How Can I Get A Bitcoin Address?

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How Can I Get A Bitcoin Address?

If you’re planning to buy Bitcoin or any other cryptocurrency you will need to have a wallet where to store your funds. Some exchanges offer a free, in-built wallet and deposit your cryptocurrencies directly there. Other platforms do not offer their own wallets and require you to know and provide your wallet address.

In this guide, we will explain how you can get a Bitcoin address and what it is used for. We will also provide you with some examples to easily locate your Bitcoin address using top wallets.

What is a Bitcoin Address?

A Bitcoin address is a public routing code that allows coins to be deposited in the correct wallet. This is similar to how an email address facilitates the delivery of an email to the correct inbox or how a bank account and routing number ensure that deposits of funds are made to the right entity. In the same way, your Bitcoin address will help guarantee that funds can navigate through the Blockchain and land safely into your Bitcoin wallet.

You can have as many Bitcoin addresses as you wish. In the end, it’s the so-called public key that links these wallet addresses to your profile. Bitcoin security experts actually recommend that you create a new address every time you send or receive a payment.

Types of Bitcoin Addresses

On the Bitcoin network, there are currently three types of addresses in use. These are:

  • P2PKH – Always start with 1, ex. 1BvBMSEYstWetqRTn5Au4m4GFg7xKaNVN5
  • P2SH – Always start with a 3, ex. 3J98t1WpFZ85CNmQviecrnyiZrniRhWNLy
  • Bech32 – Always start with bc1, ex. bc1qar0srrr8xfkvy5l655lydnw9re59zrzzwf5mdq

The Bech32 address is commonly featured on both hardware and software wallets, with the exception of exchange platforms. This wallet address type is more efficient with block space.

Getting Your Own Bitcoin Address

In order to get your own, unique, Bitcoin address you must first get a wallet. There are many different types of wallets, but if you want to get an address right now you will need a software wallet. Such wallets are normally easy to download and set up, providing you with a Bitcoin address for free.

The main types of wallets are:

  • Mobile wallet – A software wallet that is installed onto your smartphone.
  • Desktop wallet – A software wallet that is installed onto your computer.
  • Web wallet – A software wallet that is not installed, but accessed using your Internet browser.
  • Hardware wallet – A non-software, physical wallet that you can carry around with you and connect using USB, Bluetooth, or NFC.

Together with providing you with a Bitcoin address, cryptocurrency wallets store your private key. This is your main password, which you must protect and never divulge to anyone.

Mobile Bitcoin Wallets

Mobile wallets are some of the most popular types of software wallet due to their convenience and easy functionality. Depending on the wallet provider, this hot storage solution could work on Android, iOS, and sometimes, even Windows devices. Like all such wallets, mobile wallets store your keys directly on the app or phone, so if your device gets stolen and accessed you might lose all of your funds.

Some of the best mobile wallets include:

Desktop Bitcoin Wallets

Desktop wallets are installed onto your computer and like mobile wallets, work on one or more operating systems. The most common desktop wallets work on both Windows and Mac, with fewer also working on Linux systems. They are considered to be the safest type of software wallet but are still significantly more vulnerable to a cyberattack than hardware wallets.

Some of the best desktop wallets include:

  • Guarda Wallet – Supports over 45 cryptocurrencies.
  • Exodus – Supports over 100 cryptocurrencies.
  • Coinbase Wallet – Supports over 100 cryptocurrencies.

Web Bitcoin Wallets

Considered to be the riskiest type of cryptocurrency wallet, web wallets store your Bitcoin address and private keys online, making them extremely vulnerable to attack. Many exchanges provide free web wallets and try to enhance security using a variety of measures, such as 2FA. Such wallets do not require any downloading of software and work on most browsers, especially Chrome and Edge.

Some of the best desktop wallets include:

  • Guarda Wallet – Supports over 45 cryptocurrencies.
  • Bitamp – Only supports Bitcoin.

Hardware Bitcoin Wallets

Hardware wallets are considered to be the best type for security, but this comes at a cost. When using such a wallet, your private keys are stored within it and away from the reach of any cybercriminals. However, unlike software wallets which are continually connected to the Internet, hardware wallets need to connect to a computer or smartphone in order to carry out transactions.

