Every cryptocurrency wallet is made up of a private key, a public key, and a public address, all of which are randomized strings of letters and numbers that look like secret codes. While all of these have been previously introduced in our article on cryptocurrency wallets, the first bears a bit more explaining due to its importance.
What is a private key and what is it used for?
Overall, think of a private key as your secret password that proves you own a certain cryptocurrency wallet and the funds inside of it. With this in mind, it's important to never share your private key with anyone, under any circumstances.
Scammers tend to target new users who don't quite yet understand this and think of the private key more as an account number. Instead of doing this, treat it as even more private than your passport number or bank account password.
Should I ever reveal my private key?
No, not for any reason.
If, for example, you need to send or receive funds, remember that all you need to reveal is your public address, which acts as the equivalent of something like an IBAN number.
Your private key never needs to be disclosed when you want to do any sort of cryptocurrency transaction.
Furthermore, if anyone claims to be an NBX employee and asks for your private key, report the incident to our support team immediately. We will never, under any circumstances, ask for your private key.
If you follow this rule of thumb throughout your journey in crypto, then your private key will stay hidden and your cryptocurrency funds will stay safe. If, in fact, you need more of a refresher on how cryptocurrency wallets work in general, head here.