We usually run into the terms private and public keys when we talk or learn about cryptocurrency. Cryptocurrency wallets – you can protect investments and transfer funds through blockchain transactions or simply store tokens and coins in them – especially are combinations of public and private keys. Public and private keys design the foundation for public key cryptography (asymmetric cryptography). In public key cryptography, every public key matches to only one private key. Together, they are used to encrypt and decrypt messages. If you encode a message using a person’s public key, they can only decode it using their matching private key.

The public key, an alphanumeric identifier, specifies a location to which coins can be sent to the blockchain. So coins are usually just transferred from one address to another and never leave the blockchain.

While public keys are free to the public, the private key should never be revealed and kept secret. The private key can be used for any wallet to access cryptocurrency. This long hexadecimal code is used to decrypt and encrypt the data and is shared between the sender and receiver of encrypted data. As mentioned earlier, to be able to spend your money, the private key must match with the public one because each public key comes paired with a unique private key.

So all in all, the combination of private and public keys ensure the security of exchanged data, especially when it comes to transferring cryptocurrency.