What is a bitcoin address and where to get it by creating a wallet
The popularity of Bitcoin continues to grow, which means that the number of those who want to buy this cryptocurrency is increasing. But the process is not to come to the bank and buy the right amount of Bitcoins in rubles or dollars - for this we need Bitcoin - address. Only in this case can you receive and transfer cryptocurrency to your wallet. Looking to get started with Bitcoin but still dont know where to start? Our article will help you!
What is a Bitcoin address
Bitcoin address , also called public address, receiving address is an account identifier that is unique and consists of 25-35 Latin characters and numbers. It can be both letters and numbers (except for 0, O, I). In addition, it may look like a QR code (simple graphical display) and can be read by a mobile device. It is completely confidential and does not contain information about the owner. There is an opportunity to get it for free. For this purpose, you can use, for example, the software of the Bitcoin system. Also for this, a Bitcoin address generator can be used, which randomly creates a Bitcoin address for crypto wallets.
The BTC address can be shared with the users from whom you want to receive Bitcoins. From there, you can also send this cryptocurrency, knowing the receiving address of another person. It can be compared to the number of a regular bank account with which you make transactions with your funds. The BTC address must be specified if you plan to buy Bitcoin from exchangers or if you want to withdraw coins from a cryptocurrency exchange.
Before getting an address, you need to create a wallet that will store BTC. One user can have an unlimited number of addresses. This increases the confidentiality of the payments he makes. A crypto address is required to carry out an operation to transfer funds, pay an invoice, and pay for an item. A new address is usually generated for each transaction with the BTC. Funds are credited or debited, most often, within an hour or two. At the same time, private keys are created, thanks to which it becomes possible to access the identifier, as well as to perform operations. This key pair is located in the wallet.dat file that the user can find on their PC. Along with this, the old BTC-address also remains valid.
Each bitcoin address is linked to a persons account in the system. This is necessary in order to establish belonging to a specific user during the operation. All that is needed in order to carry out any transaction with Bitcoin is to know your own Bitcoin address, as well as the recipients address. Sometimes it happens that a person forgets his own bitcoin address, while there is a certain number of coins in the wallet. If access is not restored, the funds cannot be returned and they will be lost forever.
Since the formation of a Bitcoin identifier is based on the random generation of numbers, there is a small possibility that two similar combinations of them will be created. This phenomenon is called "collision". But there is no need to worry - since the system is reliably protected, it will not be possible to do this on purpose. In this case, it will also not work to transfer bitcoins from another users wallet. A specific example can be given: wanting to specifically select a crypto-address that can cause a collision, you will spend a huge amount of time. This can take about 2 ^ 107 times longer than the formation of a new block. As long as there is reliable protection of signatures, as well as hashing algorithms (and this, most likely, will continue to be), as long as they continue to be cryptographically strong, it is much more correct to deal with generating and receiving a commission for the transfers made, and not looking for duplicate crypto addresses ...
You must enter the address accurately, taking into account the case of characters. Usually it is enough to simply copy the address of the bitcoin wallet and paste it using your PCs clipboard. If for some reason this is not possible, you can dial it in manual mode, carefully checking the correctness of the dialing.
The transaction contains the hash of the operation that was performed earlier. It also contains the recipients crypto-addresses. The operation is processed only when the signatures are verified, and the necessary information is sent to the Bitcoin network. In other words, a record is made that BTC is being transferred from one Bitcoin address to another. Permission to perform an operation is an electronic signature that is transmitted over the network. This information remains unencrypted.
What does a bitcoin address look like?
Bitcoin wallet address - account number, with which it becomes possible to perform transactions. It works in the same way as a bank card or account number, as well as any electronic wallet. It is an identifier containing alphanumeric characters. On average, their number is 33 characters. Here is an example of a possible crypto-address:
The number of such an account in the current version of the protocol must begin with 1 or 3. It consists of numbers, as well as letters of the Latin alphabet (upper and lower case). Using this identifier makes it possible to carry out transactions with BTC. It is very important not to make a mistake in any character when typing the address manually, otherwise the operation will not be carried out or the funds will go to another recipient by mistake. It will be impossible to return them. That is why it is better, if possible, to copy the BTC- address .
