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XPUB's, YPUB's, ZPUB's...

What is a XPUB?

An Extended Public Key - also known as an XPUB -  is a part of a bitcoin standard (BIP32) that can be thought of as a 'read only' view into a wallet. An XPUB allows full view to all transactions, addresses, and balances in a specific wallet, but doesn't allow spending of any kind. For spending, private keys are required, and the XPUB doesn't contain any private keys. 

What is a YPUB?

A YPUB is exactly like an XPUB except the 'Y' denotes with certainty that this particular extended public key belongs to a wallet that is also following the BIP49 bitcoin standard - which details a backwards compatible addressing scheme for segregated witnesses - the latest upgrade to the bitcoin network . 

What is a ZPUB?

A ZPUB is exactly like a YPUB in that it denotes an extended public key for a segregated witness enabled wallet following BIP49, however it also denotes that this particular wallet does not follow the backwards compatible addressing scheme, instead it follows a new scheme that has not received widespread adoption as of yet.

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