Questions » What is a public key?

What is a public key?

In the context of cryptocurrencies, a public key is a digital address that is used to receive cryptocurrency funds. Public keys are generated by cryptocurrency wallets and are typically long strings of alphanumeric characters.

When a user wants to receive cryptocurrency from another user, they provide the sender with their public key. The sender then uses the public key to create a transaction on the blockchain that transfers the desired amount of cryptocurrency to the recipient’s public key.

Public keys are a critical component of cryptocurrency security, as they allow users to receive funds without revealing their private keys. However, it is important to note that public keys alone do not provide access to cryptocurrency funds, and cannot be used to authorize transactions.

Instead, public keys are paired with private keys in a cryptographic system known as public key cryptography. This system ensures that only the owner of the private key can access and control the associated cryptocurrency funds, while allowing other users to send funds to the corresponding public key.