I’ve been reading about how ownership and transactions work in crypto. What I understand is crypto currency, lets say BTC is accessed with a cryptographic key. Each blochain works differently, so you can’t access ether with the same cryptographic key as you use to access your btc.
But you can’t use your cryptographic key without an application which is designed to manipulate (send commands) to the cryptographic key. These apps are called wallets.
I’m not sure what is correct now, but is the key which is called the private key, a different key than the cryptographic key mentioned earlier? Does the wallet have its own key, and BTC have its own key?
The cryptograhic key is to access the BTC, while the private key is to access the wallet which stores the cryptograhic key(s)?
Lets make an example:
I have money on an exchange (custodial wallet).
I want to transfer it indirectly (ask exchange to transfer it) to my own non-custodial wallet.
So, first I have to create my wallet.
The wallet will give me a private key when I create it. I still have no currencies in the wallet. It is basically only a private key to nothing. The non-custodial wallet allows you to have multiple crypto currencies, so first I need to create a wallet inside my wallet for the currency I want. Is that technically correct (a wallet inside a wallet)?
The first wallet is just a private key used to access a cryptographic key for the bitcoin blockchain.
The first wallet can also create other cryptographic keys for other blockchains.
So now you have a private key (wallet) which cointains sub wallets (cryptographic keys) for different blockchains. And each of these cryptographic keys have an address, which is where I would tell the exchange to send my currency.
Wallets have a standard they should be built by. This ensures for example that the private key (the key to the wallet, not the keys to the currencies) is random, and if you wanted to change to a new wallet, you can enter the private key into the new wallet (different wallet provider) and it will work as it should, as long as the new wallet supports all the currencies you own.
But, how does the new wallet provider know what the cryptographic keys are for each of your currencies? Because when you created the wallet and received the private key, you hadn’t created the sub wallets yet.
I see many people writing that the wallet is only used to interact and access your currency, but the currency isn’t in the wallet. The wallet just allows you to access the currency.
I’ve also seen it written before that all the different blockchain currencies are part of the wallet private key. Meaning there are no sub cryptographic keys for each currency. It’s only the one and only private key for the wallet. That’s why you can easily change wallet provider/app.
But because every blockchain functions differently, how can only one private key aka cryptograhic key be used to access multiple currencies from different blockchains?