WIF Private Key Wallet Import Format
A private key can be converted in to a "Wallet Import Format", which basically makes it easier to copy and move around.
private key = ef235aacf90d9f4aadd8c92e4b2562e1d9eb97f0df9ba3b508258739cb013db2 WIF private key = L5EZftvrYaSudiozVRzTqLcHLNDoVn7H5HSfM9BAN6tMJX8oTWz6
A WIF private key is just another way of representing your original private key. If you have a WIF private key, you can always convert it back in to its original format.
How to create a WIF private key.
A WIF private key is a standard private key, but with a few added extras:
- Version Byte prefix - Indicates which network the private key is to be used on.
- Compression Byte suffix (optional) - Indicates if the private key is used to create a compressed public key.
- Checksum - Useful for detecting errors/typos when you type out your private key.
This is all then converted to Base58, which shortens the entire thing and makes it easier to transcribe...
# Convert Private Key to WIF privatekey = "ef235aacf90d9f4aadd8c92e4b2562e1d9eb97f0df9ba3b508258739cb013db2" extended = "80" + privatekey + "01" extendedchecksum = extended + checksum(extended) wif = encode_base58(extendedchecksum) puts wif