10 min. read • Published 2020-08-20
A public address consists of randomly generated numbers and letters that represent a unique number similar to a bank account number.
An address can be created for free and within a matter of seconds without needing a third party. You can freely share your public address with others. That way, people can send cryptocurrencies to your address.
Public keys are comparable to account numbers. They can be freely shared with everyone, and anyone can potentially send transactions to them.
Private keys, as their name suggests, should be kept private. Think of them as a verification code or PIN, which, together with its corresponding public key grants you access to the actual funds on the blockchain.
You should NEVER share your private keys with anyone. Store them on a paper or a hardware wallet.
Note: The keys are not stored on a blockchain. Instead, they can be kept in an encrypted file, which can be saved anywhere and stored offline.