Generally speaking, cryptocurrency wallets enable the sending and receiving of cryptocurrency quantities. Unlike physical wallets for carrying cash, cryptocurrency wallets don’t contain tokens directly inside of them; they merely provide a mechanism for managing them on a blockchain using credentials.
The Stacks Wallet specifically empowers you to manage your STX tokens on the Stacks blockchain, as those tokens are associated with a single publicly-known Stacks address and a single privately-held “Secret Key” (otherwise known as a “seed” or “mnemonic” phrase), which serves as your sole credential.
Your Stacks address is akin to a bank account number, in that it’s known and shared publicly so others can send STX tokens to you.
Conversely, your Secret Key is akin to a password, in that it should be kept completely private and used only to authenticate with trusted software like the Stacks Wallet so you can send STX to others and otherwise manage your own holdings. However, unlike a traditional password, no one can ever reset your Secret Key should it get lost. It’s absolutely vital that you secure your Secret Key since its lost will entail the lost of all associated STX tokens irreparably.
The Secret Key consists of 24 words separated by spaces. The words, spaces and their positions in the sequence are all critically important. Be sure to record them exactly as presented by the Stacks Wallet.
When sending STX from the Stacks Wallet, the software digitally signs a token transfer from your address to another then broadcasts it to the Stacks network. After the network has received and validated this transaction, tokens will be moved from your address to the specified destination address. The transaction will be permanently and irreversibly recorded on the Stacks blockchain.
Using the Stacks Wallet, you can:
Use the Stacks Wallet with a hardware wallet device raises the level of security by keeping your Secret Key away from your desktop computer at all times during initial authentication and transaction signing.
Please see this short video overview for a guide to the Stacks wallet for desktop.