The fundamental technical difference between your Private Key Wallet and your Trading Account is that the Private Key Wallet is non-custodial, while the Trading Account is custodial.
Your Blockchain.com’s Private Key Wallet is non-custodial. This means that Blockchain.com does not hold those balances for you. When you sign up for a Blockchain.com Wallet, you’re creating an encrypted file that contains the information you will use to access your non-custodial crypto balance: your seed (Secret Private Key Recovery Phrase), private keys, and cryptocurrency addresses. The file is encrypted with your password, which we never store or have access to. You are solely responsible for the ownership and control of your private keys. As long as you keep your password and private keys secure, only you can ever access your Private Key Wallet and its non-custodial balance.
All transactions sent to and from the Private Key Wallet occur on-chain. This means that they are broadcast to their respective currencies' blockchains, must be confirmed by the networks, are subject to network/transaction fees, and are subject to delays dependent on current network conditions.
Custodial Trading Account
Your Trading Account balance is custodial, which means that Blockchain.com securely stores that balance for you. The funds in your Trading Wallet are not backed up by your Wallet’s 12-word Secret Private Key Recovery Phrase; instead, the Trading Account is associated with your verified Blockchain.com identity profile. Not to worry, if you ever lose access to your Blockchain.com Wallet, details about how to easily and securely recover your Trading Account balance can be found here.
When Blockchain.com sends crypto to your Trading Account or you send crypto from your Trading Account to us, such as when buying or selling crypto, these transactions do not have to be sent on-chain, as they would if they were being sent to or from your Private Key Wallet. This means that these transactions can be faster, as they are not subject to cryptocurrency network congestion or confirmation times, and they do not incur network/transaction fees, as they do not have to be confirmed by the network/miners.
The Benefits of Each
If it is important to you to hold your crypto non-custodially and retain full and sole control of your private keys, your Private Key Wallet offers this benefit to you. When Swapping to and from your
Private Key Wallet, for instance, the Swap is settled on-chain, and your funds are sent from and received to your non-custodial balance.
Using your Trading Account provides the benefits of faster settlement times, lower fees, and better reliability, as orders are not subject to cryptocurrency network congestion, fee volatility, or potentially delays in confirmation. If faster settlement times and lower fees are important to you, you will love the benefits of using your Trading Account.