A bitcoin address is used to designate the destination of a bitcoin payment. It can be compared to an Iban.
What is a bitcoin address?
A bitcoin address, or BTC address, is used to designate the destination of a payment in bitcoins. In this sense, a bitcoin address can be considered the equivalent of an Iban account number . All bitcoin addresses start with 1 or 3. Each of them contains a string comprising between 26 and 35 alphanumeric characters, which can also be presented in the form of a QR code. Based on asymmetric cryptography , a bitcoin wallet generates and stores public key/private key pairs. These keys will make it possible to carry out transactions, to secure them and to ensure their integrity. The private key makes it possible to prove to all the peers of the network that one is indeed the owner of the bitcoins linked to a given transaction. If you are a bitcoin holder, you must therefore take care to protect your private key, because its theft is often synonymous with theft of bitcoins.
Example bitcoin address
This is what the very first address that received bitcoins looked like: 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa. The bitcoin address is a digest of the public key called a “hash”. It is obtained using cryptographic algorithms (SHA 256 and RIPEMD-160). The private key is the equivalent of the wallet holder’s signature. To receive bitcoins , only the public key is needed. But to spend them, the private key is essential. A bitcoin address is randomly generated, using dedicated software.