Private key

Private keys are often represented in Base58Check called a Bitcoin Secret (also known as Wallet Import Format or simply WIF), like Bitcoin Addresses.

Key privateKey = new Key(); // generate a random private key
BitcoinSecret mainNetPrivateKey = privateKey.GetBitcoinSecret(Network.Main); // generate our Bitcoin secret(also known as Wallet Import Format or simply WIF) from our private key for the mainnet
BitcoinSecret testNetPrivateKey = privateKey.GetBitcoinSecret(Network.TestNet); // generate our Bitcoin secret(also known as Wallet Import Format or simply WIF) from our private key for the testnet
Console.WriteLine(mainNetPrivateKey); // L5B67zvrndS5c71EjkrTJZ99UaoVbMUAK58GKdQUfYCpAa6jypvn
Console.WriteLine(testNetPrivateKey); // cVY5auviDh8LmYUW8AfafseD6p6uFoZrP7GjS3rzAerpRKE9Wmuz
bool WifIsBitcoinSecret = mainNetPrivateKey == privateKey.GetWif(Network.Main);
Console.WriteLine(WifIsBitcoinSecret); // True

Note that it is easy to go from BitcoinSecret to private Key. On the other hand, it is impossible to go from a Bitcoin Address to Public Key because the Bitcoin Address contains a hash of the Public Key, not the Public Key itself. Process this information by examining the similarities between these two codeblocks:

Key privateKey = new Key(); // generate a random private key
BitcoinSecret bitcoinSecret = privateKey.GetWif(Network.Main); // L5B67zvrndS5c71EjkrTJZ99UaoVbMUAK58GKdQUfYCpAa6jypvn
Key samePrivateKey = bitcoinSecret.PrivateKey;
Console.WriteLine(samePrivateKey == privateKey); // True
PubKey publicKey = privateKey.PubKey;
BitcoinPubKeyAddress bitcoinPublicKey = publicKey.GetAddress(Network.Main); // 1PUYsjwfNmX64wS368ZR5FMouTtUmvtmTY
//PubKey samePublicKey = bitcoinPublicKey.ItIsNotPossible;

Exercise:

  1. Generate a private key on the mainnet and note it.

  2. Get the corresponding address.

  3. Send bitcoins to it. As much as you cannot afford to lose, so it will keep you focused and motivated to get them back during the following lessons.