Cryptocurrency Keys

First a few definitions:

Cryptographic is an adjective form of cryptography.

Cryptography is the art of writing or solving codes.

A cryptocurrency (or crypto currency) is a medium of exchange using cryptography to secure the transactions and to control the creation of new units.

A key is a device that is used to operate a lock.  The key can help lock someone out of a room.  A digital key is similar in the fact that it can lock people out.

So if we put some of this together, we get cryptographic keys.

Security Tip: Cold storage means a device or drive that is not connected to the internet. Cold storage is secure because then it is almost impossible to remotely hack it, unless it is connected to a network. You would have to physically control the device or drive to hack or access it.

According to a page on the Microsoft website, "Cryptographic keys are central to cryptographic operations. Many cryptographic schemes consist of pairs of operations, such as encryption and decryption, or signing and verification. A key is a piece of variable data that is fed as input into a cryptographic algorithm to perform one such operation."

In cryptography, a key is a piece of information (a parameter) that determines the functional output of a cryptographic algorithm. For encryption algorithms, a key specifies the transformation of plaintext into ciphertext, and vice versa for decryption algorithms. Keys also specify transformations in other cryptographic algorithms, such as digital signature schemes and message authentication codes.

Keys are generated to be used with a given suite of algorithms, called a cryptosystem. Encryption algorithms which use the same key for both encryption and decryption are known as symmetric key algorithms. A newer class of "public key" cryptographic algorithms was invented in the 1970s. These asymmetric key algorithms use a pair of keys —or keypair— a public key and a private one. Public keys are used for encryption or signature verification; private ones decrypt and sign. The design is such that finding out the private key is extremely difficult, even if the corresponding public key is known. As that design involves lengthy computations, a keypair is often used to exchange an on-the-fly symmetric key, which will only be used for the current session. RSA and DSA are two popular public-key cryptosystems; DSA keys can only be used for signing and verifying, not for encryption.

What is the difference between a key and password?

For most computer security purposes and for most users, "key" is not synonymous with "password" (or "passphrase"), although a password can in fact be used as a key. The primary practical difference between keys and passwords is that the latter are intended to be generated, read, remembered, and reproduced by a human user (although nowadays the user may delegate those tasks to password management software). A key, by contrast, is intended for use by the software that is implementing the cryptographic algorithm, and so human readability etc. is not required.

A cryptographic key is a string of data that is used to lock or unlock cryptographic functions, including authentication, authorization and encryption. Cryptographic keys are grouped into cryptographic key types according to the functions they perform. 

Now that you know about keys, you may want a crypto wallet to keep your valuables safe.

Here are a few crypto currency master key security tips. 

1) Keep your master key safe.

2) Don't be reckless with your master key.

3) Don't publish your master key along with your balance of money when bragging to friends about how much money you made transacting with crypto currency.

4) More security tips coming soon.

What is the difference between public keys, private keys, and master keys?

Public Key Infrastructure

Private Keys

A key-agreement protocol is a protocol whereby two or more parties can agree on a key in such a way that both influence the outcome. If properly done, this precludes undesired third parties from forcing a key choice on the agreeing parties. Protocols that are useful in practice also do not reveal to any eavesdropping party what key has been agreed upon. Many key exchange systems have one party generate the key, and simply send that key to the other party -- the other party has no influence on the key. Using a key-agreement protocol avoids some of the key distribution problems associated with such systems. Protocols where both parties influence the final derived key are the only way to implement perfect forward secrecy.

You may also want to take a few moments to learn about crypto currency exchanges.

Deleting a key on purpose to make the data inaccessible is called crypto-shredding.

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