A crypto wallet is an essential tool for managing a user's digital assets on the blockchain. One of its key components is an address, using which other users can send you funds and you yourself can identify your wallet when making a cryptocurrency payment.
Find out about these and other functions of a crypto wallet address in this article.
The essence and principles of a crypto wallet address
A crypto wallet, despite its name, is not actually a repository for your funds. However, it performs important tasks: in addition to protecting private keys, it allows you to interact with funds in the blockchain, including sending, receiving, exchanging cryptocurrencies, etc.
Every crypto wallet includes a unique public identifier called an address, a string of text used to send or receive funds. This is similar to how an email address functions, but the crypto address is randomly generated and includes up to 40 alphanumeric characters.
You should provide your wallet address when somebody wants to send you the cryptocurrency. Anyone receiving crypto from your wallet will be able to see it came from your address.
To send cryptocurrency to another user's wallet, enter their wallet address by copy-pasting it into the "send" field in the app or by scanning a QR code provided by the recipient. Then click "send", and the transaction will be initiated after paying a small fee.
Different types of crypto wallet addresses
Different cryptocurrency networks use different wallet address generation, which allows users to quickly identify the cryptocurrency being used. For example, every bitcoin address starts with "1", "3" or "bc1". Ethereum addresses always start with "0x" and are 40 characters long, excluding the prefix. Litecoin addresses start with "l", "m" or "3".
The most common types of bitcoin wallet addresses are:
- Segwit or Bech32. The most popular addresses used for bitcoin network transactions, designed to limit the amount of information and beginning with "bc1". A feature of Segwit addresses is the smaller transaction size, which makes them cheaper, and the ability to interact with smart contracts, which few address types can do;
- Legacy or P2PKH. Were the original form of crypto address in the bitcoin network until better alternatives became available. Start with "1";
- Compatibility or P2SH. These addresses are much less common as they include certain features, e.g. allowing senders to require multiple digital signatures before a transaction is authorised. They start with "3";
- Taproot or BC1P. Provide enhanced privacy for bitcoin transactions and start with "bc1p".
You should be careful and check the network when making transactions, as if you transfer cryptocurrency to another blockchain (even if your address is the same - like on ETH and BSC) your funds could be lost.
How do I create a crypto wallet address and find it?
To create a crypto wallet address, firstly you need a wallet itself. Pay special attention to this issue and choose the most reliable wallet provider or a trusted crypto exchange.
Most wallet providers make it easy to find and share your wallet address. For example, with Green Crypto Processing you need to get a Merchant ID, with which you can link and manage different addresses.
Getting a crypto wallet address via the Standard API.
First you need to get a Merchant ID and a Secret Key:
- The Merchant ID is the Green Crypto service customer ID;
- Secret Key is required to view statistics for withdrawals (please keep it in a safe place).
To get the Merchant ID, open the swagger and select the standard/merchant option. Expand the list:
Here is a brief description of this parameter as well as the Request body. This parameter will be used to send requests. Click the "Try it out" button.
Directly from the swagger interface you can send a request to the service. There are "fee_type" and "callback_url" parameters:
- "fee_type" is the tariff you are working with ("%" or "fix"). Let's specify "fix";
- "callback_url" is the url for sending http requests. The merchant has the ability to track payments, and the Green Crypto service will inform about the receipt and confirmation of payment.
Press the "Execute" button. The request will be sent to the service and you will receive a reply ("Responses").
Status "200" - the request is successful. There are two fields here: Merchant ID and Secret Key. Copy them. Now you can use the ID to get a new address.
For getting a new payment address the Secret key is not obligatory, it is only necessary for withdrawing funds and obtaining statistics.
Copy the Merchant ID and go to the next parameter standard/payment_address. This parameter is used to generate a new address.
For example, your customer clicks "pay" and you have to give them a unique address to identify that particular order. In this case you should enter the following request. Click "Try it out" and enter the parameters to the field appeared:
- “merchant_id” — insert your ID;
- “currency” — here specify, for example, bitcoin;
- “callback_url” — it can also be specified. If the order requires sending callbacks to a url different from the url that was generated at the beginning, this can be done at this stage. Thus, a notification will be sent to the specified “callback_url” at a particular payment address. In this case, it is not necessary, so you can remove this line;
- “order_id” — order (product) identification number, optional. Specified by the merchant to relate the issued BTC address to the particular order to be paid by the buyer;
- “currency_from” — the currency, here bitcoin, in which the buyer will pay for the order or product;
- “amount_from” — how many bitcoins the buyer needs to pay.
Then press the "Execute" button and the request will be sent to the service. You will receive a reply in this form:
Status "200" - the request is successful. The response contains the "payment_address" field. Send this address to your buyer and they will make the payment. Payment can be made from any wallet as mobile app, web browser, cold wallet or any other payment method.
This algorithm works for the Standard API, which allows you to accept incoming payments from clients, accumulate them in your Green Crypto balance and output them with a separate request. If you want to accept incoming payments from clients and instantly transfer them to the address you specify, then the best option is the Transfer API.
Learn more about how to choose an API that meets all the needs of your business in this guide.
Answers to FAQs
1. Is it safe to share my crypto wallet address?
Yes. You can safely share your crypto address, either directly with an individual or online. But remember, the information associated with the wallet address, including balances and transaction history, is publicly available on the blockchain.
2. Does my public key match my crypto address?
They are related, but not the same. Public and private keys are generated when a crypto wallet is created: the public key verifies ownership of a particular wallet, and the private key is used to digitally sign transactions. The wallet address is generated from the public key through hashing.
3. Is a crypto address public information?
Since all transactions are recorded on the blockchain, any user can view the balance or transaction history for any crypto address. However, it is impossible to access the funds without a private key. Additionally, your identity and other personal information tying you to a wallet address can’t be uncovered simply from a crypto address.
4. Can someone steal my money if they have my wallet address?
No. Your wallet address is generated from the public key, which in turn is generated from the private key. These equations only work in one direction. Thus, if you have access to the wallet address and the public key, it is impossible to divine someone’s private key.
5. Why does my wallet address keep changing and will the old wallet address still work?
Many wallets and exchanges automatically generate a new address for every transaction, and most crypto wallets are able to manage hundreds of addresses simultaneously. Any old addresses remain relevant and can still be used, but this could compromise your privacy and make your blockchain activity more easily tracked.
6. What is a change/refund address?
If you pay with a $20 bill for a $15 item, you are owed $5 in change. The same principle applies when spending cryptocurrency, where the amount paid minus the amount owed gives you your change. In crypto transactions, the sender receives any change due via a new change address generated by their wallet. This technology is called UTXO and, it is important to note, is specific to the bitcoin blockchain.
To summarise, it is worth remembering that sharing a crypto wallet address is not only secure, but also necessary if you wish to receive crypto payments from other users. However, it is worth paying special attention to securely storing the private key that forms your crypto address.