A ‘wallet’ is a core component of a blockchain/cryptocurrency system. RealT uses the Ethereum blockchain and Gnosis Chain to manage the accounting of the fractional ownership of the properties on its platform. Because we run on Ethereum and Gnosis Chain, our assets are stored in ‘Ethereum wallets’.
A ‘Public Key’ or ‘Public Address’ are also terms that are used to describe a ‘wallet’.
A wallet is composed of two parts: a ‘public address’ and a ‘private key’. A good metaphor for this is ‘a mailbox’ and ‘a mailbox key’. Anyone can drop anything in the mailbox, but only the owner of the private key can open it up and access it. The link between a ‘public’ and ‘private’ key is rooted in public-private key cryptography, and is what puts the ‘crypto’ in ‘cryptocurrency’.
In order to receive your purchased fractional shares of real estate, you will need an Ethereum wallet so that the assets can be delivered to you. There are many different wallets available, and each one manages your private key in different ways. Make sure you understand how each different solution manages private keys for you. A private key is very important! Any owner of the private key can access any of the funds that are stored it is associated wallet.