Private keys play a very important role when it comes to the safety and usability of cryptocurrency transactions.
What is a private key?
A private key is an advanced form of cryptographic information that enables a user to access his cryptocurrency. The key, which is a random combination of letters and numbers, protects users from unauthorized access to their wallets or hacking attempts from third parties.
How are private keys used?
When an individual creates a new wallet for a cryptocurrency, he will receive a public key and a private key. While the first one is used to request and receive transactions from third parties, the second one is meant to be kept private and used only to access one’s funds or restore a lost wallet.
A private key looks much like a public key, except for its size, which tends to be longer:
In order to unlock the wallet with the public address seen on the left side, one needs to use the private key shown on the right side.