A public address is the cryptographic hash of a public key, allowing the user to use it as an address to request for payment.
A public address is the cryptographic hash of a public key
, allowing the user to use it as an address to request payment. Public addresses are free to create since they are de facto in unlimited supply. Crypto users with a strong penchant for privacy take advantage of this by regularly using new addresses for receiving BTC or ETH.
The public address is coupled with a private key
that is used to access the cryptocurrency. The public address and private key are vital for securing your crypto. The private key should never be revealed since it is the access to a public address. A compromised private key means a user can lose all their cryptocurrency. The public address can be considered a letterbox where anyone can send crypto. But only the owner of the private key can open the letterbox to access the cryptocurrency it contains.
Public addresses are different for different blockchains, but they are always made up of a string of numbers and letters. For example, a public address for Bitcoin
Since public addresses are not easily legible to humans, wallets also offer QR codes to be scanned. This facilitates access to public addresses and minimizes the risk of mistakenly using the wrong address.
No. Cryptocurrencies cannot be stolen from public addresses alone. If the private key that corresponds to a public address is compromised, the crypto can be stolen.
The public address of a crypto wallet is displayed in the wallet. To find your address, simply log into the wallet and look for it (it should be displayed close to your account name).