Like an email or postal address that gets your message or postcards to and from the right person, your bitcoin address gets your fund to and from the right person. However, there is one big difference. An email or postal address can be perennial, but a bitcoin address is for one-time use only, and that’s for a good reason. It helps maintain the privacy of the transaction. So, you can also compare bitcoin addresses with an OTP (One-Time-Password). Bitcoins addresses can be a combination of letters and numbers that you will learn at the end of this post.
How to Get a Bitcoin Address
The first step to get a bitcoin address is to download a bitcoin wallet. It’s software that allows you to securely send, receive, and store bitcoin funds in the bitcoin network. It also stores your private key, also known as a bitcoin password.
Using the software, you can create a brand-new bitcoin address for every transaction (send or receive payment).
There are four types of Bitcoin wallets, namely, mobile, web, desktop, and hardware.
It’s like any mobile application. Download it from the app distribution platform (Google Play, iOS App Store/Windows Store). It helps you to send or receive funds and do other transactions as you do with your mobile banking app.
Needless to say, it demands some safety as stealing of the phone device or its passcode can lead to fraud as fraudsters can send funds from the wallet to any bitcoin address. However, there is one solution to it. Secure the access with fingerprint authentication.
Here’s a list of some popular mobile wallets:
- Airbitz Bitcoin (IOS & Android)
- ArcBit (IOS & Android)
- Bitcoin Wallet (Android)
- Bither (Android)
- Bitpie (IOS & Android)
- Blockchain (IOS & Android)
- BRD (IOS & Android)
- BTC (IOS & Android)
- Circle (IOS & Android)
- Coin.Space (IOS, Android, & Windows Phone)
- Coinomi (IOS & Android)
- CoinText (IOS, Android, & Windows Phone)
- Copay (IOS & Android)
- Edge (IOS & Android)
- Electrum (Android)
- GreenAddress (IOS & Android)
- GreenBits (Android)
- HandCash (Android)
- Jaxx (IOS & Android)
- Mobi (IOS & Android)
- Mycelium (Android)
- Simple Bitcoin (Android)
Web wallets also give the convenience of mobile wallets, but they both share a common risk factor. Like internet banking, web wallets deserve some privacy. Someone knowing your personal information or having access to them like phone number, email address, and birth information, can make your wallet vulnerable and siphon off the bitcoin asset.
Then, they can go to your email account, click “forgot my password”, and your email service provider will text a “change my password” code straight to their phone.
This allows them to break into your email account, prompt your Bitcoin wallet provider to send a “change my password” email, and hack into your Bitcoin wallet account.
A few popular web wallets for bitcoin are as follows:
You can manage your bitcoin using a desktop-based wallet too. Like any desktop application, download and install it on your system and link it with your cryptocurrency trading exchange. Choose a secure desktop wallet as hackers can exploit vulnerabilities in a desktop wallet’s security, like extracting unencrypted account recovery phrases, to steal your bitcoins.
Some popular desktop wallets are as follows:
- Bitcoin ABC
- Bitcoin Core
- Bitcoin Unlimited
- Bitcoin XT
- Electron Cash
Hardware wallets (also referred as cold wallets) are like external hard drives for your Bitcoins. They’re physical, offline pieces of hardware that you can plug into your computer to buy and sell items with Bitcoin and store in a safe place when you’ve finished conducting business.
The offline existence of hardware wallets makes them the safest option to go with as the Internet perpetrators can’t access them or exploit their vulnerabilities.
Here are some hardware wallets you can buy online:
- CoolWallet S
- Ledger Nano S
How Does a Bitcoin Address Look Like?
A typical bitcoin address has 26-35 characters comprising alphabetic and numeric characters. They generally start with “1”, “3”, or “bc1”.
Three popular Bitcoin address formats are in use:
1. P2PKH (address starts with the number “1”)
2. P2SH (address starts with the number “3”)
3. Bech32 (address starts with “bc1”)
Hope you found this bitcoin address post useful. To know more about cryptocurrency trading, explore more insightful articles and blogs on topics that interest you. We keep updating our Knowledge Bank. Subscribe to us to be the first to receive cryptocurrency trading hacks and alerts in your inbox.