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Blockchain Encryption

The security of the blockchain rests on encryption. It uses public key cryptography to authenticate the people who use it – to make sure they are who they say they are. You need a private key which you keep private (hence the name). This private key generates a public key which is your bitcoin address. You hand this out to anyone you want to do a transaction with – and they do the same in return, giving you their bitcoin address.

If someone wants to send you some bitcoins, they in effect state: “These coins should go to the person whose private key matches this address.” That means only you can spend the coins because your private key is needed to access the transaction.

This kind of encryption means that other people can verify that you are you without you having to disclose your private key.

Therefore nobody else can steal your bitcoin address – unless they manage to steal your private key along with it! Which is why you should always keep the private key secure.

Read more about public key cryptography here.

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