Technically, the cryptoaddress is a 160-bit hash from the ECDSA public key of the key pair. Using mathematical methods, the user has the ability to "sign" the data with his own secret key. At the same time, everyone who owns information about your public key can verify that the signature made is valid. Any new key pair that was generated corresponds to a specific address for receiving BTC. Remember to back up your wallet.dat file.
When making an operation to send coins to a specific bitcoin address, it is considered that a person has the necessary private key, which is stored in his wallet. When you create a new crypto-address, and then receive BTC for it, and then restore the wallet from the previous backup (without the generated address), the coins received at this address will be lost. In the event of a complete loss of the wallet by the user, the coins are lost and cannot be restored.
It can be concluded that a crypto wallet is a public address along with a private key. The latter should be kept by the user in a place inaccessible to other users. If third parties gain access to the Private Key, they will be able to take possession of all funds stored in the electronic wallet. As for the crypto-address, it can be communicated to people who will participate in a particular transaction. It can also be indicated wherever it is required - when making transfers from an exchange, in exchangers, etc.
The Bitcoin address contains a built-in verification code, so if an incorrect address is entered, the operation cannot be performed. Nevertheless, if the crypto-address turns out to be correctly formed, it simply does not have an owner (or the latter loses wallet.dat), the bitcoins transferred to this address will be lost. In other words, you can lose BTC only in a few cases:
- if they were transferred to an address that does not currently have an owner;
- the hard drive broke, which led to the loss of the wallet;
- in the case of creating a new BTC- address , receiving coins for it, resuming from the previous backup, when the personal Bitcoin wallet address has not yet been formed .
As for the symbols that make up the Bitcoin address, in existing versions it should consist exclusively of numbers and Latin letters, with the exception of 0, O, l (small L), and I (large i). Perhaps there will be some changes in future versions. On a test network, the name of the address should usually begin with the letter n or m. There is an important difference between the addresses of the test network and ordinary ones: the length of the latter is 25-34 characters, and the test ones are from 26 to 34 characters in length. Yet, for the most part, all addresses are 33 to 34 characters long. There is also the option of sending BTC directly to an IP address.
Why do you need a bitcoin address and their change
Any BTC address is unique and is not just a combination of letters and numbers. It is, in fact, a special designation designed to make your wallet recognizable. These addresses are especially effective if you plan to start collecting donations or are going to promote your own crowdfunding company. Users who can no longer be called newcomers to cryptocurrency transactions have probably noticed that some crypto addresses are an unusual combination of characters that does not look like a random combination. They can be compared to the unique license plates on a car. A striking example is some Iranian Bitcoin wallets with rather specific names that the United States government has blacklisted.
Another example is the case of the girls parents, named Isabella Bowles. When she was born, her family decided to start raising money to pay for her college studies. For this purpose, a special BTC-address was created, in which it is quite possible to guess the encrypted name of the baby. The first symbols of the wallet looked like "1ZAB5Xe". An ad with this address was published in the newspaper The Times, and anyone who wished could transfer their funds as a donation.
When using a crypto storage, an important detail must not be overlooked: it is quite possible that one wallet will contain several valid addresses. Consider an example with a regular bank card. Here, the account number is, in fact, the address to which funds are transferred (or money is sent from it). As for the CVV and PIN, they act as private keys. At the same time, there is such a concept as linking a card to a specific bank account. This is how several BTC addresses can be linked to one storage.
For example, it is possible to create multiple addresses in one Bitcoin Core wallet. One can be used to store significant amounts of funds on it (to make so-called "cold savings"), the other can be used to make payments. At the same time, if someone wants to check a BTC wallet at his address, he will only receive information about operations from the identifier that you provided. The data on how things are going with the balance on other addresses located inside the storage will not be available to him.
It follows that you, in your wallet, can have not one, but several BTC accounts, the balances of which will differ. This is somewhat reminiscent of storing money in the WebMoney payment system. There is one user identifier (WMID) here, but separate accounts for each currency can be opened. Moreover, all of these often have completely different balances. An important difference from the cryptocurrency Bitcoin wallet: the user can store only one currency at these addresses.
