What is a wallet address? 📖
It is a unique sequence of numbers and letters to send and receive information or assets. In blockchain technology, a user is assigned an address whenever he creates an account on a digital crypto wallet.
A wallet address is normally used for sending and receiving cryptocurrencies. It is a combination of letters and numbers and each address uniquely identifies the source or destination of transactions.
Addresses also have the ability to identify the cryptocurrency used. Different kinds of addresses are used by blockchains that contain unique patterns e.g. for Bitcoin they start with 1, 3 or bc1 and for Ethereum, they start with 0x.
Here’s a further look at what different crypto wallet addresses may look like
Bitcoin address: 32WGoApaVN7WGgWgPRRNoPJkcb4rZHpfHu
Ethereum Address: 0xe9efe1fcc5a5dc299d66a9694ee1dd57d14e6f38537124e8a80ab8f46ad75fab
You can even customize them by adding your name or anything that you want. This kind is referred to as a vanity address. It is actually the same as generating a private key from which the public key will be derived.
An example of a vanity address:
If you’re looking to make your address, here are some of the best crypto wallets to use
Using addresses is pretty simple. Suppose you have a friend who asks for some crypto. You can simply ask for his crypto wallet address and send the desired amount from your wallet to his wallet.
There is an important difference to know between addresses and private keys. Crypto wallet addresses can be shared publicly but the private key must not be shared with anyone. Many websites are scamming users by asking for their private keys and several have lost crypto worth thousands of dollars as a consequence.
History of wallets in cryptocurrency
The concept of a wallet is a fascinating one because cryptocurrency is essentially virtual, unlike fiat currency. A currency that doesn’t exist in a material form should not need a wallet, right?
Exactly! But people use fiat wallets to secure an amount of money. This shows that there is a threat of losing money. Well, similar concepts apply to virtual currency as well. You might end up losing the currency, get it stolen at the hands of hackers, etc.
Other than that, wallets come in super handy for trading the currency that you have.
However, there is a very interesting history of the evolution of wallets and their many different types.
- Paper wallets: One of the earliest forms of wallets is a paper wallet. They are a form of offline storage, and in such a wallet you print out your private and public keys.
- Software wallets: Software wallets are a step ahead of paper wallets. They can store and manage multiple cryptocurrencies and their examples include MyEtherWallet, Bitcoin Core, etc.
- Web wallets: Web wallets, as the name says, are based out of a browser. MetaMask could serve as a great example of web wallets.
- Mobile wallets: Today, from trading to minting, everything is possible on a mobile phone. Thus mobile wallets are an excellent idea. Coinbase and MetaMask are both functional on smartphones and serve as good examples.
- Hardware wallets: People with a significant amount of cryptocurrency and those who are also careful about security usually have hardware wallets. These are physical wallets that do not have much of a connection to the internet and are separate devices. Examples include Ledger X, KeepKey, and Trezor Model T.
All in all, crypto wallets are an important part of cryptocurrencies. They provide security, reliance, and easy-trading opportunities.