I'm new at ethereum.

I understand that UserOwned Account have public and private keys. But I can't see when and where they are generated ?

I know the key-pair is generated offline, but when exactly ? and How ? I mean the blockchain uses the elliptic curve cryptographie, ECC 265, so, how does the user know that he has to generate a pair of keys for the 265 curve?

1 Answer 1


The account (private/public key) is generated offline by the user without an interaction with the network. Therefore you can not see the generation process in the blockchain. You can think of it as every account already being there and the user is picking the one by generating a large random number (the private key) and deriving the public key (ethereum address) from it.

  • Yes, I know that is generated offline, but when exactly ? and How ? I mean the blockchain uses ECC 265 encryption, so, how is it that the user knows how to generates the right pair for that elliptic curve ? Feb 20, 2018 at 20:42
  • He could generate the account via node's console for instance (-> web3.personal.newAccount()) or via any other library.
    – ivicaa
    Feb 20, 2018 at 20:44
  • i'm talking about a regular user, not a programmer Feb 20, 2018 at 20:47
  • 2
    Well, regular users will be using some kind of a wallet app, which again will use some kind of a library for generating the priv/pub key pair. And if it's for Ethereum, then it will know which ECC to use since it's a part of the Ethereum specification.
    – ivicaa
    Feb 20, 2018 at 20:59

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