Well done! You have bought your first KGO and you may now be wondering what to do next. First thing to know is that owning KGO means they now need special attention from you in terms of security. Here is why and what that implies for you as a KGO holder.
The Promise of Cryptocurrency
Since the publication of the Bitcoin whitepaper in 2008 and the subsequent invention of blockchain technology by Satoshi Nakamoto, cryptocurrency has always been strongly linked to its revolutionary ideals. Bitcoin successfully created a digital currency that operates in a fully-decentralized manner, allowing users to send monetary value to each other through the Internet without the need for trusted intermediaries, and paved the way for other cryptos to develop.
As it has been discussed in more details in our “Starting With Crypto” series, digital currencies such as KGO are fundamentally different from fiat currencies because their common properties generally include:
In other words, the purpose of KGO is to empower you, to provide you with freedom and control over your assets. But this freedom comes at a cost: responsibilities.
Once you own KGO, you are in total control of your assets, no one else is. The moment you send KGO on the blockchain, there is no turning back. Whatever you do with your KGO, you are always the one in charge and this means you are the only one responsible for the decisions you make, and thus your KGO holdings will only be as safe as what you are willing to do to secure them.
Where Are My KGO tokens?
To keep your KGO safe, the first thing you need to ask yourself is where your KGO tokens are. To that question there can only be two answers, depending on where you bought them:
Yet, that is still only part of the answer. The next thing to understand is that buying cryptocurrency does not mean physically owning the coins. Digital money is not tangible like fiat currencies, it is fully digital. There is no physical entity representing your cryptos, it is not stored in any folder. Thus, a cryptocurrency wallet does not store any cryptos; it is a tool that allows you to interact with the blockchain network and only stores that thing which you really own and need to protect: a private key.
Public and Private Keys
To ensure the blockchain network is secure, cryptocurrencies are based on a double system of public key and private key.
Just like an email address or a bank account number such as IBAN or SWIFT, a public key is a public receiving address that allows you to receive cryptocurrency transactions. This address or public key takes the form of an alphanumeric character string, which can also be represented as a scannable QR code. For sending or receiving KGO tokens, that public key always includes the prefix “0x”.
Linked to your public key is your private key. A private key is like an actual key that unlocks things, it gives you the ability to unlock the right to access your assets. More precisely, it gives you the ability to prove ownership and spend the KGO associated with your public address. It can take many forms: a 256 character long binary code, a 64-digit hexadecimal code, a QR code, or a mnemonic phrase (a sequence of words).
Most importantly, a private key should remain private, and NEVER be shared with anyone. It is what protects you from theft and unauthorized access to your funds. It is a key you must protect. In that respect, the first thing you may want to do is ensure you effectively own the private keys associated with your KGO holdings, which is the topic of our next article.