It is possible to change the address of the Bitcoin wallet in manual mode, or automatically. This is done to ensure the security of the transaction and to keep it as confidential as possible. In some crypto wallets, the change of address occurs without the participation of its owner; this is done with each new operation. Its worth noting that this is an added benefit.
For example, this is how the explanation of the address change process given by the developers of Bitcoin Core sounds. The crypto wallet they created is built on a special framework that uses a variety of techniques for generating and managing BTC addresses. The formation of new requisites is based on xPub (this is the name of the open extended component of the storage key). In the process, the wallet creates a new identifier, which the owner can receive by clicking on the "receive funds" button.
We can talk about the benefits of replacing addresses for the following reasons:
- confidentiality. Changing the crypto wallet address after each transaction is a great advantage as it helps to maintain confidentiality. If, during each new transaction, the user applies individual details, this will make it almost impossible for fraudsters or special agencies to track the wallet owner. In this case, additional protection appears, since transactions in the network are carried out in an arbitrary order. Moreover, in the process of receiving bitcoins, a new address is used each time. This means that it will be almost impossible to make one logical chain of all the operations performed. At the same time, we must not forget that even the constant replacement of Bitcoin - address does not provide a 100% guarantee of confidentiality. Rather, it can be described as a good privacy practice. The best developers are trying to eliminate this problem, therefore, there is a hope that very soon privacy for users of crypto-wallets will be 100% ensured;
- safety. A user who performs operations with a cryptocurrency and uses new addresses each time, confuses the chain of completed transactions. In this case, it will be very difficult for fraudsters to analyze the blockchain. Thanks to this, it becomes possible to obtain reliable protection against hacker attacks, which means - to prevent theft of BTC. If you use the same Bitcoin address all the time , attackers will easily achieve their goal.
Creating new addresses
As we already found out, before generating a bitcoin address, the user needs to create a crypto wallet. You can use a variety of options for storing cryptocurrency, and each method has both advantages and disadvantages. Its time to get to know each of them in more detail.
- Download, as well as user installation. In this case, the installation of the crypto wallet takes place directly on a mobile device or PC. Several developers propose to use such software simultaneously. If you choose this method, check if there is enough space for this on the hard disk of the PC or in the memory of the mobile device. If the answer is yes, you can install such special software.
After the installation is complete, you need to synchronize the software and network. After that, the block chain will start loading for the entire time of transactions with the cryptocurrency. As a result, approximately 145 GB of information will be downloaded, and this will require a lot of time.
Remember that backing up is very important. It is best done after every transaction. To do this, you need to go to the "Overview" section. This should be done for correct recovery, in case the software is removed from the disk.
There are programs that can rightfully be called universal. Simply put - there is the possibility of opening an account in BTC or another cryptocurrency. A distinctive feature of such software and its main advantage is the ability not to download all transaction blocks to a PC. At the same time, it is worth remembering that for the program to work smoothly, you need a reliable internet connection.
- Online services for storing crypto coins . If you choose this method, then all you need to open a crypto wallet is just to go through the registration process on the site. With this account you will be able to make your first transaction. And in this case, you also dont need to download the entire blockchain. If necessary, you can open several accounts - just use different e-mail addresses. Pay special attention to safety. Remember that it is better to write down your username and password and make sure that this data does not get to third parties.
- Storing BTC on the exchange . In the event that you have not yet decided where you will create a crypto wallet, you can take a look at the exchange platforms. Here it is allowed not only to carry out operations with cryptocurrency, but also to use the Wallet service, on which cryptocoins are stored.
It will not be difficult for you to create your own account. To do this, you need to fill out a registration form, after which you can confirm the specified e-mail address. There are exchanges where work is possible only after verifying the account of each user.
So, if you have no questions about the essence of operations with cryptocurrency and the structure of a cryptocurrency wallet, you can easily understand the interfaces of various services.
When an account is created, a private (private) key is generated. Subsequently, public code is generated using hashing tools. Using it, you can create a Bitcoin address . The process itself is very carefully thought out by the developers, which means that attackers will not be able to establish the private key number using public parameters. But each user should remember that he himself can also take care of the protection of his digital money - for this, the private key must be stored in a safe place inaccessible to strangers.
