What is the difference between public and private keys?

Public keys are used to encrypt data and private keys are used to decrypt data.

A public key is a cryptographic key that is shared with the public to encrypt messages. It can be used in combination with a private key to secure communication. Private keys are used to decrypt the encrypted information that was sent using the corresponding public key.

Public keys are generally distributed through a public venue, such as the blockchain or a key distribution center. Private keys, on the other hand, must be kept secret and can only be accessed by their rightful owner.

The private key must remain secret; if someone else obtains it, they can use it to decrypt any messages encrypted with your public key. Conversely, if you possess a public key, you can use it to verify that a message was signed by the holder of the private key.