Understand ethereum Address is a hash of a public key. We still need to encrypt message with public key to be verified with private key.

What is the use of the Ethereum address in the first place?

3 Answers 3


At the first place it is used to specify it destination/receiving end.

This may clear more:

An Ethereum address represents an account. For external owned accounts, the address is derived as the last 20 bytes of the public key controlling the account, e.g., cd2a3d9f938e13cd947ec0i8um67fe734df8d8861. This is a hexadecimal format (base 16 notation), which is often indicated explicitly by prepending 0x to the address. Since each byte of the address is represented by 2 hex characters, a prefixed address is 42 characters long.


we use addresses in general for 2 reasons :

  • 1- addresses are shorter than public keys. a public key is 64 bytes(128 hex characters), whereas an address is 20 bytes only(40 characters ).
  • 2- addresses are hashes of the public key, therefore they provide more security even against quantum attacks.
  • What is meant by quantum attacks? How addresses can prevent such attacks?
    – Mohamed
    Commented Jul 8, 2019 at 5:24

We don't need to "encrypt" anything in ethereum. Public/Private keys are used for digital signatures. Transactions are signed with private key and verified with public key.

  • I am stumbled by this ‘encryption’ process - transactions are signed with private key. How soif I am writing a Solidity program for it?
    – Jules Lim
    Commented Oct 21, 2017 at 2:57

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