In the world of cryptocurrencies, when we talk about keys, we refer to both the public key and the private key which together form the components of a wallet that allows you to store your digital assets.
These two keys are necessary to be able to securely store cryptocurrency on a storage wallet or to have access to it to carry out transactions.
What is a public key?
The public key is, as the name suggests, accessible to everyone. It can be considered as an element that serves as an address to access a blockchain.
The public key is necessary when we want to send digital assets to an individual or when a person wishes to transfer cryptocurrency to us. It can be considered as the equivalent of the IBAN code of traditional banks in the world of crypto assets.
A public key is made up of many so-called hexadecimal characters, that is to say made up of numbers and letters ranging from A to F. In most cases, this public key is accompanied by a QR code which facilitates its transmission. to a third party.
What is a private key?
As the name suggests, the private key is not accessible to everyone. It is important to keep it secret, otherwise, it is possible for an individual in their possession to access our storage wallet, giving them the possibility of doing what they want with our digital assets.
The private key can be seen as a key that opens a door. In our case, it can therefore allow access to a storage portfolio for which we know the public key. Without the latter, it is impossible to access cryptocurrencies stored in a wallet.
The private key is also useful for carrying out transactions from its storage wallet to another individual or an exchange. Without owning it, it is not possible to sign the transaction, which prevents any operation from being carried out.
Is it mandatory to have these two keys?
If you want to transfer cryptocurrency to an individual, it is not necessary to have that person’s private key, only their public key is necessary. However, if we want to access the digital assets we have in our storage wallet, then it is necessary to have our private key.
These two keys are essential to have full access to your wallet and to be able to perform all the operations of your choice. In case of loss of the public key, it is possible to find it easily. However, if we lose our private key, it is impossible because there is not some kind of locksmith who is able to make us a copy or change the cylinder of the door. It is therefore important to keep a copy somewhere, if possible outside your computer to avoid piracy.
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However, there are many storage wallets that can take care of managing our private and public keys for us. In the event of loss of access to these wallets, it is possible to use a 12 or 24-word recovery sentence which allows access to be restored and our digital assets to be returned to us.
Conclusion on the key
The private key and the public key are the two components that provide access to a storage wallet. The one that is said to be public can be compared to the address of his home, while the one that is said to be private symbolizes the key that allows entry inside.
However, many solutions are available nowadays in order not to bother with this key system which is not always easy to manage. Indeed, we can connect to storage portfolios with a username and password. They then take care of managing access to our various keys without having to do anything in particular.