A Bitcoin wallet address is quite similar to a bank account number. It is a unique alphanumeric digit combination of between 26 and 35 characters. A BTC wallet address will look something like this; 2AmpLe0BaBiTo1NADr3dDV5RsGaNF6p. It is safe to share your wallet address with others especially if you want them to send you Bitcoins. A BTC wallet address can also be represented as a QR code. A person who wishes to send you BTCs will be required to scan the code using their BTC wallet.
A Bitcoin wallet
A Bitcoin wallet can be defined as a type of wallet which stores the private and public keys which can then be used to send or receive BTC. In a single wallet, you can have several public and private key pairs. It is important to note that Bitcoin itself is not in the wallet. The Bitcoins are stored and maintained in a decentralized publicly available ledger. Each of the Bitcoin has a private key and with this key it becomes possible to write in the public ledger. By having the ability to write in the public ledger, it means you have the ability to spend the associated Bitcoins.
What it means to have a Bitcoin wallet address
The Bitcoin wallet is used to keep the private keys of BTCs a person owns. While these wallets are used to facilitate the sending and receiving of Bitcoins, they give and prove ownership of the Bitcoin balance to the user. A BTC wallet can be in the form of a desktop, web, mobile and hardware.
Bitcoin wallets are very prone to get the attention of hackers. This means that you must work hard to safeguard your wallet which can be done using encryption or opting for cold storage. You should do frequent back-ups as a malware or an app malfunction can easily wipe out your BTC holdings.
Types of Bitcoin wallets
- Desktop wallets are installed on a desktop computer. They provide the user with complete control over the crypto wallet. Such a wallet also enables the user to create a Bitcoin address for sending and receiving Bitcoins as well as store a private key. Bitcoin Core, MltiBit, Armory and Hive OS X are some of the desktop wallets.
- The mobile Bitcoin wallets were designed to solve the portability hiccup that desktops that is inherent with desktop wallets. These mobile wallets are in the form of paid apps. It is important to note that Bitcoin wallets are not generally compatible with both iOS and Android systems. Hive Android, Mycelium Bitcoin, and Bitcoin wallet are some of the mobile wallets out there.
- Web wallets are designed to let you use your Bitcoins from anywhere in the world while using any internet enabled device. The main disadvantage with web wallets is that your private keys are stored online. Coinbase and Blockchain are some of the well-known web wallet providers.
- Hardware wallets are preferred because they are the most secure. They store Bitcoins in a physical gadget which can then be plugged into a computer. They can’t be attacked by a virus and it’s very hard to steal from them.