Una direction, in the world of cryptocurrencies, is the place to which a certain amount of cryptocurrencies is associated. Every person or user who wants to send or receive cryptocurrencies will always need an address.
The address works just like in the traditional financial system, to receive or send money transfers. Which means that a kind of bank account works. In Bitcoin and other cryptocurrencies, this is known as "address" o "Wallet address" in the English language. The purpose of the addresses is to allow us to receive and send cryptocurrencies.
In Bitcoin, addresses typically look like this:
At first glance, the address is quite cryptic. Being able to appreciate huge differences with the usual bank account numbers. That they are easy to read and memorize especially, because they only use numbers. However, cryptocurrency addresses use a set of numbers and letters, lowercase and uppercase. So we can say then that they are alphanumeric addresses, and this has a clear objective. The one to provide directions with high security and without limits of creation.
In addition to this, we can also see that cryptocurrency addresses are longer. The length varies between 26 and 32 characters. In Bitcoin for example, they start at number 1 to standard addresses (P2PKH), by number 3 for multi-signature addresses (P2SH). Type addresses followed (bech32) begin with bc1. Other cryptocurrencies have their own systems to represent their addresses.
Another common way of representing Bitcoin addresses is by means of a QR code. QR codes are a graphic representation created by an algorithm hash graphic. That is, it will always provide us with the same graph, if we enter the same information. This way the address can be shared more comfortably. Especially in public places, since the code can be scanned using the camera of a smartphone.
Characteristics of a Bitcoin address
Among the main characteristics of Bitcoin addresses we can mention the following:
- Unlimited. A person can create as many addresses as he wants: tens or millions, without limits. This is thanks to the process in how these addresses are generated within the Bitcoin software.
- They are free. You do not need to ask anyone for permission to create addresses, nor should anyone authorize them.
- Completely free. The directions are totally free. Creating them will not generate any cost nor should you make any payment to the system for them.
- Privacy. Your personal data is never associated with an address. This ensures that no one can associate your addresses with your real identity. Unless you of your own free will indicate that the address is yours, or publish it on some social network or blog.
- It is transparent. If you publicly say that an address belongs to you, everyone will be able to know what balance you have and the transactions you make in real time. This is especially useful for organizations that want to be transparent: NGOs, a city council, among others.
- Security. Sharing your address with anyone does not pose a risk of theft. In that it is also similar to the example of the bank account, you can give your address to whoever you want since the most they can do is deposit cryptocurrencies. However, sharing your address, as we have said, means that anyone can see the balance and activity in real time of that address. And if you have publicly said that it is yours, you could have an unwanted privacy leak.
- simple process. Obtaining Bitcoin addresses is a very simple process. Just download any Bitcoin wallet you want to generate as many addresses as you want.
- They can be created completely offline and without the need to have any connection to the Bitcoin network.
- The original Bitcoin address is case-sensitive, so it is case sensitive. However, the new bech32 format removes this limitation. Therefore, it is important to remember this to avoid sending funds to a different address by mistake.