Cubist Launches ‘Non-custodial’ Web3 Private Key Manager

Blockworks exclusive: Cubist launch comes as Web2 and Web3 players alike parse best security practices for the crypto industry


a-image/Shutterstock, modified by Blockworks


Fresh off of locking down its $7 million seed round, Web3 infrastructure startup Cubist is deepening its own contribution to the crypto industry’s homegrown cross-chain security efforts. 

The San Diego-based firm hopes to combat Web3 vulnerabilities with its inaugural security solution, launched Tuesday.

Cubists’ offering is intended, in part, to capitalize on industry interest stemming from Ethereum’s long awaited Shapella upgrade, according to Chief Operating Officer Ann Stefan, also a co-founder.

The move is also designed, Stefan told Blockworks exclusively, to guard against unintentional errors that Web3 engineers introduce in coding tech stacks — the kind of errors that open up security vulnerabilities that leave dApp users vulnerable to exploits. That extends to token bridges connecting blockchain networks to Ethereum (ETH), she said. 

“Right now in Web3, engineers are having to think about the low-level bits and bytes of what they’re doing,” Stefan said in an interview. “They’re having to write a lot of low-level, error-prone, verbose code that spans the entire tech stack.” 

“So, there’s a couple of issues there. One is that you have to basically know everything to get anything done. And the second is that — just by the very nature of it — it’s prone to errors.”

Ann Stefan, Cubist co-founder/COO | Source: Cubist

Read more: Solving Web3’s Developer Problem: Web2 Remains Hesitant

The startup has partnered with fellow Web3 infrastructure company Ankr on the launch.  

“Really, where we’re coming [from] with this problem with Cubist is trying to abstract away much of that low-level detail, so that engineers can really focus on their product — and not have to try to be security experts and still be able to build secure products,” Stefan said. 

A statement from Cubist described the product as a “non-custodial key management platform” that is “designed to help infrastructure engineering teams secure and programmatically manage their private key.”

The crypto key management software is built so that “no one — including Cubist — can see, copy, or steal private user keys,” the company said in its statement. 

Cubist’s new key management software has already been “securing Ankr’s Ethereum validators, including the execution of safe withdrawals,” according to the release. 

Stanley Wu, Ankr’s co-founder and chief technology officer, said Cubist is “uniquely qualified to secure Ankr’s most critical workflows” when it comes to “Ethereum liquid staking.” 

Get the day’s top crypto news and insights delivered to your email every evening. Subscribe to Blockworks’ free newsletter now.

Want alpha sent directly to your inbox? Get degen trade ideas, governance updates, token performance, can’t-miss tweets and more from Blockworks Research’s Daily Debrief.

Can’t wait? Get our news the fastest way possible. Join us on Telegram and follow us on Google News.


upcoming event

MON - WED, MARCH 18 - 20, 2024

Digital Asset Summit (DAS) is returning March 2024. This year’s event will be held in our nation’s capital, where industry leaders, policymakers, and institutional experts will come together to discuss the latest developments and challenges in the ever-evolving world of cryptocurrency. […]

upcoming event

MON - WED, SEPT. 11 - 13, 2023

2022 was a meme.Skeptics danced, believers believed.Eventually, newcomers turned away, drained of liquidity and hope.Now, the tide is shifting and it’s time to rebuild. Permissionless II is the brainchild of Blockworks and Bankless. It’s not just a conference, but a call […]

recent research

The State of LSTFi


There are five broad use cases for LSTs that are gaining traction alongside growth in demand: leverage farming, liquidity providing, LST baskets, stablecoin collateral, and interest rate derivatives.



Alexander Vinnik’s lawyers aim to swap his freedom for detained WSJ reporter Evan Gershkovich


This latest update will introduce immutability to token metadata but ensure that its key characteristics are preserved, and it will also introduce network fees


In a blog post, partly directed at the forthcoming Eigenlayer protocol, the Ethereum co-founder cautions against overloading consensus


Hunting for victims in Ethereum’s public mempool, automated searchers prey on transactions as they are discovered in a practice called MEV


The crypto exchange that filed for bankruptcy last November would endure a long road to raise funds, clear debts and gain trust, law pros say


The broadcasters were discussing Hong Kong’s new regulations for virtual asset trading platforms set to go into effect June 1