The wallet software is used to generate and store cryptographic keys. It performs various useful functions, such as receiving and sending Bitcoin, backing up keys, and keeping track of the balance available. Bitcoin client software usually offers both functionalities: Bitcoin client and wallet. On disk, the Bitcoin Core client wallets are stored as a
Berkeley DB file:
file wallet.dat wallet.dat: Berkeley DB (Btree, version 9, native byte-order)
Private keys are generated by randomly choosing a 256-bit number provided by the wallet software. The rules of generation are predefined and were discussed in Chapter 4, Public Key Cryptography. Private keys are used by wallets to sign the outgoing transactions. Wallets do not store any coins, and there is no concept of wallets storing balance or coins for a user. In fact, in the Bitcoin network, coins do not exist; instead, only transaction information is stored on the blockchain (more precisely, UTXO, unspent outputs...