Binance CEO Zhao Pushes for Crypto Self-Custody; Trust Wallet Token Soars 80% to Record

The CEO of leading cryptocurrency exchange Binance, Changpeng "CZ" Zhao, called on members of the crypto community to take personal control of their digital assets using Trust Wallet, sending the app's native token, TWT, to a record high.

"Self-custody is a fundamental human right," Zhao tweeted Sunday. "You are free to do it at any time. Just make sure you do it right."

Zhao's push for self-custody comes as investors rethink how to keep their assets safe in the wake of cryptocurrency exchange FTX's collapse and a subsequent hack that drained $600 million worth of coins from its wallets. Acquired by Binance in 2018, Trust Wallet is a decentralized hot wallet facilitating the storage of cryptocurrencies and non-fungible tokens. It is compatible with several blockchains.

Trust Wallet Token (TWT) is the wallet's official token, allowing holders to participate in decision-making related to app features and updates. The token has soared 80% in the past 24 hours to a record $2.3, according to data source Messari.

Zhao recommended investors start with small amounts and get comfortable with the technology to avoid mistakes that can be very costly. Zhao added that Trust Wallet facilitates the self-custody of crypto. "@TrustWallet your keys, your coins," Zhao said in another tweet.

"You have not bought bitcoin until you receive it in a wallet for which you control the private keys to," Blockware Solutions said in a market intelligence newsletter published Friday. "The repeated, reckless handling of user funds by exchanges is proof that you cannot trust that these institutions actually have the bitcoin you purchased."

"The 'not your keys, not your coins' mantra rings truer than ever," Ilan Solot, co-head of digital assets at London-based Marex Solutions, said in an email.

Bitcoin flows: exchange deposits and withdrawals. (Blockware Solutions)

Investors have been moving coins off exchanges since FTX went down. Early today, Binance saw a net outflow of more than $72 million, while Huobi and registered outflows of $12.7 million and $7.3 million, respectively, according to data tracked by blockchain analytics firm Nansen.

Data from Glassnode show bitcoin's exchange withdrawals have picked up recently, indicating increased investor preference for self-custody.