keys and all the funds within. That means that YOU and no other third party is in charge of managing all the assets you hold in your wallet. Quite simply: if they’re not your keys, then they aren’t your coins.

Understanding Kaala’s self-custodial wallets

Kaala is a global payments app that allows you to securely store money in a virtual wallet on your mobile phone. You can use Kaala to instantly send and receive funds to and from virtually anyone around the world at near-zero cost. Kaala is powered by the Celo Blockchain, and uses Celo Dollars (or cUSD) to store your balances.

While the app does set you up on the decentralized Celo blockchain, Kaala does not maintain or store your personal account access information and is unable to restore an account if a user loses their access information - so please be careful with your private keys!

In other words, your Kaala wallet is like any physical wallet: what you store in it and how you protect it is your responsibility. You cannot go back to the store if you lose it or if it gets stolen. Similarly, it is your responsibility to safeguard your wallet by creating backups and keeping your credentials safe.

What are the benefits of a self-custodial wallet?

For complete beginners in the crypto space, keeping your account secure and processing transactions may take some getting used to. However, self-custodial wallets do have their advantages over centralized exchanges or traditional banks:

  • Self-custodial wallets do not involve any third parties, such as banks:
    There are no governments or central authorities telling you how much money you can put in the wallet or what kind of transactions are allowed out of the wallet.
  • Creating and maintaining a self-custodial wallet is completely free:
    This is unlike traditional payment methods, like cheques and bank transfers, which have costs that must be factored into the price of goods or services.
  • You can access your wallet from anywhere to send instant transactions globally:
    Self-custodial wallets are accessible from any compatible device, and can be used as easily as any physical wallet. All you need is a mobile number to get started with Kaala!
  • Only you can access your funds; nobody else can access or limit your wallet:
    Self-custodial wallets don’t require you to share private keys with third parties (such as exchanges), making them less vulnerable to hacks or other malicious attacks.
  • You maintain complete control over your own privacy and transactions:
    Payments made through such self-custodial wallets are encrypted and do not include your personal information. No one can log into your wallet without you knowing it. 

The future of crypto payments with stablecoins

The demand for stablecoins, such as cUSD (Celo dollars), has been growing rapidly over the last few quarters. As more people get into cryptocurrencies and start using them more for payments, businesses and merchants may be looking forward to opening their checkout counters for everyday transactions involving stablecoins (a type of cryptocurrency that is pegged to a fiat currency, ex. 1 cUSD = 1 USD). This means that self-custodial wallets and apps, like Kaala, can only grow more popular and versatile in the near future.


There are many advantages that self-custodial wallets have over traditional payment apps. This includes not having to trust any third-party exchanges or entities with your private keys or personal data and having complete control over your funds wherever you are, at any given time, from any compatible mobile device. In addition, instant transaction fees are much lower because our system doesn’t rely on any intermediaries to process and record transactions between users.

If you don’t want to invest in or transact with highly-volatile cryptocurrencies, such as Bitcoin, but still want to explore the versatility and security of cryptocurrencies to send and receive money, then we highly recommend that you give Kaala a try.

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