I am trying to understand the difference between these terms :

  • Wallet
  • private key
  • address

in the ethereum ecosystem, and who contains ( sort of one to many or one to one relationships between classes )


1 Answer 1

  • Private key - 256 random bits.
  • Public key - 512 bits derived from the private key using ECDSA algorithm.
  • Address / account - 160 last bits of the keccak hash of the public key.
  • Wallet - usually, software for managing accounts and interacting with the blockchain.

1 address normally1 corresponds to 1 public key and 1 known private key. A wallet can contain multiple addresses.

1 - as Lingmao Song noted in the comments, 1 address can correspond to multiple public keys and multiple private keys: Is each Ethereum address shared by (theoretically) 2 ** 96 private keys?. As lungj noted in the comments, addresses of contracts usually don't have known public/private keys: Where is the private key for a contract stored?


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