What is a Nostr Public Key?
The Nostr public key is a crucial component of your Nostr account, serving as a unique identifier for your account across all platforms powered by Nostr.
It is derived from your private key (?), forming a public/private key pair that forms the foundation of your Nostr account.
Understanding the Nostr Public Key
The public key is typically presented as a string with the prefix “npub1”. This key is visible to others and is used by others to identify your account. For instance, if you wish to follow someone on Nostr, you would require their public key. Similarly, if someone wants to follow you, they would need your public key. NIP-05 (?) introduced human readable identifiers, which you can buy for a few sats and connect to your public key. This way you will an easily readable user name like an email address.
To access your Nostr account using your public key, you need to choose a client (?) for the Nostr protocol, such as Snort (web), Damus (iOS) or Amethyst (Android). These clients generate the public key based on your private key, allowing you to utilise this key pair on any Nostr client to access your account. It’s important to remember that the client is simply an interface to view messages broadcasted on the Nostr protocol.
The Role of the Nostr Public Key in Authentication
To interact with the Nostr protocol effectively. You must create a cryptographic signature each time you perform an action. This signature acts as an authentication step, confirming your identity. Most Nostr clients strive to simplify and expedite this process, allowing you to save your private key in the client, which enables the client to sign on your behalf whenever necessary.
While your public key is visible to others, it is crucial to keep your private key secure and confidential. Unauthorised access to your private key can result in someone gaining control over your Nostr account. Therefore, it is essential to limit the exposure of your private key to apps and minimise access to it as much as possible.
In conclusion, the public key is an integral part of your Nostr account, serving as a unique identifier across all platforms powered by Nostr. It is derived from your private key and is used by others to identify your account. By understanding the role of the public key in authentication and following best practices to protect it, you can ensure the security of your Nostr account. Embrace the power of the Nostr public key and enjoy a secure and seamless experience on the Nostr protocol.