Back to glossary

Private Key

A private key is a secret code that is used to access and control a cryptocurrency. It is a string of numbers and letters that is generated by an algorithm and is unique to each individual address.

The private key is used to sign and authorize the transfer of crypto. It is crucial that this key is kept safe and secure, as anyone who has access to it can use it to control the funds. If a private key is lost or stolen, funds can be permanently lost, as it’s impossible to retrieve.

There are different ways to store a private key, such as in a software or hardware wallet, and also in paper form, which is called a paper wallet.