Addresses and Keys

Addresses and Keys


  • One of Ethereum’s foundational technologies is cryptography. There are two sorts of Accounts.
  • Externally owned Accounts (EOA)
  • Contract Account
  • Ownership of ether by EOA is established through
  • Digital private keys.
  • Ethereum addresses, and
  • Digital signatures
  • An externally owned account can send messages to other externally owned accounts OR to other contract accounts by creating and signing a transaction using its private key.
  • Unlikely externally owned accounts, contract accounts can’t initiate new transactions on their own.


  • Private keys aren’t used directly in the Ethereum system.
  • Account addresses are derived directly from private keys.
  • Private key uniquely determines one Ethereum address, also referred to as an account.
  • Access and control of funds are achieved with a digital signature.
  • Ethereum transactions require a legitimate digital signature to be included within the blockchain.
  • Anyone with a replica of a personal key has control of the corresponding account and the other it holds.
  • Contracts account aren’t backed by public-private key pairs.

Transactions in Ethereum

  • Transactions are signed messages originated by particularly owned accounts(EOA), transmitted by the Ethereum network, and recorded on the Ethereum blockchain.
  • Transactions are the sole things that will trigger a change of state or cause a contract to execute within the EVM.
  • Ethereum may be a singleton state machine, and transactions are what make that state machine “tick” changing its states.
  • Contracts don’t run on their own. Ethereum doesn’t run automatically. Everything starts with a transaction.

Transaction structure

  • None: A sequence number, issued by the originating EOA, used to prevent message replay. This number represents the number of transactions sent from the account’s address. 
  • Gas price: The prices of gas (in Wei) the originator is willing to pay. 
  • Gas limit: The maximum amount of gas the originator is willing to shop for this transaction. 
  • Recipient: The destination Ethereum address. 
  • Value: The amount of ether to send to the destination. 
  • Data: The variable-length binary data payload. 
  • v,r,s: The three components of an ECDSA digital signature of the originating EOA.
  • The transaction message structure is serialized using the Recursive Length Prefix(RLD) encoding scheme.
  • All numbers in Ethereum are encoded as big-end ion integers, of lengths that are multiples of 8 bits. 
  • The info is separated by a fixed length.No label is included for any field in transaction serialization. 
  • There’s no “from ” data within the address identifying the originator EOA. That is because the EOA’s public keys are often derived from the v,r,s components of the ECDSA signature. The address is often derived from the general public key.

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Mansoor Ahmed is Chemical Engineer, web developer, a writer currently living in Pakistan. My interests range from technology to web development. I am also interested in programming, writing, and reading.
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