In 2017 the employees of the University of Cambridge published a report on its large-scale study of cryptocurrency. An important role there was occupied by one topic, which was devoted to the counting of registered wallets and active users of the system. As of 2017, the number of open Bitcoin wallets equalled to about 35 million units. Not more than 10 million were recognized as active. This means that only about 0.14% of the world’s population have ever done any operations with cryptocurrency.
In this article we’ll talk about such a concept as a Bitcoin address, learn how to recognize it and also explain how it differs from a wallet.
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- What is a Bitcoin address and what is it meant for?
- Where can I find a Bitcoin address?
- How to create and how to find your own Bitcoin wallet address?
- The address of my wallet changed, what should I do?
- Are an address and a wallet the same things?
Bitcoin address is the unique and inimitable identification number which makes it possible to perform incoming and outgoing BTC transactions.
Speaking about technical issues, it should be noted that this identifier is an account number that consists of approximately 30 characters and always starts with 1 or 3. This identifier is absolutely anonymous, there is no way of knowing the identity of the owner.
This ID is used for both receiving and sending coins. In order to increase the level of security, the wallet owner has the ability to generate an infinite number of addresses. As a rule, the system automatically changes the address to a new one for each subsequent transaction.
Experts strongly advise to use the clipboard when exchanging addresses and in no case to enter a long identifier manually. Having made just one typo, you can send coins not to your intended destination. It should be noted that transactions in the Bitcoin network can not be reversed.
In order to make or accept payments in Bitcoin, you will need a unique address. However, obvious as it may sound, firstly, you need to register your own wallet. After you pass a simple registration procedure and log in using a unique private key, a new Bitcoin address is generated. By the way, this process occurs automatically, without human intervention, in most wallets.
What is a private key? Visually, it is a long code, consisting of different characters, both alphabetic and digital. It is this key that ensures you the right to send your coins to other wallets. This ID can in no case be disclosed to anyone, since anyone can take possession of your Bitcoins with it.
Since there are many variations of cryptocurrency wallets, all of them have different interfaces and principles of operation, so the places where Bitcoin addresses can be found are slightly different. Basically it looks like this:
You go to the “balance” section, then proceed to the “recharge the balance” subsection in the line “BTC for bitcoins”. The current blockchain address should be displayed below.
Go to the settings and then to the “addresses” section. For managing all your Bitcoins, you should go to the section “address management”, it will display the extract of all the identifiers of this wallet in the history.
As we have already mentioned, many wallets change the blockchain address on an ongoing basis. You should not be frightened, it’s absolutely normal. Even if someone wants to send coins to your old address, the funds will reach you without problems. If you do not want to bother every time with a new ID number, you can turn off the automatic generation of new addresses in the settings.
To begin with, these are absolutely two different concepts. The address is a code for public use, the main purpose of which is to receive and send coins. And if we are talking about a wallet, this is a whole bunch (in the cryptographic sense) of hidden anonymous secure keys that correspond to a specific address. The wallet database stores all copies of the generated addresses. As a rule, the format in which a wallet is presented is a text file located on the disk. However, this is not an obligatory condition, since everything depends on the variation of the wallet. If you want to know more about what wallets are, you can read our extensive article on this topic.
According to preliminary data, there are about 10 million active Bitcoins wallets in the world. A wallet can generate a new Bitcoin address for each new transaction. Blockchain addresses make it possible for you to receive and send Bitcoins. This identifier has about 30 characters, which is best copied to the clipboard, because having made a mistake in one character, you can send your Bitcoins to the wrong recipient and will not be able to return them.
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