The created address can remain unchanged or be automatically updated with each new operation. To exclude the risks of hacking, as well as loss of confidentiality, it is very important to determine before using it whether these changes will occur automatically.
You can find out your public details by going to your own profile on an online service or to a crypto wallet. Then you need to go to the section for receiving cryptocurrency. A string containing a certain set of characters, or a QR code, will be displayed here. When copying an address, remember that there are programs that replace addresses while copying them to the clipboard. In order not to fall for the bait of intruders, you need to check the primary information (specified in your personal account) with those that you see after copying.
To open a crypto wallet, you need to copy the ID and then enter your password. All this must be done very carefully and not in a hurry. You can not skip characters or violate their sequence.
Below you can find out how you can get a Bitcoin address in various wallets:
- Jaxx - you need to select the Bitcoin currency, then click on the "Submit" button. You will see the address graphically and traditionally;
- Bitcoin Core - we enter the "Receive" section, and then we make a payment request. The system will provide us with the required information for transmission to the sender of electronic money;
- Electrum - as soon as you enter the section for receiving bitcoins, immediately in the first line you will notice the required details;
- Exodus - you need to go to the Wallet section, then select BTC. Then you should go to the sending section, in which you will immediately see the information of interest.
Your Bitcoin address , you can learn in different types of storage:
- Desktop. If you decide to use this storage, you will not only need to create your own crypto wallet. You will also need to generate an identifier in the program interface. This is due to the fact that in local crypto wallets it is possible to generate different addresses for different operations.
- Paper. In this crypto wallet, your public identifier and private key are displayed immediately after generation. Therefore, there is no need to form it additionally. Paper storage has a drawback - you cannot create multiple addresses in one crypto wallet. Instead, you can create multiple wallets - its free and quick.
- Online. In most cases, you can create multiple IDs if you go to an online wallet or exchange. When working on almost all sites, you can use the standard instructions with which a crypto-address is created. You need to go to the crypto wallet interface, and then select the "Top up" button. After that, you will see a window in which the public identifier will be displayed. A similar algorithm also works when working with the well-known Blockchain online storage.
- Hardware. To get a Bitcoin address in a new storage, you first need to launch it. You will also need to save the seed phrase and set the pin code.
Archiving Bitcoin addresses
Sooner or later, many users face the question - how can you archive all the new addresses automatically created by the system? After all, if you regularly make transactions with digital currency, in a short period of time you can see that a great many details have already accumulated. We note right away that doing this is completely easy. Even a beginner can easily handle this. To prevent your list of details from resembling a dump, there is the option of archiving old details that no longer apply. To archive an address, you need to select it in the list and go to the detailed page. Then you need to click on it, after that go to the detailed page. Next, select the "More options" link, and after that - the "Archive" item. The addresses archived in this way will never be lost anywhere. If the balance on such details was positive, such funds will not be shown in the general balance of the crypto wallet. You can always see all the encrypted addresses that have been archived in a separate list, and, if necessary, unzip them into an ordinary state.
However, you must not violate a certain sequence of actions. The first step is to check those address strings that are used on behalf of the user account. All this can be done through a special window called Used Addresses. In it you can find information about previously used details, about those balances that exist for each of the addresses. Archiving this outdated data will help offload the system and speed up its work somewhat. These addresses can always be seen, they are stored in a compressed form, but do not disappear anywhere. To call them, you need to click on the "Archived addresses" button. It is possible to unzip these details, this is done very simply - you just need to click on the required button.
Expert tip: Back up after fifty transactions. Otherwise, the system will inevitably be overloaded with outdated details. This, accordingly, will cause disruptions in its work, and this, of course, is not needed by anyone. Archiving of addresses should not be neglected; on the contrary, it should be performed regularly and quite often.
