Everything you need to know about Steemit's Permission Keys; Posting,Owner,Active,Memo! Digital Passwords with Unique Functionality, that allows you to Securely connect your Steemit Account with Third-party ServicessteemCreated with Sketch.

in #steemit7 years ago (edited)

A Steemit Account will have 5 Unique Passwords Generated that are often referred to as ''Permission Keys🔑''. With a normal Steemit Account, you'll have access to 4 Permission Keys/Passwords whereas the ''Witness Key'' is used only by Steem Witnesses and is of no use for the typical user

Every Account will have unique set of 4 Permission Keys(Posting,Active,Owner,Memo), these get's generated when you sign up for a Steemit Account making each set of Key/Password unique from all others


In this Post we will cover all Permission keys except for the Witness Key, which is used for signing blocks

Finding Your Steemit Permission Keys

You don't have to get all technical to obtain or find your Permission Keys, Steemit is the platform that keeps your Permission Keys🔑 Secure, in a way; Steemit is your Modern day lock smith🔑 that forges you the Keys, some will more Important🔒 than others while other keys are meant to be shared to unlock other Services🔓

There are already, third-party services like Busy.org that use application like SteemConnect, to link your Steemit Account to their Social Network


Posting key

With your Steemit Posting Key, a user is authorized to use their Steemit account to post, comment, vote, and follow other accounts. Referred to as ''Posting'' Key/Password🎨, users can make write out post & comments via their Steemit user profile, while upvoting and follower other interesting Users

The Posting Key will restrict Users from moving any funds from your Account such as moving any assets from your wallet or engaging in internal Market to trade. Posting Key is restricted from changing Permission keys, making the ideal key to use with non-official Steemit Services

Owner key

This is the most important Permission key besides your Master Password, it gives full control over your Steem account. With the Owner key a user is allowed to everything a Posting Key can do such as being able to post, vote, comment & follower others.

With the Owner Key you can transfer any funds in your Account, Vote for Steem Witnesses, and granted full permission to change all keys, this includes the Owner Key itself🔓. This makes the Owner Key as important as your Master Password, so losing these 2 Keys/Passwords to hackers would allow someone to gain full control of your account, meaning that they can change everything in your account & restrict you from accessing your funds

Keep these 2 Password secure, but never using them online but instead keep them lock up in cold storage, by written them down on piece of paper that is kept by you. Owner key cannot be used to decrypt private messages/memos sent to you via Steemit, which only Memo Key can do.

Active key

The Active Key🔒 can perform almost all functions that the Owner Key can do with the account except for changing the Owner Key itself. However users change all other keys on an account, with the active key and it also can do everything Posting key is set to do

User can also transfer, trade the internal Market, move & control Funds and Vote for Witnesses.
Just like the Owner Key, it cannot decrypt private messages that are encrypted like Memo Key can

Memo key

The memo key is the only key is specifically used for Private Messaging, used to encrypt and decrypt private messages sent & received via your Steemit account. At this very moment this feature is still in the making, but in the foreseeable future it will allow users to make use of encrypted private communication 📨

This Permission Key does not have much purpose now, as it's soon thought to be used for communication, as there will be an interface for sending encrypted messages to other users via your standard public key cryptography

Passwords that Grant you Restricted Access to your Steemit Account

A Permission Key is not actually a Physical Forged Key which you would use to unlock your door but instead a digital code/numeric number which needs to typed out on a computer making it basically a password.

Hence the name ''Permission Keys'' are basically a set of digital codes that grant you access to your Steemit Account, each Key is slightly different from one another and can be used for a different purpose

Permission Key Comparison

PermissionPosting KeyActive KeyOwner KeyMemo Key
Transfer Funds,
Initiate Market Trades,
Change Permission Keys,
Vote For Witnesss
Power Down/Up🔒
Change the ''Owner Key''🔓
View Encrypted Messages 📨

The Master Key a.k.a Your Steemit Password

PermissionMaster Key; Steemit Log-In Password
Transfer Funds,
Initiate Market Trades,
Change Permission Keys,
Vote For Witnesss
Power Down/Up🔒
Change the ''Owner Key''🔓
View Encrypted Messages 📨

Your original log-in password for Steemit is referred to as the Master Password. With that Password you pretty much gain full control to your account

TIP: Did you know that you could use your Posting Key(Password) to sign into Steemit alongside your Username! You would be just allowed to Post, Comment, Upvote & Follow via your Steemit Account however it's much safer than using your Master Password to Sign in!

Many of us are exposed when browsing the Internet, online Security should be our highest priority especially when financial assets are involved, so using your Posting Keys on regular basis will likely reduce the event of someone obtaining your Master Password

According to Steemit co-founder Dan Larimer, if a user account is hacked, it can be recovered with any of the keys you have used over the last 30 days. To do this, you need a person who will be able to confirm your identity to the blockchain. As noted in the comments to the article, this concept “goes hand in hand with Steemit being a social network platform.”

When you use start using the other services linked to Steemit, make sure to always check what type of Password/Key they are requesting for, it's best to only give out your Posting Key Only, this will allow other application to interact with your Steemit by granting them limited access. User can enjoy most basic access to Steemit, enough to partake in Voting, Posting, Commenting & allowed to follow other Users

Is this getting all too Complicated for you?

