What is a Bitcoin Private Key, How to Use It, Keep it Safe!

bitcoin private key safety

What is Bitcoin? Bitcoin is a digital currency and a payment system that was introduced as an open source software by Satoshi Nakamoto who developed it. It utilizes peer to peer technology since money can be transferred from one individual to another directly without the involvement of a central bank. All payments are usually recorded on a public ledger. Individuals using software such as wallet software can get to send and receive bitcoins electronically through a PC, smartphone or web app.

What is a Bitcoin Private Key?

What is a bitcoin private key? Bitcoin private key is a secret number generated to allow individuals to spend their bitcoins. When users are issued with a bitcoin address, they are also issued with a bitcoin private key. It is usually a 256 bit number and since it is the golden ticket that allows an individual to spend his or her bitcoins, it needs to be kept safe and securely.

A private key can be used to accept, sell and donate bitcoin. Many charities are now accepting bitcoins.

How to Keep Bitcoin Private Key Safe?

One of the ways one can keep a bitcoin private key safely is by storing it on their computers in a disk that is encrypted. You can also print it on a piece of paper. This can be accomplished by using pywallet. Pywallet is a utility developed using python that allows users to extract private keys from their wallet files. The extracted files can then be printed on to a small piece of paper using a printer.

RELATED: What is a Bitcoin Wallet and How to Get One

What a Bitcoin Private Key is Used for?

In order to make a transaction, the user should have availability to a tool or program that allows importing of the private key. Some wallets may make a transaction without the need of importing the private key. Others will require the private key to be swept. When private keys pass through the procedure of sweeping, a transaction will be broadcast to another address and which will include the balance.

How to Import a Bitcoin Private Key?

How does one import a bitcoin private key? One of the methods includes the use of blockchain.info. This online tool assists users to import private keys easily. This is achieved through their wallet service which is referred to as a hybrid ewallet. Since it is an online tool, it doesn’t store your wallet information. This is kept on your browser as an encrypted file. You are required to issue your password or alias so as to access your account.

BIPS also allows the importation of private keys easily by simply allowing the user to either type the key manually from the paper wallet or scan it using a QR reader app through a smartphone’s camera. Other bitcoin private key import providers include Mycelium which provides an android app that can be downloaded from Google play. The app allows one to either scan the code from the paper wallet or by use of cold storage.

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Phakama
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Phakama

Hi … I’ve invested with some who just sent me watch only coins and said to me to use the coins I have to pay 0.61 BTC for private key .. please help

Benny Huon
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Benny Huon

Hi, last year I got in touch with a bitcoin miner using the s9antminer. He asked me to deposit funds on my blockchain wallet first and than I would get a lot of btc’s per day as income. I’m not going to tell the whole story because it’s getting to confused. So, I funded my blockchain account with some btc and this man told me I was going to make about €400/day and after mining for me for several weeks he told me I could withdraw the bitcoins from my account after paying him a 2% fee. I agreed on… Read more »

Billy
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Billy

So does this mean that my Blockchain private key (is this synonymous with my Wallet ID?) is accessible only on the device that I used to open my wallet/account? Meaning that if I didn’t memorize or write it down, and lose access through that device, that I will have lost it (some type of backup notwithstanding)? So if this is correct, do I take it that if the Blockchain website (in this ex.) gets hacked, my private key/Wallet ID will still be secure? or would hackers have a way to access that without having to hack my own personal device?… Read more »

Edward
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Edward

Hi, sounds like there is lots of support from the luno team, that’s very encouraging, since seen I haven’t started as yet! I’m still checking it out, need to know more, kind of!
Anyway thanks for the free information I browsed through, at least I now know more than I did before, shot.
Good.

Stuart Stone
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Stuart Stone

If I bought bitcoin in 2012 and all i have is my email address, PW and my private key…. how do i take that data and plug it into coinbase, etc, to get access to my funds?

mukesh
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mukesh

how i can generate private key ?

judy
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judy

Do I need a key to withdraw funds from blockchain wallet?
What is best method to withdraw other than to my bank account?

Rhonda
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Rhonda

how do i find my private key

Julie J
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Julie J

> A private key can be used to accept accept, sell and donate

Accept accept????

> Since the bitcoin private key is short, other can get to print it on a piece of paper.

“Other can get to”????

> An example of a bitcoin private key is 16qT2iLQ7d5MiEkKWYau6mfRNHUFZ3NzHz
> This is our bitcoin private key

You give out your private key to everyone?

Why is this article loaded with errors?

Heather Woodborne
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Heather Woodborne

Hi I have just opened a wallet on Luno. I am told I must wait a couple of days for confirmation. is that when I get given the key?