Some of the best hardware wallets include:

Sending Bitcoin to an Invalid Address

A Bitcoin address length can range between 26 and 35 alphanumeric characters, so it is very easy to input incorrectly. Very often, wallets let you copy an address to the clipboard or provide a QR code that can be scanned instead of manually inputting the Bitcoin address. 

However, you might still be wondering what happens if you send coins to an invalid Bitcoin address. There are two possible answers.

Bitcoin addresses contain built-in checks which prevent transactions to invalid addresses. To be clear, the term invalid addresses refers to addresses that do not exist.

On the other hand, if you’ve sent Bitcoin to an incorrect, but valid, address you’re unlikely to ever see them again.

Creating Your Bitcoin Address

Once you have created an account with a software wallet provider or connected your hardware wallet to a digital device, you can go about creating your first Bitcoin address. The process, in a nutshell, consists of you:

  1. Accessing your wallet.
  2. Clicking on “Addresses” or “Coins”.
  3. Selecting “Create Address” or “Receive Coins”.

You should instantly see your new Bitcoin address with options to share it.

Finding Your Bitcoin Wallet Address

Whenever you need to send your Bitcoin address to anyone, you should find it easily when accessing your wallet. The following examples will help you find your Bitcoin address on some of the most popular wallets and exchanges.

Coinbase Exchange

The Coinbase Exchange is one of the largest Bitcoin brokerages in the world. It is popular amongst novice users due to its simplicity and user-friendliness. In order to find your Bitcoin address on Coinbase, all you need to do is:

Bitcoin Address Coinbase
  1. Log in to your Coinbase account.
  2. Click on “Send / Receive”.
  3. Click on the “Receive” tab on the pop-up that appears.
  4. Your Bitcoin address is shown as default. If you would like the address for another coin you need to select this from the drop-down menu.

Coinbase makes it very easy for you to share your Bitcoin address, providing both a QR code and a “Copy to Clipboard” button.

For security purposes and to protect your transaction history, the exchange provides you with a new Bitcoin address every time a transaction is completed.

Coinomi

Coinomi is a mobile wallet with enhanced security features that supports over 1,100 different coins and tokens. Once you have downloaded the Blockchain wallet and created an account, you can find your Bitcoin address in the following way:

  1. Visit the main account page.
  2. Click on the coin for which you need the address.
  3. You will see the full, alphanumeric address as well as a QR code to share with others.

Just like with your Coinbase exchange wallet, Coinomi creates a new Bitcoin address every time a transaction is completed.

Ledger Nano S

The Ledger Nano S is considered to offer the best value for money in the hardware wallet category. Although it is a physical device, you can access and manage your cryptocurrencies using the Ledger Live app in conjunction with your device. Finding your Bitcoin address using Ledger Live is very easy, and consists of the following steps:

  1. Open the main dashboard and click on “Receive” on the left-hand side of your screen.
  2. Select “Bitcoin” or any other coin or token as appropriate.
  3. Connect your Nano S to the device from where Ledger Live is running.
  4. Your Bitcoin address will show in both alphanumeric and QR format.

One of the benefits of using Ledger Live to manage your cryptocurrency transactions is that your Bitcoin addresses are automatically changed every time a payment is sent or received.

Sending Bitcoin

Sending Bitcoin to another Bitcoin address is very easy, even if you are sending funds from one wallet to another. Although the exact process varies by provider, you would generally follow these steps:

  1. Click on “Send BTC”.
  2. Enter or paste the receivers Bitcoin address or scan the QR code.
  3. Enter the amount of BTC to send and click “Send”.

Conclusion

No matter if you use cryptocurrencies frequently or just once in a while, understanding what Bitcoin addresses are is important for you to send and receive coins without trouble. As you’ve seen, it doesn’t take a lot of effort to carry out cryptocurrency transactions, and most providers have simplified the process significantly. Always remember to store your private keys securely and only ever share your public addresses.

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