Bitcoin wallet addresses can be confusing. They either look like a random black-and-white pattern that could make a funky kitchen tile pattern … or a long string of nonsensical letters and numbers. So let’s go over what a Bitcoin wallet address is, and what it looks like.
Your wallet address is a code that’s tagged to your wallet, so if you buy bitcoin or someone sends you some, it’s designated as yours. In fact, this wallet address is what you give people when they need to send you bitcoin directly, peer-to-peer (or wallet-to-wallet).
To find your Bitcoin wallet address, you usually tap on “Receive” in your wallet. You’ll then see a QR code for another participant to scan with their mobile wallet, as well as your full public Bitcoin wallet address that you can copy and paste.
If you’re with the person sending you money, or you’re using a Coin Cloud DCM, the easiest process is to have them (or the machine) scan the code. Otherwise, copy the full address.
Your Bitcoin wallet address is a complicated string of random letters and numbers, usually 34 digits long. It might look something like this: 3PT6HdpK6BUhtsF2YJtmoHbWnoKB2z7Q
This address isn’t locked in forever; you can generate a new Bitcoin wallet address any time you want by selecting “Refresh” or a similar command. And some wallets automatically create one each time you receive Bitcoin. The old wallet addresses still function, but so does the new one. This protects your privacy, because if someone looks up your address on the blockchain, they won’t see every transaction you’ve ever made — just the ones made with that address.
Don’t confuse this address (sometimes call your public keys) with your private keys, which give anyone who has them access to the funds in your Bitcoin wallet. Do not use this private address publicly or give it to anyone for any reason.
Your private keys are usually twice as long as your public address. This 64-digit string looks similar to this one: xpty9x78WiPR356L9PDcopmRT67Z8Rnv7HToLG3UHorg25HFNpr34STyn9MN76ed
Because that private key address is pretty unwieldy, most wallets — at least the non-custodial ones that give you full power, like the Coin Cloud Wallet — will provide a backup seed phrase as well. This phrase, also called a 12-word recovery phrase or passphrase, is 12 seemingly normal words (or it could be 18 or 24 words). When used in the correct order, it functions like your private keys and grants access to your wallet. This is useful if you lose or upgrade your phone and need to import your wallet to the new device.
But make sure to keep it safe and locked away, either written on a piece of paper and stored in a private place, or spelled out with metal letters in a seed phrase card.
Disclaimer: The information and views supplied on the Coin Cloud blog are for educational and entertainment purposes only. We are not financial advisors, so please do your research and consult with a trusted financial specialist before investing your money.
Founded in 2014 in Las Vegas, Nevada, Coin Cloud is the leading digital currency machine (DCM) operator. With over 4,500 locations nationwide, in 48 states and Brazil, Coin Cloud operates the world’s largest and fastest-growing network of 100% two-way DCMs, a more advanced version of the Bitcoin ATM. Every Coin Cloud DCM empowers you to quickly and easily buy and sell over 40 cryptocurrency options with cash.
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