Private Key

A private key is a secret piece of data that proves your right to spend bitcoins from a specific wallet through a cryptographic signature. Your private key(s) are stored in your computer if you use a software wallet; they are stored on some remote servers if you use a web wallet. Private keys must never be revealed as they allow you to spend bitcoins for their respective Bitcoin wallet.

Reference:

https://bitcoin.org/en/vocabulary

A private key is a string of data that shows you have access to bitcoins in a specific wallet. Think of a private key like a password; private keys must never be revealed to anyone but you, as they allow you to spend the bitcoins from your bitcoin wallet through a cryptographic signature.

Reference:

https://support.blockchain.com/hc/en-us/articles/213276463-Bitcoin-terms-glossary

A secret piece of data that proves one’s right to spend bitcoins from a specific wallet through a cryptographic signature. It is a 256-bit number used in ECDSA algorithm to create transaction signatures to prove ownership of bitcoins. An alphanumeric string kept secret by the user and designed to sign a digital communication when hashed with a public key. In the case of Bitcoin, this string is a private key designed to work with a public key. The public key is a Bitcoin address. This unique identifier code is used as a digital signature during transactions. Compared to public keys, which are openly listed in directories of many cryptocurrency exchanges, private keys are intended to remain closely guarded. A private key is used to “sign” an approval of a transaction. Private keys are stored within wallet applications and are usually encrypted with a pass phrase. Private keys can be completely random or generated from a single secret number In the case of Bitcoin, a Bitcoin wallet and its private key(s) are linked by mathematics. When one’s Bitcoin software signs a transaction with the appropriate private key, the entire network can see that the signature matches the bitcoins being spent. However, there is no way for others to guess a private key. To maintain integrity and to protect against theft, a private key should never been revealed to others and should be treated as one’s credit card or Social Security numbers.

Reference:

Malone, J.A (2015). Glossary of Bitcoin Terms and Definitions. United States: Lulu Press, Inc

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