Jake Bathman, developer at Tigthen Co, wrote a new blogpost explaining what Laravel's APP_KEY environment variable is used for.

In this post, we'll talk about what APP_KEY does and doesn't do, some common misconceptions about its relationship to user password hashing, and the simple steps to changing your APP_KEY safely without losing access to your data.

https://tighten.co/blog/app-key-and-you