How to transfer from trading account to private key wallet on blockchain

On the blockchain app I can only transfer one way from my trading account to my private key wallet and not vice versa. Private key wallet contains BTC I bought back in 2017 and trading is from more recent purchases. What happens if I wanted to sell the BTC in my private key wallet (dw I’m not going to but I just want to know)

In Australia btw so I think some functions of the app are different here.

Feel like I’m gonna get roasted for how little I know despite having made these purchases but any help would be incredible pls. Thank you!

What Is a Private Key?

A private key is a secret number that is used in cryptography, similar to a password. In cryptocurrency, private keys are also used to sign transactions and prove ownership of a blockchain address.

A private key is an integral aspect of bitcoin and altcoins, and its security makeup helps to protect a user from theft and unauthorized access to funds.

Key Takeaways

  • A private key is a secret number that is used in cryptography and cryptocurrency.
  • A private key is a large, randomly-generated number with hundreds of digits. For simplicity, they are usually represented as strings of alphanumeric characters.
  • A cryptocurrency wallet consists of a set of public addresses and private keys. Anyone can deposit cryptocurrency in a public address, but funds cannot be removed from an address without the corresponding private key.
  • Private keys represent final control and ownership of cryptocurrency. It is vitally important to prevent one’s private keys from being lost or compromised.


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Understanding Private Keys

Cryptocurrency is controlled through a set of digital keys and addresses, representing ownership and control of virtual tokens. Anyone can deposit bitcoin or other tokens in any public address. But even though a user has tokens deposited into their address, they won’t be able to withdraw them without the unique private key.

Private keys can take a few different forms. In ordinary, base-ten notation, a private key would be hundreds of digits long–so long that it would take years to crack a private key by brute force. For simplicity, private keys are usually expressed as a string of alphanumeric characters.

While it is trivially simple to create a public address from a private key, the reverse is almost impossible. This may change one day due to quantum computing.

The public key is created from the private key through a complicated mathematical algorithm. However, it is near impossible to reverse the process by generating a private key from a public key.A similar algorithm is then used to create a receiving address from the public key. Think of the address as a mailbox, and the private key as the key to the box.

The mail carrier, and anyone really, can insert letters and small packages through the opening in the mailbox. However, the only person that can retrieve the contents of the mailbox is the one who has the unique key. It is, therefore, important to keep the key safe because if it is stolen or lost, the mailbox can be compromised.

Digital Wallets

While private keys are essential to cryptocurrency, it is not necessary for a user to create or remember their own key pairs. Digital wallets are used to automatically create key pairs and store them safely. When a transaction is initiated, the wallet software creates a digital signature by processing the transaction with the private key. This upholds a secure system since the only way to generate a valid signature for any given transaction is to use the private key.

The signature is used to confirm that a transaction has come from a particular user, and ensures that the transaction cannot be changed once broadcasted. If the transaction gets altered, even slightly, the signature will be incorrect.

If a user loses their private key, they can no longer access the wallet to spend, withdraw, or transfer coins. It is, therefore, imperative to save the private key in a secure location. There are a number of ways that a digital wallet that contains a private key can be stored. Private keys can be stored on paper wallets, which are documents that have been printed with the private key and QR code on them so that they can easily be scanned when a transaction needs to be signed.

Private keys can be stored using a hardware wallet that uses smartcards or USB devices to generate and secure private keys offline.

The private keys can also be stored using a hardware wallet that uses smartcards or USB devices to generate and secure private keys offline. An offline software wallet could also be used to store private keys. This wallet has an offline partition for private keys and an online division that has the public keys stored. With an offline software wallet, a new transaction is moved offline to be signed digitally and then moved back online to be broadcasted to the cryptocurrency network.

These types of storage mentioned above are called cold storage, as private keys are stored offline. The other type of wallet, hot wallet, stores private keys on devices or systems that are connected to the internet. Examples of these wallets include desktop wallets (e.g., Electrum), mobile wallets (e.g., Breadwallet), and web-based wallets (e.g., Coinbase).

How Do Private Keys Work?

A private key is an extremely large number that is used in cryptography, similar to a password. Private keys are used to create digital signatures that can easily be verified, without revealing the private key. Private keys are also used in cryptocurrency transactions in order to show ownership of a blockchain address.

What Is the Best Way to Store Private Keys?

Private keys can be stored on computers or mobile phones, USB drives, a specialized hardware wallet, or even a piece of paper. The ideal form of storage will depend on how often you plan to use your cryptocurrency. A password-protected mobile phone or computer is the most convenient way to store cryptocurrency for everyday use. For long-term or “cold” storage, private keys should always be kept offline, ideally on devices that have never touched the internet. Even printers can be compromised. Hardware wallets can facilitate cold storage by signing transactions in a way that does not compromise the private keys.

