When bitcoin first appeared, users sent money to each other using IP Internet protocols. All devices that connect to the network receive a unique IP address.
Although this method was quite effective, the developers complained about its low level of security. Hackers went to tricks to intercept assets and transfer them to their devices. As a result, instead of an IP address, specialists began to use a blockchain address. Let’s discuss what is a bitcoin address and how to deal with it.
The definition of a bitcoin address
A bitcoin address is an online store of digital money. People send cryptocurrency to a BTC address like fiat money can be sent to an email. However, a crypto account is not suitable for permanent use; it is a token used in a single operation.
Unlike a wallet account, a BTC address does not show a balance. Such a key consists of 26-35 signs in the form of letters and numbers. This string is the public part of asymmetric keys. During the transaction, the user generates a character set, which he hands to the sender.
Types of wallets
When we know what is a bitcoin address, it’s time to figure out how to get it. First, you must download a BTC wallet. This particular program lets you store and send digital assets.
Bitcoin wallets store a private key, that is, a bitcoin password. The program creates a new BTC address whenever the user opens an account or gets a query to pay with digital currency.
People who are interested in how to get a bitcoin address can use the following groups of wallets:
- Mobile wallets are the most suitable access option. Still, they involve storing the key in an application or on your phone, so if your gadget falls into the hands of scammers, you risk being left without digital savings.
- Web wallets are just as easy to use as mobile variants, but this option is also risky. If someone knows your details, e.g., phone number and email, they can also access your bitcoin account and steal funds.
- Desktop wallets are programs that are installed on a computer. It is a more protected option than mobile and web wallets, but hackers may still exploit their security vulnerability to misappropriate BTC.
- Hardware wallets are like external hard drives for bitcoins. These are physical parts of equipment that link with a computer to purchase and sell goods with bitcoin and store them in a safe place. Hardware wallets are the safest option for storing digital money and making transactions.
Digital wallets create addresses through cryptographic procedures. Software with asymmetric signature algorithms makes a private key and then extracts the public key from the private one. A person signs with a private key and then checks the signature with a public key. Owning a public/private key pair is all it takes to rebuild a wallet from scratch. If the private key data is leaked, an evil hacker can transfer all the digital cash from your address to his own. Therefore, the private key needs to be monitored as closely as the physical wallet.
How to get a crypto wallet address?
Do you know what is a wallet address for bitcoin and how to find it? The wallet address lookup procedure consists of two steps. After creating a wallet for digital money, the user receives several unique character sets for receiving and sending crypto coins.
To know the crypto account, you need to open the wallet and click «Send» or «Receive». After that, the wallet address will appear on the screen as a QR code that can be scanned or a string containing a set of numbers and letters. Hardware wallet owners can get a printed QR code, store it in a standard fiat wallet and share it with other users to obtain crypto coins.
In this article, we have analyzed what is a bitcoin address and why it is needed. Bitcoin is a relatively new and controversial type of financial asset, and the debate over the rationality of its use and storage does not subside. Its potential to become the dominant currency in the world inspires fear in some people, while others, on the contrary, delight.
Skeptics doubt that such digital money is secure enough to become a mainstream global currency. Still, bitcoin wallets, especially hardware wallets, are becoming more resistant to hacking, and the one-time use of blockchain addresses makes financial manipulations almost untraceable.