Bitcoin address changed
Often, newcomers when using cryptocurrency are lost if suddenly the details that are required to complete transactions change. They often dont know what to do next. Earlier, we examined the main reason for such a change, namely, the crypto wallet algorithm itself, which forms a new address automatically in the process of a new request. In this case, the person can do one of the following:
- use any of your old addresses. However, at the same time, it is necessary to remember about a significant decrease in the degree of confidentiality of the transaction performed;
- get digital money using a new ID. In this case, you should be especially careful not to make mistakes when copying the code. We must not forget that funds mistakenly transferred to third parties cannot be returned.
So, as you already understood, having discovered that instead of the old familiar crypto wallet address you already see some other one, you dont need to worry. All of this is done with the aim of protecting user transactions as well as increasing privacy. And although a new address is generated in the process of each subsequent transaction, the old details continue to be active, and therefore it is quite possible to use them to continue making transactions with BTC.
In other words, the automatic replacement of the old BTC wallet address after the transaction for accepting electronic currency is confirmed is quite common. At the same time, you can still make transactions using the old details (receive bitcoins).
How does it work? For example, you generated an address for replenishing a cryptocurrency wallet with digital currency and indicated this data on some website. In this case, you do not need to update the information when creating a new address, even if this has happened more than once. All operations will be carried out in normal mode, and it doesnt matter how many Bitcoin addresses have already been generated.
There is another important question - how can you find the old details? For example, if we are talking about Bitcoin Core, here you can go to the "Settings" section, and then open the "Used addresses" section. Here you will see a list in which you can find those identifiers that have already been generated during previous operations. In addition, it is possible to find out other information here. It can relate to data on each of the details, as well as how much Bitcoin has already been received. An important nuance must not be overlooked: in the process of sending cryptocurrency, the BTC wallet automatically sets which address must be used. And therefore, discrepancies in the balance of a certain identifier from information about funds received in fact are possible.
In addition, it is not necessary to use the newly generated data. Many users write down the first address, and then use it on an ongoing basis, ignoring the new identifiers that the wallet issues.
Users need to know that they can disable such an option as automatic change of the crypto wallet details when performing each next operation. This will not in any way affect the speed of transactions, they will all take place as usual. However, in this case, the risk of losing the main advantage of working with cryptocurrency, namely confidentiality, sharply increases.
Difference between number and wallet address
At first glance, it may seem that there are practically no differences between a cryptocurrency address and a crypto-wallet. However, this is not the case, since each of them has its own specific characteristics. To give the simplest comparison, a cryptocurrency wallet is a wallet, and Bitcoin - an address - are bank cards that are stored in it. There can be quite a lot of such cards. However, such a comparison cannot be called absolutely correct, and therefore it is worthwhile to dwell in more detail on how a cryptoaddress and a crypto wallet differ.
A digital address is essentially a random combination of letters and numbers. It is somewhat reminiscent of an ordinary postal address. One user can have an unlimited number of completely independent bitcoin addresses. Earlier, we have already considered that it will be correct to change them with each new transaction. Creating a digital address is completely free. In order for its owner to be able to perform transactions from this address, he must have a special "private" key. It should be stored in a secure place that is not accessible to third parties. Only with the help of such a key it will be possible to perform operations with coins from a crypto-address. If cybercriminals can still get hold of it, you are unlikely to be able to prevent theft of your funds.
Speaking of a digital wallet, we can imagine a bunch of keys. It contains duplicate "private" keys, as well as their corresponding crypto-addresses. Opening your e-wallet, you seem to extract a bunch of keys from your pocket and you can use each of them in order to gain access to the address of interest (“get to the right room”). Crypto wallets can be:
- browser-based, which are designed specifically for transactions with Ethereum , as well as with coins based on them;
- software, in which you can work with a huge amount of digital money. This is where private keys are encrypted as well as stored on your PC. After entering the wallet, it becomes possible to carry out transactions with cryptocurrency without using keys;
- hardware that supports a variety of cryptocurrencies. Experts recommend it if you work with large amounts of digital money and need reliable "cold storage" for them.
So, in this article we introduced you to what Bitcoin - address is, what form it has. You also learned how and why you can get it in various types of wallets. The main thing that any novice user needs to learn is that information about your public identifier may well be known to others when performing transactions. As for the private key that opens access to your wallet and your funds, no one should know it except yourself.