KeepKey, as well as other hardware wallets, are physical devices that mathematically generate and store your private keys. Your cryptocurrencies are not stored on your device. Rather, they live on their respective blockchain. For example, Bitcoin lives on the Bitcoin blockchain and Ethereum lives on the Ethereum blockchain.
Cryptocurrency Lives on the Blockchain, Not Your KeepKey
If you recall, all blockchains are public ledgers. This means that anyone at any time can see your funds. But don’t worry, they will only know the funds are yours if they know your public address. Assets such as Bitcoin and Litecoin allow you to generate a new receive address every time to increase anonymity. Here at KeepKey, we advise you use a new receive address as often as possible to be as secure as possible.
Private Keys and Public Addresses
You are still safe and secure even if another person knows your public addresses. Why? Because only the person with the corresponding private key can access and transfer funds, everyone else is an onlooker.
Private keys and public addresses are always working together to communicate with the blockchain. Private keys own every public address they generate. Anytime a user wants to transfer funds they will use the private key to unlock the public address, sign the transaction, and broadcast it to the blockchain.
Private Keys Protect Your Cryptocurrency
Without private keys, you can only be a spectator. Your private keys are very vulnerable and exposing them to malicious actors puts your funds at risk. You have taken the best first step by holding your private keys on a hardware wallet. But remember, while your KeepKey securely holds your private keys, all assets live on the blockchain.