Browse Definitions :
Definition

Bitcoin address

Contributor(s): Ivy Wigmore

A Bitcoin address is a unique identifier that serves as a virtual location where the cryptocurrency can be sent. People can send the cryptocurrency to Bitcoin addresses similarly to the way fiat currencies can often be sent to email addresses. However, the Bitcoin address is not intended to be permanent, but just a token for use in a single transaction. Unlike a digital wallet, a Bitcoin address cannot hold a balance.

The address itself consists of 26-35 alphanumeric characters. This string is the public half of an asymmetric key pair. The standard format for a Bitcoin address is P2PKH (pay to public key hash). Digital wallets or Bitcoin clients generate addresses through cryptographic operations: The software generates a private key through an asymmetric signature algorithm and then derives the public key from the private one. The user signs with the private key and verifies that signature with the public key.

When Bitcoin first started, people could send the currency to an IP address. That was a convenient method for users but it quickly became apparent that it would also be convenient for people launching man-in-the-middle attacks. That method was discontinued and the Bitcoin address was devised as a more secure alternative.

Most other cryptocurrencies use similar technologies for funds transfer. The Bitcoin address is one type of blockchain address.

This was last updated in July 2018

Continue Reading About Bitcoin address

Start the conversation

Send me notifications when other members comment.

Please create a username to comment.

-ADS BY GOOGLE

File Extensions and File Formats

SearchCompliance

  • Whistleblower Protection Act

    The Whistleblower Protection Act of 1989 is a law that protects federal government employees in the United States from ...

  • smart contract

    A smart contract, also known as a cryptocontract, is a computer program that directly controls the transfer of digital currencies...

  • risk map (risk heat map)

    A risk map, also known as a risk heat map, is a data visualization tool for communicating specific risks an organization faces. A...

SearchSecurity

  • buffer underflow

    Buffer underflow, also known as buffer underrun or buffer underwrite, is a threat to data that typically occurs when the ...

  • digital signature

    A digital signature is a mathematical technique used to validate the authenticity and integrity of a message, software or digital...

  • denial-of-service attack

    A denial-of-service attack is a security event that occurs when an attacker prevents legitimate users from accessing specific ...

SearchHealthIT

SearchDisasterRecovery

  • virtual disaster recovery

    Virtual disaster recovery is a type of DR that typically involves replication and allows a user to fail over to virtualized ...

  • tabletop exercise (TTX)

    A tabletop exercise (TTX) is a disaster preparedness activity that takes participants through the process of dealing with a ...

  • risk mitigation

    Risk mitigation is a strategy to prepare for and lessen the effects of threats faced by a data center.

SearchStorage

  • secondary storage

    Secondary storage is storage for noncritical data that does not need to be frequently accessed.

  • Pure Storage

    Pure Storage is a provider of enterprise data flash storage solutions designed to substitute for electromechanical disk arrays.

  • yobibyte (YiB)

    A yobibyte (YiB) is a unit of measure used to describe data capacity as part of the binary system of measuring computing and ...

Close