All you need to know is that your Steemit Log-in Password is the most important key which you need to keep safe, as money is on the line. As a beginner you shouldn't be using Permission Keys besides your Posting Key(Security Reason) for any other activity until you start using third-party services like Busy.org or Encrypted Communication(Memo Key)

Many applications will be build on top Steemit, so perhaps it's good to know how to stay safe online. Using your Permission Keys wisely is a good way to enjoy more Community Projects build on top of Steemit without ever compromising your account, Never Share your;

1) Steemit Log-in Password
2) Active Permission Key
3) Owner Key

It's Just like how it is with Banking!

You will have a few unique special number:

  • Bank Account Number - The unique Account number which your Name is registered under the Bank system
  • Credit Card Number - Usually 16 Digit Code used specifically to identify,initiates access & links to your Bank Account
  • CVC Card Credit Number - 3 Digit Code only printed at back of your Credit Card, not to be shared with anyone
  • Online Banking Account Log-in Password/Username
  • TAC Codes send to your Phone for Verification Purposes
  • SWIFT Codes for International Transfer

With Steemit, you only have to worry about 4 Keys or Passwords which are unique to every Account and not to forget the most important code your Account Password!

Your Original log-in password for Steemit is referred to as the Master Password. With that Password you pretty much gain full control to your account due that fact that your entitled to make any changes as the admin, so losing your password means you lose control of your account

Your Permission Keys

All the Permission Keys are to be found in your Steemit Wallet Page, keep in mind that you cannot view other Users Permission Keys, so only your account will reveal the Keys/Passwords that are important to you, this means you need to be logged in your Steemit Account for Keys/Passwords to be revealed

You can find all the Permission Keys in your Wallet, it will look something like this

Since Money is involved, Security is our number One Priority, no Financial System can exist in today's modern era without the need of a highly sophisticated security system in place. Steemit use of ''Permission Keys'' offer some sort of safety barrier for users who are know how to make proper use of them,like by using your Posting key to log-in to Steemit instead of Master Password if you're planning to just browse use Steemit for fun

The 5 Steemit Keys Summary

Posting: Online key that can only vote and post content, less secure but good for saved logins
Owner: Master key that can do everything, meant for cold storage
Active: Online key that can do everything except change owner key
Memo: Memo Key used for deriving shared secrets to encrypt private communication with
Witness: Witness key is used for signing blocks

Watch this Educational Video


A User's Guide to the Different Steem Keys or Passwords
How to login with your posting key (and why this is important)
Your Steem account is worth money! How to secure it with a new owner key to keep it yours forever

Here are some other Guides you might find Interesting

😊 Ultimate Guide & Cheat-sheet for Smiley & Icon's, make use of the Thousands Emoticons recognized by Steemit's Raw HTML Editor

Tips on how to Edit & Customize Images via Steemit's Raw HTML Editor; Add Links, Source Reliable Image Hosting Services and Center Align Images

How to Construct a 2 or 3 Column Table using Steemit's Raw Markdown Editor! Tutorial and Codes for Beginners

How To Make Use of a Steemit Feature that allow's you to display content floating left & right and learn how to paragraph

Align Text, Images, Videos & GIF's to the Center of Post using Markdown Raw Editor

How to insert 2 Columns and edit Text Style with equivalent HTML tags using Steemit's Raw Markdown Editor


Doesn't this go well with the SteemVerify Logo? Anyways, if you spot an error in any of my Guides please feel free to correct me and also if there is anything you would like to see a Guide on, let me know! Dedicated young Steemian interested in getting Vested. Will write more Guides & Tutorials, Follow me for more 😎!


Just to be clear, the master key is the owner key, correct?

The owner key is the public key of the private master key :)

Thank you for posting this, very informative!

Yeah very informative i agree thank you

@steemitguide and @jerrybanfield important question:
If we use ACTIVE KEY, if someone gains the ACTIVE KEY password, they can transfer funds, correct? And gain access to wallet.
However, they will not be able to get full control of our account, correct? If someone does this we may loose some funds from STEEM , but not STEEM POWER, because we can gain access again with the MASTER PASSWORD or OWNER key, correct?
This will be very helpful to know.

Thanks in advance. @gold84

Technically, with Active Key you can transfer Funds & Power Down/Up. I would power up most of my funds or use the Saving Features. It's best to monitor account on the daily basis but you can technically change all your Keys if you will there has been unauthorized access to your Account. The only key you should be sharing is Private Key or Active Key (using backed services like SteemConnect)

Thanks for your reply @steemitguide !

I was wondering if you were able to check Chapter 9, of the full steemit guide I created.

Looking forward to your thoughts on that one when you get the chance.

Regards, @gold84

Hello..how to show the hidden active key please? I can't transfer steems as it want the hidden active key. It wont accept the owner key nor master key. Thanks!

Sorry i was away from Steemit for a while, i just tried it myself and used my Master Key, my first attempt it locked on and the buttonw will indicated ''Show Private Key'' after i keyed in Master Key, that's the Active Key that's hidden. By any chance do you use a Password keeper, or Google Auto-Suggestion Typing? It should work

Hi..is that similar to clipboard? in authenticating the transaction, it asked for login key which i used the master key to show the hidden active key..that didnt work.

Great guide and explanations. But I want to know how can I change the keys if there are no icons for "pencil". Thank you for your answer or links to this information.

I was going to make one guide in two parts. I guess I will just keep the part with more technical details about the crypto.

Hey there @steemitguide, do you work with @steemcenterwiki yet? It would be great to see some of your content be put to use on the wiki later on as well. =)

Wow. This is helpful but way over my head. I will have to take time with this and ask a friend to help me understand this. THANK YOU

Exactly what this community needs ;)

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