Crypto ELI8: Bitcoin Wallets

Imagine this…

KidzKonnect is a new app. It lets kids from all over the world send messages to each other so they can learn more about different cultures and traditions. You can even connect with kids who speak different languages because the app automatically translates for you.

So, what is a bitcoin wallet?

In bitcoin, wallets are like a KidzKonnect account — the username and the password. Wallets allow you to send bitcoins with other people and tell you how many total bitcoins you have.

Just like the keys to your house, you should never share your private keys with anyone unless you absolutely trust them. Image credit: Maria Ziegler. Source:

KidzKonnect account = username + password

… similar to…..

bitcoin wallet = public address + private key

Of course, there are more details to fully understand bitcoin wallets. For example, how the wallet actually “stores” the bitcoins, how the private key is used to create the public address, how multiple private keys can be tied to a single wallet, and, of course, the different types of wallets. But that’s more like a 15-year-old level of understanding. For now, we’ll leave it at the basics illustrated in the KidzKonnect example.


A bitcoin wallet is a software tool that allows you to connect with the bitcoin network by sending bitcoins to others and telling you how many bitcoins you have.



Get the Medium app

A button that says 'Download on the App Store', and if clicked it will lead you to the iOS App store
A button that says 'Get it on, Google Play', and if clicked it will lead you to the Google Play store