Should You Trust a Custodial Wallet?

A custodial wallet is a third-party service that allows users to store cryptocurrency, similar to a bank. This allows users to skip over the complication of private key storage, relying instead on the technological expertise of the company offering the service. However, there are tradeoffs. Custodial wallets are often targets for hackers or phishing scams, and they can also be seized or frozen by legal authorities. The best solution is to determine what type of wallet fits your individual risk tolerance and technological skill.

To protect your crypto from hackers or any outside threat, it’s important to understand the type of wallet options available and how to secure your private keys.

According to the Federal Trade Commission, nearly $82 million was reported lost to crypto scams during the fourth quarter of 2020 and first quarter of 2021. That is more than 10 times the amount from the same period the year before, the FTC reported.

“Anybody, anytime, that gets a private key can move funds,” Parker Lewis, head of business development at bitcoin custody and loan firm Unchained Capital, tells CNBC Make It. “The only way that funds can be moved is if you have the private key, and that’s why securing private keys is so important.”

Private keys, or a string of letters and numbers similar to a password, are used to unlock access to a holder’s cryptocurrency. In turn, it’s extremely important that your private keys remain undisclosed to the public.

Though it isn’t exactly clear how it was done, experts say the FBI’s ability to retrieve the bitcoin ransom was due to the criminals’ storage of their private keys, rather than any vulnerability with the cryptocurrency itself.

But the news caused a stir of confusion online. Some speculated that bitcoin was “hacked” and following the news, the price of bitcoin seemed to slide due to concerns over security of the cryptocurrency.

In June, the Justice Department reported it successfully retrieved $2.3 million in bitcoin paid by Colonial Pipeline to ransomware hackers in April.

First, it’s important to understand the different types of wallets out there.

If you decide to buy cryptocurrency, you can use a non-custodial wallet or a custodial wallet to store your funds. It’s a choice that’s dependent on your personal preferences, both with pros and cons.

What’s a non-custodial wallet?

With a non-custodial, or self-custody, wallet, you are in control of your private keys and you own your cryptocurrency holdings.

When using a non-custodial wallet service, you’re fully responsible for remembering your private keys and maintaining security measures to protect your funds. If you forget your private keys, which is common, you will be unable to access your cryptocurrency ⁠— no exceptions.

“You have the responsibility to make sure you don’t lose your keys, and you’re really the only person with that responsibility,” says Nick Neuman, CEO of bitcoin security and self-custody company Casa.

That means you’re responsible for making sure you employ back-up mechanisms like cold wallets, including hardware wallets, which are physical devices that store your keys offline, Neuman says. Many hardware wallets look similar to a USB stick.

Though hardware wallets are widely considered to be the safest option to store private keys, there are still risks. It’s important to use a trusted hardware provider and secure your hardware wallet in a safe place, since a physical device can still be stolen or destroyed.

“If my bitcoin keys are somehow connected to the internet, then, as I’m sleeping, there could be a hacker that’s trying to get access to my keys,” Lewis says. That’s why hot wallets, or those connected to the internet, are considered to be much more risky than cold wallets.

To physically secure their keys, some investors use a hardware wallet, while others write their private keys on paper and lock it in a vault. Some also prefer non-custodial wallets that offer multisig, or multi-signature, protection.

Most bitcoin wallets require one private key to gain access and move cryptocurrency, but with multisig, multiple keys are required. Each key is held on different device, typically a mix of your phone and offline hardware wallets, that are stored in different locations.

“The main point is, no matter how you are backing it up, you need to find some way to back-up your key in case you lose it so that you don’t lose all your crypto from a mistake,” Neuman says.

What’s a custodial wallet?

With a custodial wallet service, a third party, such as exchanges like Coinbase, Kraken or Gemini, is in control of your private keys.

This means that if you buy cryptocurrency through an exchange, you are given a sort of “IOU” for the cryptocurrency, while the exchange owns the private keys and holds the cryptocurrency in their wallet.

For example, if you buy bitcoin on Coinbase, then “Coinbase owes you bitcoin until you decide to withdraw it,” Neuman says.

Although some in the bitcoin community like to say “not your keys, not your bitcoin,” many prefer a custodial wallet since you don’t need to worry about storing or forgetting your private keys and permanently losing funds.

If you decide to use an exchange, “spend the time to do the research, understand which exchanges have stood the test of time and have some sort of a regulatory framework around it,” says Philip Martin, chief security officer at Coinbase.

You should also understand the potential risks. With a custodial wallet, a hacker wouldn’t need your private keys to move funds from your account, since the exchange owns the keys, not you. That eliminates one wall of protection to your funds, Neuman says.

However, many exchanges invest heavily in security, and there are other ways to protect your account from being hacked individually, such as two-factor authentication.

Written by Jane