With the rise of cryptocurrencies and the blockchain, it’s easy to get overwhelmed by all of the new terminology. One term that often gets confused is “public key” versus “private key”.
The public key is used to receive cryptocurrency from various sources while the private key is only known by the owner of the wallet. These keys are generated in pairs so they can be paired together securely to form a cryptosystem.
They represent a key aspect of electronic transaction security and are an essential component in securing online communications between two parties.
If you are new to cryptography terms, or want to clear up confusion about public key versus private key, here are 3 keys to understanding them.
- What is cryptography
Cryptography is used to protect electronic data, for example data on your computer or in an online database. A message that’s encrypted can only be understood by someone who has a key to decrypt it.
Encryption makes sure that your data is safe from hackers and people who shouldn’t have access. Most encryption today uses public-key cryptography.
Decrypting or encrypting your data is essentially what you are doing when you are moving cryptocurrencies in and out of wallets. Cryptography isn’t just used in digital currencies, though. It’s also used in military systems, government agencies, and even ecommerce websites for user authentication.
- How public and private keys work
- Public key
As their name suggests, public keys are made public for everyone to see and use.
A public key is basically a unique identifier for any wallet. It is also known as the “public address” (and sometimes referred to as the “receiver ID”). When you want to receive coins/tokens, you provide your public key, which can be shared with anyone.
For example, let’s say Bob wants to send Alice some money using Bitcoin. He would need to know Alice’s public key so he could send her the funds.
The public key may be widely distributed without compromising security as long as the corresponding private key is kept secret.
- Private key
Private keys are exactly what they sound like – they’re kept private! The private key is what gives you access and authorization to your Bitcoin or other cryptocurrency wallets. The private key is like your password to a bank account that allows you to send and receive money.
Private keys are never shared publicly since it would compromise the security of funds stored at addresses.
If you lose your private key, you will no longer be able to redeem the crypto contained in the device because the private key is what allows you to sign transactions.
- How to store your keys securely
Private keys are the password to your crypto assets. If you lose them, you lose access to your assets forever. That’s why it’s important to store them securely and back them up regularly.
There are two ways you can store your keys: in an online wallet or on a hardware wallet.
- Online wallet
You can use any of many free online services, such as Blockchain or Coinbase, which will generate a wallet for you. Online crypto wallets are an easy and convenient way to store digital assets. However, they do not offer the strongest security measures due to the nature of the internet.
People who use online crypto wallets end up losing money because cybercriminals find it easier to access online wallet accounts with weak passwords or no passwords at all. Online wallets also hold your private keys and if someone hacks into your account, they can easily transfer your funds out of it.
- Hardware wallet
Hardware wallets, also known as cold wallets, are physical devices that you can use to store your cryptocurrency off of an exchange.
Hardware wallets are secure because they’re not connected to the internet, so they’re safe from hacking attempts and malware attacks. They also aren’t vulnerable to phishing scams like software wallets, because there’s no way for a hacker to steal your wallet keys through them.
However, even though hardware wallets are more secure than software wallets, they aren’t as user friendly. Because of this, it can be difficult for users who aren’t tech savvy to use them effectively.
Also, if you ever forget your password, you will be locked out of your wallet. This is something that can happen with traditional hardware crypto wallets, but not with UKISS Hugware™.
Patented in more than 20 countries, UKISS Hugware™ is an all-encompassing unique pair of personal cryptographic key management devices. An authentication key (A-Key) safeguards your crypto assets’ private keys as well as your sensitive data and documents. While a hassle-free rescue-key (R-Key) recovers your password and private keys in a breeze.
This will ensure that users do not lose their crypto in the event where they are unable to access their original wallet, thereby eliminating the risk of loss and theft by malware or other means.
Kiss recovery phrases goodbye. Kiss human-error goodbye.
UKISS believes that every person deserves the peace of mind over their digital assets and personal data. Reinventing corporate digital security technology for the consumer market, we envision making top-notch digital security accessible for everyone.
The technology of UKISS Hugware™ is built based on a user-centric technological design, can be easily integrated with various digital wallet platforms, and has expanded capabilities for other types of digital security — all while putting complete control in the hands of the user.
If you’re looking for a way to store and manage your cryptocurrency that balances convenience with security, look no further than UKISS Hugware™.
Stay tuned for information about the launch date of our revolutionary crypto hardware wallet!