Self custody


In this guide we will go through step-by-step instructions on how to manage your Celo assets (CELO, cUSD, etc...) on your own without an intermediary.

NOTE When you decide to self-custody your assets, you gain full control over them. However, you also take on the full risk and responsibility for your own assets. Make sure you understand the risks and follow best account management and security practices to avoid theft, or accidental loss of your funds.

Step 1: Download Celo Terminal

Download latest Celo Terminal from:

Step 2: Create or import an account

Decide what type of an account you want to use:

  • If you have a Ledger Hardware wallet, you can use that to connect to Celo Terminal.

  • If you already have an existing account (for example through: Valora App), you can import it using its 24-word secret Mnemonic phrase.

  • Or, you can create a new local account that will be stored on your computer, encrypted by your password.

    • DO NOT FORGET THIS PASSWORD! Without this password, there is no way to decrypt your local accounts keys. Thus you might lose access to your accounts forever.

Ledger hardware wallet would be the recommended way. Hardware wallets provide a very strong last line of defense against most types of crypto theft or accidental loss. If you have a Ledger device, follow these instructions to install Celo Application on it (You only need to follow steps till Setting up the Celo app section, rest is not needed).

If you end up creating a new local account, make sure you either backup the whole accounts database to some place else, or just back up the secret mnemonic phrase of your newly created account to some place safe. If you somehow lose access to your local key, you will permanently lose funds kept in that account.

Step 3: Test sending & receiving CELO & cUSD

Use Send / Receive app to test out sending and receiving CELO or cUSD tokens to finalize the setup. It is recommended to always make small (i.e. <1 CELO) transfers at first to make sure everything is setup correctly.

Security recommendations

  • If you plan on holding non-trivial amount of crypto assets, invest in a hardware wallet.

  • Never share your 24-word mnemonic phrase or private-key string with anyone else under any circumstances.

  • Use strong, unique password in Celo Terminal to secure your locally stored accounts. Using strong password protects you even if your accounts database gets stolen somehow.

  • Keep backups of your locally stored accounts:

    • Option 1: Use a strong, unique password in Celo Terminal, and backup your accounts database to Dropbox or other similar service. Use 2FA (2 factor authorization) for the cloud service that you use for backups.

    • Option 2: Keep physical (i.e. written down on a piece of paper) backups of your mnemonic phrases somewhere safe.

  • Do not subscribe to Celo Terminal beta upgrades:

    • Beta versions always have higher chance to have bugs or unexpected issues. If security is your absolute highest priority, we recommend not installing the beta releases.

Advanced security

Use local blockchain client

By default, Celo Terminal connects to cLabs Forno node to interact with the Celo network. If you want to avoid any centralized dependency on cLabs, you can run your own local blockchain node and have Celo Terminal connect to that instead.

  • Click network indicator in top-left of Celo Terminal and point it to local node: (e.x. http://localhost:8545)

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