Private Keys for Cryptocurrency

Should you keep your business private?

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.

Online private keys verse offline private keys

An offline private key is a cryptographic key that is not stored on a network-connected medium. The key can be used to decrypt archive or backup data. The key can be the result of an offline private key protocol. In printed form the key can be a trusted paper key.

The offline private key protocol (OPKP) is a cryptographic protocol to prevent unauthorized access to back up or archive data. The protocol results in a public key that can be used to encrypt data and an offline private key that can later be used to decrypt that data. The protocol is based on three rules regarding the key.

An offline private key should:

  1. not be stored with the encrypted data (obviously).

  2. not be kept by the organisation that physically stores the encrypted data, to ensure privacy.

  3. not be stored at the same system as the original data, to avoid the possibility that theft of only the private key would give access to all data at the storage provider; and to avoid that when the key would be needed to restore a backup, the key would be lost together with the data loss that made the restore necessary in the first place.

  4. If their was a 4th rule to follow, it would be don't give your private key to "bad people".

You may want to also learn about Key Wrap constructions.

Cryptocurrency Keys

Public Cryptocurreny Keys

Ripple Banking

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