Talking about the importance of private key and mnemonic

Chapter 0 Introduction

The recent exchange of stolen events is really chilling, and how important it is to protect your own currency.

Chapter 1 Private Key

The private key represents your ownership of the currency. You can lose your mobile phone and computer, and you can also break the hardware wallet, but as long as you back up the private key, it will be fine, and the currency is still under your control. Import your private key into any easy wallet and you can use your currency again.

The private key of the Bitcoin private key is stored in the Bitcoin wallet. The wallet refers to the software started by the developer, including the node wallet, the light wallet, and the like. There are two types of wallets that are most commonly used.

The first type is called "non-deterministic wallet." The private keys stored in the non-deterministic wallet are generated independently from the random number. We flip the coin, the word counts up to 0, the flower counts up 1, and throws 256 times to get a private key. The private keys of all the bitcoin addresses in the wallet are obtained in a random manner, and the private keys are not associated with each other. Each address corresponds to a private key.

This is a bitcoin address:


Its corresponding private key (Base58 encoding) is as long as this:


A total of 52 characters. The private key corresponding to this type of wallet is usually between 48 and 53 characters.

This is the wallet design principle adopted in all early currencies. If you talk to someone about this private key format, the coin circle person will understand that you are an early player, not rich and expensive.

If you hold a lot of bitcoin in 2017 to 18 years, you will find that you can get a lot of fork coins. The most convenient way to get these forked coins is to import the private key of this "non-deterministic wallet" into the wallet of the forked coin.

The second type is called "certain wallet." The private key of this wallet is called a mnemonic. The mnemonic is randomly selected from a large number of words (5.27×10^39, the number is too horrible, can not be violently cracked) (usually 12, 18, 24, etc.). This mnemonic is a "seed." The private key corresponding to each address can be derived from this seed. So called a deterministic wallet.

This is a helper note for a deterministic wallet:

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This mnemonic can spawn many, many private keys and addresses. The private key derived from the mnemonic is the same as the private key of the "non-deterministic wallet" above.

In almost all currencies, the principle of a private key is similar. So you will find that some wallets are multi-currency wallets, and all currencies share a "seed mnemonic."

Nowadays, the light wallets in the mainstream market are more of a "certain wallet", which is a mnemonic. The complete node of each currency still defaults to a non-confirmed wallet.

Chapter 2 Backing up the private key

For "non-deterministic wallets," the best way to back up your private key is to back up the wallet.dat file in your wallet. Copy with a USB flash drive or the like. If you are concerned about the damage to the USB flash drive, you will need to copy the private key of the address with the currency.

Many early credit users actually use only one address. Use a wallet to generate a wallet, select an address, and copy the private key. Then buy the currency and go to this address.

Remember, for "non-deterministic wallets," the private key for each address is different. Be sure to back up all private keys with currency addresses.

Backing up the private key of the "certain wallet" is to copy the mnemonic. Just copy the mnemonic, and the private key corresponding to all the addresses is backed up. If your wallet is still a multi-currency wallet, the private keys for all the corresponding currencies are backed up.

The mnemonic is not case-sensitive, a total of 26 lowercase letters, plus a space. But the private key in the non-deterministic wallet is Base58 code, a total of 58 characters, containing 25 small letters (without lowercase l'哎喽'), 24 uppercase letters (without O and I'哎'), And 9 numbers (without 0).

Therefore, the mnemonic should be convenient, which also makes the light wallet developed by most companies are deterministic wallets.

Chapter 3 Conclusion

Protect your own private key, and no one can steal your money.

Author: Huang Shiliang

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