This article elaborately explains the bitcoin wallet XPub key and how to easily obtain it.
Over the years we have seen bitcoin growing stronger and stronger, lots of online store and services provided business now accept bitcoin as a means of payment. This is has posed a big fear of many monetary control institutions.
Bitcoin is a full digital decentralised currency, this means that it is not controlled by the banking system.
According to information, the value and fluctuations of bitcoin are fully controlled by its demands and supplies.
Some countries had made efforts to stop the use of bitcoin by its citizens, but that will not be so easy. The reason is that bitcoin is traded via electronic devices, this is why it’s called a cryptocurrency.
It’s almost impossible to find a bank that accepts bitcoin deposit, or gets involved in bitcoin exchange, or store bitcoin for its customers.
You may ask, why is this so?
The reason is simply that Bitcoin is fully decentralised, transactions made with bitcoin is untraceable.
Banks follow the KYC (know your customer) principles. Every legal bank ought to know the details of all its customers, and transactions made in the bank or the bank’s outlets are traceable.
Base on this, transactions on bitcoin are not traceable to a particular person or unit, it is not suitable to be part of the bank services.
The level of technology that goes along with the blockchain technology is that anyone who has a blockchain bitcoin wallet or account can do so much free of charge without the need of a third party.
To perform more with your bitcoin wallet the XPub will be necessary.
What is an XPub?
We all know that blockchain-based protocols are Public Key Cryptography. It is what helps to secure its accounts by providing you have a Private Key that can digitally and automatically sign a message corresponding to a Public Key.
The connection that can be utilised is that the Public Key which is just like your normal bank account number where someone can send funds and your Private Key is like a physical signature that can allow a check to pay money out of a bank account.
At first, when Bitcoin was first invented, the software would create a new public/private key pair each time you wanted to generate a bitcoin address for someone to send you some bitcoin (BTC). The process means that there is a wallet database that has the giant list of keys for every transaction that is performed in your wallet. This means that keeping track of all key pair can introduce a lot of room for different levels of errors.
I am not certain who originally proposed it, but some of the developers worked together to establish BIP32, which now defined how a single secret seed could be employed to produce child key pairs to be used for this same use case.
Instead of possessing a list of all the key pairs, you could just create a single seed value that is proficient of creating a tree of key pairs. This seed value is just a really, rare long random number that no one else could ever guess. Then, when an entire wallet required to be backed up, you could save off this one value and recreate all the generated key pairs when the wallet was renewed from backup.
On the diagram above, a single key called the “Master Node” can derive everything else.
Every generated key can define an XPub key and an XPriv key which can be used to generate the private and public keys and also derive any child keys.
XPub key can only generate child public keys while the XPriv key can generate any child private keys and public keys.
So now that we have a good understanding of what an XPub is and what it is used to accomplish, let us also see what the XPub looks like.
How To Obtain Your Bitcoin XPub Key
After a successful login into your blockchain wallet go to Settings >> Wallets & Addresses >> Manage >> More Options (drop-down) >> Select Show xPub.
It is that easy!
Note that the XPub key must start with xpub as shown on the key sample above.
The key contains total characters of over a hundred, and they include; capital letters, small letters, and numeric.