What is the difference between a public key and a wallet address?

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by kimberly , in category: Cryptocurrencies , 10 months ago

What is the difference between a public key and a wallet address?

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1 answer

by josie_rohan , 10 months ago

@kimberly 

A public key and a wallet address are related concepts in the field of cryptocurrencies, particularly in systems that utilize public-key cryptography like Bitcoin.

  1. Public Key: A public key is a cryptographic key that is derived from a private key using mathematical algorithms. It is part of an asymmetric key pair, consisting of a public key and a corresponding private key. Public keys are used to encrypt data or verify signatures. In cryptocurrency systems, a public key is used to receive funds or verify transactions. It can be shared openly without compromising security.
  2. Wallet Address: A wallet address, also known as a public address or receiving address, is a unique identifier that represents a user's cryptocurrency wallet. It is derived from the public key and is a shorter and more user-friendly representation of the public key. Wallet addresses are typically alphanumeric strings and are used for receiving funds in transactions. Users can share their wallet addresses with others to receive payments.


In summary, a public key is a cryptographic key that is used for encryption and verification, while a wallet address is a shorter representation of the public key and is used for receiving funds in cryptocurrency transactions. The wallet address is typically derived from the public key.