Cryptography prior to the modern age was effectively synonymous with encryption, converting information from a readable state to unintelligible nonsense.

Modern cryptography is heavily based on mathematical theory and computer science practice; cryptographic algorithms are designed around computational hardness assumptions, making such algorithms hard to break in actual practice by any adversary. While it is theoretically possible to break into a well-designed system, it is infeasible in actual practice to do so.

When transmitting electronic data, the most common use of cryptography is to encrypt and decrypt email and other plain-text messages. The simplest method uses the symmetric or "secret key" system. Here, data is encrypted using a secret key, and then both the encoded message and secret key are sent to the recipient for decryption. The problem? If the message is intercepted, a third party has everything they need to decrypt and read the message. To address this issue, cryptologists devised the asymmetric or "public key" system (used by Yoroi wallet). In this case, every user has two keys: one public (wallet address) and one private(your secret phrase/words). Senders request the public key of their intended recipient, encrypt the message and send it along. When the message arrives, only the recipient's private key will decode it — meaning theft is of no use without the corresponding private key.