Private and public keys
Private and public keys on ethereum blockchain, what are they? It’s very important to understand exactly what we mean for crypto keys in the field of blockchain matters and how they are used to work in the network. Keys are needed to own coins and sign transactions on the blockchain. Creating an ethereum account is creating a key pair: public key + private key (as always in cryptographic matters).
I propose to you, to make a test, using royal fork tools for this. Let’s make an experiment, in order to better understand which parts are in the game and how they work. Let’s suppose that my mnemonic seed passphrase is:
mixed rate inmate again kitchen toy they crush just thought noble north
therefore i will have a private key:
and a public key
ethereum address is therefore:
The address is specified when sending funds to that account, while the private key is necessary to sign transaction sent from the account.
The private key is the only which can sign operations in the account. therefore losing it means losing all funds associated with such a key. Private key is the most important thing of your ethereum access and having it means having access to the associated funds. You can use a software wallet, hardware wallet or a paper wallet for those purposes, but in any case you must keep safe the private key.
Check the private key
With a linux command line we can appreciate better how the private key is generated from the passphrase seed:
root@dev:~/# echo -n ‘mixed rate inmate again kitchen toy they crush just thought noble north’ | sha256sum
or you can install openssl on your linux console and launch the following command to get same result
root@dev:~/# echo -n “mixed rate inmate again kitchen toy they crush just thought noble north” | openssl dgst -sha256
As you can see i get back the correct private key as a sha256 sum and all the calculation is confirmed. You can enjoy yourself with other tests on the command line. Linux is always the best tool to work with for study and understanding and obviously also to develop.
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