I was reading about the ethereum address generation process. I am very confused that when Private key generated is processed under "Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm" , we get a public key which is a point on graph. We take x & y co-ordinate of that point. Below is a sample of such process

Image showing x and y co-ordinate with alphabets

I am not able to understand is how can we have alphabets in the co-ordinates. I think it should have only numbers. I know that public key is denoted in hexadecimal format but how come co-ordinates have alphabets in it . Can anyone please explain it to me.

Thank You

1 Answer 1


In computer science it is just a convenient way to express certain numbers in base 16.

For example


is equivalent to


In particular Ethereum, and other blockchains, use 256 bits numbers, so expressing them in base 16 make the length 64 hexadecimal characters.

For more details about elliptic curve used in blockchains take a look at this introductory article https://andrea.corbellini.name/2015/05/23/elliptic-curve-cryptography-finite-fields-and-discrete-logarithms/.

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