What is Cryptography?
Essentially, cryptography is the process of securing information that can be transferred from one individual to another. This information is usually highly sensitive, so it is important to prevent unauthorized individuals from accessing it while still maintaining an ease of use for consumers. In other words, the information must be made impossible to decipher for hostile individuals with malicious intentions. The information must be able to complete its passage from one person to another without being modified. It is also necessary to confirm both the identity of the sender and the recipient. If all of these objectives are followed, a safe and valid exchange of information is ensured.
How Does Cryptography Relate to Cryptocurrency?
Bitcoin, Ethereum, and many other cryptocurrencies use public-key cryptography, a type of cryptography in which two keys are generated. One of those keys is private, known only by the owner of the cryptocurrency, and the other is known to the public. The public key serves as an address to make a transaction with. For example, the public key is similar to a home address in that if you were to send mail to somebody, you must know which address to send it to. Simply put, cryptocurrencies rely on cryptography to provide security in the transactions as well as protect the privacy of those making the transactions through methods such as public-key cryptography.