Antonopoulos to CZ: Stop mistaking wealth with wisdom or experience

Bitcoin educator raised his voice after CZ said 99% of people will lose the cryptocurrencies they safeguard themselves.

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For Bitcoin (BTC) educator Andreas Antonopoulos, knowledge is power and that’s why he’s raising his voice again, now that Binance CEO Changpeng Zhao (CZ) spoke out about the likelihood of users losing the cryptocurrencies they keep on their own.

The Binance founder said yesterday in a Twitter Space that “99% of people who self-custody their cryptocurrencies will end up losing them.”

CZ added that his company is “neutral” on whether users want to hold their cryptoassets themselves or, on the contrary, preferred to deposit their funds with an exchange. However, he made clear his view that self-custody is not something that will be implemented by the majority.

Most people will not do the proper safekeeping of their security keys. They will write it down on a piece of paper, someone else will see it and steal those funds. And also today, very fundamentally, if a person passes away, they won’t have a way for their family members to inherit their cryptocurrencies. Whereas [at Binance] we have a standard operating procedure [for that].

Changpeng Zhao, CEO of Binance during a Twitter Space.


These statements by CZ sparked criticism from Antonopoulos, who labeled the Binance executive’s words as “serious and irresponsible.”

“Stop mistaking wealth with wisdom or experience,” wrote the Bitcoin programmer and evangelist without mentioning names, but clearly in reference to what was said a few hours earlier by Changpeng Zhao.

Antonopoulos recalled that for several years he has been dedicated to teaching people about the concept of self-custody of bitcoin and other cryptoassets. He consistently mentions the well-known phrase in the ecosystem, “If it’s not your keys, it’s not your coins,” with which he stresses the importance of keeping the private key to your cryptocurrency wallet.

What the FTX collapse left behind

The importance of retaining the private key of cryptocurrency wallets to self-custody cryptocurrencies resurfaced in the ecosystem following the collapse of the FTX exchange on Nov. 11.

In fact, Antonopoulos recently mentioned this case on his Twitter, stressing that the real lesson FTX leaves is that people “cannot trust their money to any exchange or service provided by third parties.”

From his point of view what needs to happen is for users to withdraw their cryptocurrencies from exchanges once they trade on them.

Andreas is aware that many people find it difficult to set up a secure bitcoin wallet and therefore believes it is important to study to learn how to set up their own addresses and securely safeguard funds.

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