Addresses, Wallets & Keys
A Crypto address is a unique identifier that serves as a virtual location where the cryptocurrency can be sent. However, the Crypto address is not intended to be permanent, but just a token for use in a single transaction. Unlike a digital wallet, a Crypto address cannot hold a balance.
Unlike a normal wallet, which can hold actual cash, crypto wallets technically don’t store your crypto. Your holdings live on the blockchain.
A cryptocurrency wallet is a device, physical medium, program or a service which stores the public and/or private keys. They come in many forms, from hardware wallets like Ledger (which looks like a USB stick) to mobile apps like Metamask or Coinbase, which makes using crypto as easy as shopping with a credit card online.
Public & Private keys
The Public and Private keys prove your ownership of your digital money and allow you to make transactions. The keys are the tools required to ensure the security of the crypto economy.
A Public key is a cryptographic code that allows users to receive cryptocurrencies into their accounts.
It’s called a public key because it is meant to be shared publicly and enables you to receive funds.
A private key is a large (256 bits) secret number that allows Crypto to be unlocked and sent. Each private key creates a unique signature that authorises the transaction of Crypto for the owner.
It’s called a private key because it is meant to be kept private and not shown to other people.
If you lose your private keys, you lose access to your money. That’s why it’s important to keep your hardware Crypto Wallets safe or use trusted Wallet providers like Metamask or Coinbase.