This guide will give you a basic understanding on cryptocurrency wallets.
A cryptocurrency wallet is simply a digital wallet used to send, receive and store digital assets such as Ethereum, Bitcoin, and other crypto currencies. Each wallet is a software program that securely stores your public and private keys. It is these key pairs, or secure digital codes, that your wallet uses to interact with a blockchain to give you access to view your balance, send and receive cryptocurrency.
To make this easier to understand, here’s another example. Let’s compare a crypto wallet with something you probably use on a daily basis, your email.
Your wallet is like an email account for your cryptocurrency; you share your email address but not your password. Your public keys are like your email address, and private keys are similar to the password you use to login to your email. You give out your wallet address so that people can send you coins much like how you provide your email address to your contacts to send you messages.
When it comes to security however, you would never give out your email account password to anyone. Likewise, to keep your coins safe in your cryptocurrency wallet you never give out the private keys (or password/passphrase) to your crypto wallets.
To learn more more about crypto wallets please see our guide on various Types of Crypto Wallets or How to Send and Receive Crypto to Third Party Wallets.