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How do the public and private keys look like?

By Iván Castelán

The power of cryptography

Do you remember that they are generated through certain mathematical procedures? Well, thanks to that, they don't look very friendly 😅

They have that appearance of random letters and numbers, and nothing could be further from the truth! Yes, they are created from a mathematical algorithm that ensures they are always linked and, more importantly, cannot be compromised, all thanks to cryptography.

And in the end, why do I have to use a public and private key? Well, the public key is your identity, your way of identifying yourself as a unique being on the blockchain. I haven't told you yet, but you may have already guessed it, the keys are IRREPLACEABLE. And to your public key, people can send money (cryptocurrencies), verifiable credentials can be generated that validate your identity and your interactions with society, such as driver's licenses, passports, national IDs, property titles, etc. Anything that identifies you and belongs to you, being unique and irreplaceable, can be directly linked to your public key. Now you see why it's more important not to lose your private key, right? Because if someone had control of your private key, they would also have control of all that information and assets that belong only to you!

And if we look at it with an example?

Now, we will see a little bit of the power of cryptography and a common use of these 2 keys:

In this case, someone wants to send an email to Maria

The sender has to encrypt the email that they will send to Maria with her public key

And even if everyone tries to see the content of the email, they won't be able to! Of course, they can see that an email was sent to María, but they will never, no matter how hard they try, be able to see the content of it because María is the only one with the private key capable of decrypting the message.

This asymmetric encryption method is widely used in many sectors of digital information, as it is a foolproof method of data protection.

And thus we ensure that the information we obtain or the goods we wish to exchange reach the right person and that no one else can have access to them, thanks to cryptography in blockchain!



Lucas Jolias, Director de OS City

Iván Castelán, Web 3 programmer at OS City

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