Asymmetric encryption utilizes a public key to encrypt data and a corresponding private key to decrypt it, offering an extra layer of security compared to symmetric encryption. As opposed to symmetric encryption that relies on a single key for both encryption and decryption, asymmetric encryption employs separate keys for these processes. The public key can be freely distributed, allowing anyone to encrypt data that only the holder of the private key can decrypt. This makes asymmetric encryption particularly suitable for secure communication and digital signatures. The Bitcoin network relies on asymmetric encryption to ensure the confidentiality and integrity of transactions.