❓Answering Common Questions: What are all these keys in my wallet? Why so many? 🔑

in #steem-help6 years ago

Active, owner, memo, posting keys AND a password?!?!

I'm pretty sure all of you have seen the multitude of keys in your Steemit wallet, each a really long string of letters and numbers. Have you ever wondered what they're all for? Any ideas of the benefits?

Q: I've already got an insanely long password, why do I need all these keys too?

Since Steemit includes your wallet full of money, having extra caution is quite important. Especially when you mix in the inability to recover passwords! But at the same time, there needed to be a way for Steemit to interact with other sites (like streemian, exchanges, etc) without sacrificing out security.

This is where those 4 keys (Active, Posting, Owner and Memo) come into play. Technically there are 6 keys if counting both public and private keys for Posting and Memo. Each key allows for certain activities to be performed, but not others. So if one got compromised, it could have a limited effect and not just wipe out your wallet.

Q: Can't i just use my master password and forget about the keys?

First it's worth stating that your master password is the most important out of all of these. If you haven't already get it backed up somewhere, preferably offline. If this password is lost, there really aren't recovery options to get it back. Logging in with this gives you access to everything on your account!

If you're ever concerned about having your master password help in many different devices, you **can instead use your active key, which lets you can log in with the Active Key instead. This will let you post, vote and comment without having your most important password being used. If somebody were to get this active key, they wouldn't be able to lock you out from your account since it can't make those changes.

Q: What does the Owner Key do?

After the master password, the Owner Key is the next important. This key allows for just about anything including posting, voting, commenting to changing the actual keys for your account. The only thing this key can't do is deal with creating memos sometimes used when transferring from your Steemit Wallet.

Q: What does the Active Key do?

The active key does a lot more than you would think including posting, voting, commenting, trading on the internal market and voting for witnesses and even transferring money from your account. This gives you access to pretty much everything except changing the owner key.

Q: What does the Posting Key do?

This key allows you to post, comment, vote and follow other users. If you had to share a key, this would be one of them. It doesn't allow for changes to your account, meaning the 'bad guy' couldn't lock you out. Sometimes you'll come across 3rd party services/sites or a friend that asks for your Posting Key. While you always want to be careful putting any keys out there, this one is by far safer to share then the Master Password or Owner key.

Q: What does the Memo Key do?

The Memo Key is used handling private messages. This isn't used a ton right now since we don't have encrypted private messaging just yet. The main place I've come in contact with it is when transferring from Steem from poloniex (assume other exchanges too) over to Steemit. The public memo key goes into the memo field for that transaction.

Just because it can never be said enough...

Make sure your master password is backed up somewhere safe!

If you do give out a key, do NOT provide your master password or owner key, ever. If you're concerned about security on your phone, tablet, etc you can log in with your active or posting key instead.

Feel free to ask me anything. I'm here to Help!

Previous Helpful Posts for Newbies

❓Answering Common Questions: What should I write about? ✏️

❓Answering Common Questions: I'm getting frustrated...Are my Expectations too high? 🙍

❓Answering Common Questions: Why am I not getting votes? What can I do about it? 📷

❓Answering Common Questions: Why am I not getting votes? What can I do about it? 📷

❓Answering Common Questions: Where does the money come from? 💵

❓Answering Common Questions: Should I use 100% Steem Power or 50%/50% Payouts for my Post❓

❓Answering Common Questions: Reputation and Flags! What's this Number by my Name? #️⃣️

❓Answering Common Questions: Steem, Steem Power, Steem Dollars and What Should I do with them? 💲

What's this Slider Bar and Vote Power Percentage? What's the Difference?

Why Newbies Should be Excited about the next Hardfork

Answering Common Questions about Voting and Curation

Don't Miss the Show! Follow the Steemit Talk Podcast (STP) Account

New STP Website!!

Are you new to Steemit and Looking for Answers? - Try https://www.steemithelp.net.

Image Sources:


Are you able to tell us what the difference (where we would use) is between the various public and private keys?

Short answer:
There are times when I'd like to be able to login to steemit on a device that have more questionable security, like my cell phone. In this case, I could use my private posting key to sign in letting me post, vote, etc but without having a change of somebody being able to get into my other things...like my wallet.

Now there are times that I'm wanting to let somebody else use my posting key..such as a voting bot scenario (like streemian.) For that program to cast a vote for me..it'd need my posting key...but instead of giving my private one..I'd give them my public one.

I've also had to provide my public memo key when transferring from poloniex to here (since it leave the transfer info in the memo.) Along the same lines...it lets me still keep the private one with me (though I've not had a direct use for private memo key myself.)

Thank-you once again.

So I can put my memo key into the memo field on a transfer from an exchange to steemit and not losse my money to a hacker right?

Question: i want the steem i get from genesis mining to come straight into my steemit wallet.

On genesis mining it is asking for; steem wallet AND memo for steem wallet.

It is asking for two things.

What is my steemit wallet address to bring in funds

You're steemit wallet address is your user name. So in your case you'd just enter michaelwilshaw (most the time without the @ symbol.) For the memo, it'd be your public memo key, the one that starts with STM (under wallet --> permissions.)

Very good, I got there.

Good faq @sykochica

You have been PROMOTED FREE for using the "faq" TAG (hashtag)


I appreciate this! I was just looking at my keys and wondering why I need them all. This post came up when I said "whatever I'll figure it out later", and checked my feed. It was meant to be

Another one for my resteemed instructional & educational collection. :)

Very good info. I learned something here. Thanks, my friend!

Is there a master public key as well from which we can get to the four public keys, just like we can get from the master private key or password to the four private keys?

Thanks for sharing this! I didn't even know such keys existed haha

I just started on Steemit like 4 days ago, and I've been using my master password to sign-in every time, which I'll cease doing, thanks to your article. However, will I still get credit for the articles I've written, and the comments I've made while signed in with my master password, or do you only get credit when you're using your posting key?

A very informative article. Thanks for your work.

Is there no way to recover your password?
If the steemit account is made with other social media then there may be some recovery method, I don't know much but I heard it's possible!

Can we say that the Memo key serves as the "Public key" in case someone wants to transfer money to my steemit wallat from outside steemit?

Good to know. Its appreciated...thanks

I have tired to sign in from my phone with my password, not luck, with the extremely long master key, no luck. What do you do???

Coin Marketplace

STEEM 0.18
TRX 0.05
JST 0.023
BTC 17129.21
ETH 1286.86
USDT 1.00
SBD 2.17