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Cryptocurrency address – what is it, what does it look like, and where to get it?

15.03.2021

The field of cryptocurrency is becoming more and more popular every day. Newcomers sometimes find it difficult to understand a number of fundamental issues that are important for understanding how blockchain works. One of these topics is cryptocurrency addresses. Let's talk about the features of Bitcoin, Ethereum, and Zcash addresses and answer the basic questions: what are they for, how should they look like and where can they be found?

What is a cryptocurrency address?

A cryptocurrency address is an identifier of an electronic wallet, your details, to put it simply. We use it to transfer coins. A wallet address consists of numbers and letters of the Latin alphabet (lowercase and uppercase).

Here is an example of a bitcoin address:

1njrRcKQtfjjLuQxFYCeMXcth77m5TAYo

The number of characters in the address depends on the very cryptocurrency you are using.

Types of crypto-addresses

The Private Key is a personal access code to your wallet.

The public key is generated from the private key and it is the address of your wallet. Anyone can check the arrival and departure of coins at this address in the blockchain, which is not dangerous for the owner of the wallet because only the owner of the private key can spend the coins.

The public and private key pair is the main component of cryptography. These keys are responsible for performing encryption and decryption. They are interrelated, so there is only one public key for one private key, and vice versa. It is impossible to get a private key from a public key. That is why all blockchain transfers are irreversible. If coins are sent to any address, even a non-existent one, only someone who has a private key to that address can dispose of them.

Wallets for storing cryptocurrencies

We have collected popular cryptocurrency wallet services where you can get a cryptocurrency address and use it in the future for secure financial transfers.

Bitcoin

Blockchain.info

Ethereum

Myetherwallet

Litecoin

Litecoin.org

Bitcoin Cash

Bitcoincash.org

Zcash

z.cash/

Dash

Mydashwallet.org

Features of a Bitcoin wallet address

A Bitcoin address is a combination of numbers from uppercase and lowercase letters of the Latin alphabet. The number of characters in the address is from 26 to 36. In most cases, however, the number of characters in the bitcoin address is 34. The uppercase letters O, I, lowercase letter l, and the number 0 are never used in the address, in order to avoid confusion.

A Bitcoin address always begins with 1, 3, or bc1. Remembering this combination is hard and typing it in without errors is just as problematic, so when filling out forms where you need to enter an address, it is better to use the Copy and Paste functions.

We will not go into the technicalities, only highlight the 3 bitcoin address formats:

  1. The hash address of the Pay-to-Pub (P2PKH) key, starts with 1:
    1njrRcKQtfjjLuQxFYCeMXcth77m5TAYo
        
  2. The Scrypt Hash (P2SH) address, starts with 3:
    3HYLqq5JRbWeP54MmkTb5r2KuHifWAqLnv
        
  3. The Bech32 type, SegWit address format, starts with bc1:
    bc1q8ctmys2mzqjrsztxlv7pe9s5azh9acrvg9jpmy
        

It is worth noting that not all services support SegWit address format, the most popular are P2PKH and P2SH. Therefore, before using bc1 address somewhere, it is worth first clarifying whether the service works with this format.

All address formats are the same Bitcoin, which just has multiple display versions. You can use any of them to send, receive and exchange coins.

Features of the Ethereum wallet addres

The Ethereum address starts with 0x and consists of 40-44 characters (numbers and Latin letters).

The wallet address looks like this:

0xdb2413f9e8faeaec826a9341212e85fe02dd84b6

Just like with the Bitcoin address, it is not recommended to try to enter it manually, in order to avoid errors. However, Ethereum has a significant advantage in this case: since an error in one or two characters of the address will not have fatal consequences. This is due to the presence of a special code that checks the correctness of its input. If an incorrect combination is detected, the operation is canceled.

If the identifier was entered correctly, but the address does not have an owner, then the operation will take place in any case and it will be impossible to return the funds.

Features of the Litecoin wallet address

The Litecoin wallet address consists of numbers and letters of the Latin alphabet up to 34 characters, starting with the letter L, 3, or M. Just like in Bitcoin, the digit 0 and the letters O, I, l are prohibited.

The address is individual, as in other cryptocurrencies, it is generated from a private key.

In 2017, SegWit technology was launched in the Litecoin blockchain and the address format was changed. Such addresses begin with the letter M instead of the number 3.

Using a special converter, it is possible to convert an address of one format into an address of another format, and it will be the same wallet.

For example, you can use this converter - https://litecoin-project.github.io/p2sh-convert/

It is absolutely unacceptable to make mistakes in the address because your coins will simply disappear. Transactions with cryptocurrency are irreversible, it is important to know this. It is impossible to cancel or revoke payment (even if this address has no owner).

Features of the Bitcoin Cash wallet address

When Bitcoin Cash was first created, its addresses and Bitcoin addresses looked the same. This made it very difficult to check transactions for the correct cryptocurrency.

During this time, simply thousands of transactions were sent to the wrong addresses. For example, you wanted to buy Bitcoin Cash through some exchanger and instead of the Bitcoin Cash address, you entered the Bitcoin address, because they looked identical. Someone confused them by accident, someone thought that there is no difference between them, but it was and still is.

Now the format of Bitcoin Cash addresses has changed, which makes life much easier. Now they look like this:

bitcoincash:qpm2qsznhks23z7629mms6s4cwef74vcwvy22gdx6a

It is now recommended to use addresses in the new format, even though addresses with the old format are still relevant and valid.

You can convert your old address into the new one through the service https://bch.btc.com.

It is necessary to enter the wallet number in a box on the right and press Enter

Next, you will have your wallet number on the left in the old format and, on the right, in the new one.

Features of the Zcash wallet address

There are two types of Zcash addresses: z-address and t-address. What is their fundamental difference?

Z-address is completely anonymous, t-address is public.

Nowadays almost all pools and exchangers work with t-addresses, as z-addresses require more power.

Features of the Dash wallet address

The wallet address consists of 34 characters and starts with X. It looks like this:

XdAUmwtig27HBG6WfYyHAzP8n6XC9jESEw

Now you are one step closer to understanding the cryptocurrency system and can easily create a cryptocurrency wallet, find an address in it and make or accept a transfer.