Bitcoin address

From Bitcoin Wiki
Jump to: navigation, search
Address.jpg

Bitcoin address is an identifier (account number), starting with 1 or 3 and containing 27-34 alphanumeric Latin characters (except 0, O, I). Address can be also represented as the QR-code, is anonymous and does not contain information about the owner. It can be obtained for free, using, for example, Bitcoin software. Address example:

14qViLJfdGaP4EeHnDyJbEGQysnCpwn1gZ

Purpose and opportunities

Graphic of how Bitcoin addresses are derived from a public key

Transfer/receive transactions of Bitcoins (Cryptocurrency, BTC) can be performed via address like the work with e-mail messages. One person can create an unlimited number of addresses, increasing the anonymity level of the payments. When performing the next transaction with BTC a new address is often created (the funds are credited/debited within 1-2 hours). At the same time the private key pair is generated, providing access to the identifier and the ability to perform transactions with currency. They are stored in the wallet.dat file on the user's computer.

Input conditions

In order to avoid errors when manually inputting the address, it is recommended to use the clipboard. Symbols register is considered when you manually input the address. In case of incorrect input Bitcoins are sent to the wrong address or the transaction is rejected. Last one is done automatically if the identifier contains symbols that are used as a checksum (for verification).

Generation

The address is created by generating of random numbers and performing specific mathematical operations. It does not require Internet connection and registration at Bitcoin, where it begins to be monitored. Thousands of addresses (including personalized) and keys thereto can be generated within 1 minute, for example, when using Vanitygen utility.

Transactions

Main article: Bitcoin transaction

Record of the BTC transfer from one address to another generates a transaction. It contains the hash of the previous transaction signed by the sender and Bitcoins recipients address. All information is sent to the Bitcoin network and after signatures verification transaction is accepted for processing.

Loss of Bitcoins

Loss of Bitcoins is possible in the following situations:

  • if the wallet is lost because of the hard drive failure,
  • when generating a new address, getting BTC on it and restoring the wallet from an earlier backup, where address is not yet created,
  • when sending Bitcoins to address that doesn’t have owner.

See also

Links