What is public key cryptography and how does it relate to Bitcoin?

Hello Reader,

In this post we will take a closer look at the magic of cryptography and how it features in Bitcoin.

Bitcoin begins with public key cryptography

As I’ve touched on in my previous posts, the Bitcoin protocol is essentially a record of transactions between addresses. For simplicities sake you can think of an address as being akin to an online bank account. The Bitcoin ledger contains records of the coins that each address has sent and received.

But what actually is an address? Public key cryptography was published in the 1970s and provides a method for asynchronous encryption and decryption of information.

What on earth does that mean?

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