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What is a Private Key?

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Quick Answer

A Bitcoin private key is an alphanumeric password/string that is encoded in different formats according to the wallet in use. Private keys are used to make irreversible transactions that are guaranteed by mathematical signatures linked to every transaction. Your Bitcoin private key cannot be recovered in any way - if you lose it, your funds will be out of reach and lost forever.

A Bitcoin private key is an alphanumeric password/string that is encoded in different formats according to the wallet in use. A private key is used to make irreversible transactions that are guaranteed by mathematical signatures linked to every transaction. It can be represented as one of a few different forms, usually depicted as a series of randomly generated numbers and characters that variate in a number of digits, making it hard to crack.

All the formats below represent a bitcoin private key, even though they look very different from each other.

Format Example
Format Hex format Example 1E99423A4ED27608A15A2616A2B0E9E52CED330AC530EDCC32C8FFC6A526AEDD
Format WIF format Example 5J3mBbAH58CpQ3Y5RNJpUKPE62SQ5tfcvU2JpbnkeyhfsYB1Jcn
Format WIF-compressed formats Example KxFC1jmwwCoACiCAWZ3eXa96mBM6tb3TYzGmf6YwgdGWZgawvrtJ

Why should you keep your private key safe?

Your Bitcoin private key takes a central role in the ownership and control of your bitcoin wallet and the cryptocurrencies in it. While we are used to protecting our systems, assets and other information through a username and password, Bitcoin is secured through digital message signatures that are created through unique private keys. The private key should be closely guarded and kept confidential by its owner, since anyone who knows it could steal your assets. As the private key is stored offline most of the time, it should be backed up in a secure place, as it cannot be recovered in any way - if you lose your private key, your assets will be out of reach and lost forever.

Where to find the private key for your SpectroCoin wallet?

Because SpectroCoin is a cryptocurrency brokerage, it is not feasible to provide the private keys to individual wallet addresses. By doing so, it ensures the security of your assets and it also reduces the cost of sending cryptocurrencies to other SpectroCoin accounts.

As SpectroCoin provides bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies integration for businesses via the use of an API, merchants have the option to generate their Private and Public key pair. This option can be accessed after creating a new merchant project at “Account” - > “Merchant Projects”- > “Projects”, under the subsection “SpectroCoin API”. Make sure that you are in a private location and no one can see your screen, as your private key will be shown on a window from where it can be copied.

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