**Can Crypto Private Keys Be Guessed**?

Cryptocurrencies utilise two keys, a private key and public key.

The wallet address is derived from the public key.

A private key is used to verify that a public address belongs to the user, and should be either stored securely or accessed via a hard wallet ie Ledger Nano

In bitcoin and many other cryptocurrencies, the private key is a 256-bit number, however in most cases this number is represented in the form of a 64 digit hexadecimal number for simplicity. 256 bytes in hexadecimal is 32 bytes or 64 characters in the range 0 to F ie 0, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, A, B, C, D, E, F, 10 etc

**A private key is a long number formed from 256 bits. **

In computers, bits are digital switches and have two states – either on/off or 1 or 0, so each bit has a total of two values.

**So how easy is it to guess a private key?**

2 to the power of 256, written as 2^{256}, can be calculated by multiplying 2 by 2 by 2 etc 256 times ie 2x2x2x2x2x2x2xx2 etc 256 times

Half of 2^{256 }= 2^{255}, not as many people would guess to be 2^{128}

2^{256 = }10^{77 }approximately.

That’s 10 to the power of 77 – or 10 x 10 x 10 x 10 etc 77 times

**Just how big is this number?**

To give you an idea of how big 2^{256 }or 10^{77 }is – scientists estimate there to be approximately between 10^{78}and 10^{82 }atoms in the observable universe!

Therefore, the chance of guessing somebody’s private key are practically impossible even with the most advanced computers on earth today.

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