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What is encryption and decryption in cryptography?

What is encryption and decryption in cryptography?


Cryptocurrency is a virtual currency used for trading, investing and making payments. This digital asset works on blockchain technology. Blockchains are linked together through a coded network called cryptography. And encryption and decryption are key elements of cryptography.

In this post, we dig into cryptography and the concept of encryption and decryption.

What is cryptography ?

Cryptography, in its essence, is a method or protocol developed to make the blockchain secure from tampering by a third party. Cryptography is a portmanteau of the Greek words 'cryptos' meaning hidden and 'graphion' meaning writing.

 

Thus, cryptography is a hidden piece of writing i.e. code used in blockchain technology.

The Role of Cryptography in Blockchain

Cryptography plays an important role in blockchain. Some of the major functions are listed below:

  • This creates a pair of public and private keys for a crypto investor. They use the public key to track the digital currency and the private key to invest and redeem the money. Without the keys, the user's account is not secure.
  • Each block in a cryptocurrency has a unique code, like a fingerprint that makes it nearly impossible to tamper with. This hash code is generated using cryptography.
  • User's digital wallets are protected using cryptographic codes.

How is encryption and decryption used in cryptography 

Encryption is the process of converting plain text into a coded cipher text that is unreadable to all except the sender (the keyholder).

Alternatively, decryption is the process of converting the coded ciphertext into readable text for the receiver.

These two elements ensure that the cryptographic algorithm is safe for all users to trade. This gives the blockchain an avalanche effect, which means that the slightest change in data can significantly affect the overall output.

The encryption and decryption processes ensure the uniqueness of a blockchain in that each new input results in a new output. In addition, the process is very fast.

Thus, encryption and decryption are key elements of a cryptographic network and blockchain technology.

Difference Between Encryption and Decryption

encryptiondecryption
Encryption is the process of converting plain text into code.Decryption is the process of converting coded text back to plain text.
Encryption is on the sender's side.Encryption is done on the receiver side.
Its purpose is to convert a plaintext message into ciphertext.Its main purpose is to convert ciphertext into a plaintext message.
A message can be encrypted using either of two keys, public and private.A message can be decrypted using only the private key.

types of cryptography

There are three major ways of performing cryptographic algorithms. They are:

symmetric key cryptography

In this method only one of the two keys is used. This common key can be used for both encryption and decryption processes. However, this is a limitation for security as only one key is being used between the sender and the receiver.

Symmetric key cryptography is also called secret-key cryptography.

asymmetric key cryptography

This method uses both public and private keys for encryption and decryption respectively. Asymmetric key cryptography is what is used in blockchain transactions.

It is also called public-key cryptography.

hash function

The hash is the unique code on every block in the blockchain, like a fingerprint. This method of cryptography does not use any key. Instead, it uses ciphers, algorithms to encrypt and decrypt data, to generate a hash value from the plaintext.

The blockchain uses only asymmetric and hash function methods.

wrapping up

The main objective of blockchain technology is to make it secure and free from any form of tampering. Encryption and decryption algorithms help achieve this objective by making the transfer of information between the sender and the receiver completely anonymous.

Disclaimer: Angel One Limited does not endorse investing and trading in cryptocurrencies. This article is for education and information purposes only. Discuss with your investment advisor before making such risky calls.

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