Monero Key Types

Monero is a unique asset with advanced privacy features. Unlike other assets, it has a few different key types that reinforce its privacy feature. Below we will go over everything that you need to know about Monero addresses and private keys.

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Monero Address

When sending Monero, the only thing necessary is the Monero address you will be sending to. Monero addresses are much longer than Bitcoin addresses. An address for Monero will have 95 characters and be prefixed with a 4. Unlike Bitcoin addresses that are hashed from a single key pair, Monero addresses are direct representations of the associated public keys. 

Payment ID

Some exchanges and services may require a payment id, which is similar to a memo that is used for XLM, XRP, or EOS on an exchange. This is for the purpose of identifying individual account holders if an exchange or service is using a central wallet(s) to receive deposits from multiple account holders or to credit a purchase made through a merchant.

Since you control your private keys in Exodus, there is no payment id required to receive deposits in your Exodus Monero wallet. If you are withdrawing Monero from Exodus, check whether the receiving address requires a payment id. You can read here how to enter the payment ID in Exodus.

Mnemonic Phrase

The Monero wallet has its own 25-word recovery phrase. Although your Exodus 12-word phrase will always be able to recover all of your assets, this 25-word phrase is specific to your Exodus XMR wallet should you wish to only move your Monero wallet someday. Due to Monero's privacy features, both the view key and spend key have their own private keys associated with each, hence your private spend key and private viewing key. In a mnemonic style set of keys, your private view key is derived from the private spend key. 

By storing the 25-word mnemonic key in a secure location, you have a backup of your private keys and all of your Monero.

Private View Key

Monero has two sets of private keys: Private view key and private spend key.

The private view key is required to view all transactions related to an address. The Monero blockchain data associated with your address is not publicly viewable. In order to view any information associated with a transaction of yours, the private view key is required.

Every Monero address has a private view key which can be shared at your discretion. By sharing a view key, you are allowing access to view every incoming transaction of the associated address. That being said, as of June 2017, outgoing transactions can no longer be reliably viewed on a Monero explorer. Hence, the total balance of a Monero address as shown via a view key cannot be relied upon to represent a total Monero balance.

Private Spend Key

The private spend key allows the spending of any Monero at an associated address. This key is used to sign Monero transactions. With the current deterministic key derivation method, the private spend key is what is derived from the 25-word Monero mnemonic phrase. Unlike a private view key, the private spend key should never be given out to anyone. If someone were to obtain your private spend key, they would then have access to spend any of the Monero associated with the address.

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