What is A Crypto Address?



Aug 23, 2021


Blockchain addresses are extremely difficult for humans to interpret as they are represented by unique strings of numbers and letters, this is because they were not designed for humans to read and interpret, but rather for computer networks to recognize.

Public addresses
Most blockchain addresses are public (except for privacy-based blockchains like Monero and Grin), meaning that anyone is able to view all transactions that have come to and from the address via a simple search on a blockchain explorer. Although blockchain addresses are public, most owners remain anonymous and do not have their name attached to the address. This is mainly for privacy and safety reasons. There are, however, cases where prominent figures or large companies (such as ISPs), reveal their identity by publicly sharing their addresses. Hence, most public blockchain networks– including that of Bitcoin– are considered “pseudonymous”- not totally anonymous, but difficult to identify.

How is a crypto address generated?
A crypto wallet has two keys: a public key, and a private key. A public key is your receiving address that you and others can use to deposit crypto into your wallet. A private key is a unique string of characters representing a digital signature that grants full access to your wallet, including the authorization to send funds.

Your private key
Your crypto address is generated from your private key. In order to get a Bitcoin address for example, you must first download a reputable mobile/desktop wallet. This is software that stores your private key and allows you to securely store, send and receive BTC. Your wallet will generate a new, unique address for every transaction. Read here to find out about the different types of Bitcoin wallets.
Why is your crypto address important?
A crypto address is extremely important as it allows you to receive cryptocurrency. Without an address, it is impossible to receive funds from another person.

When should you share your crypto address?
Normally, people will only share their address with someone they would like to receive cryptocurrency from. It is perfectly safe and normal to share your address when in need of payment.

When should you not share your crypto address? 
Generally it is completely safe to share your address anywhere you would like to accept tips, payments, or donations from as no one can steal your digital assets by only knowing your public address. However, if you wish to keep your identity private, it’s recommended that you never share your address publicly on the internet or on any forms of social media where people can use it to identify you.

Secure your crypto address
The best thing that you can do to secure your address is to protect your private keys. There are a variety of wallets available including, hardware, software and paper wallets that can be used to safely store your private keys. For added security, make sure that you store your private keys somewhere that’s disconnected from the internet, where hackers cannot access it.

You should always think of your private keys as the equivalent to your ATM pin: something you would never share with anyone.

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