What is an Address in Blockchain?

An address in blockchain refers to an alphanumeric string that represents a destination for a transaction. It is similar to a bank account number but for digital currencies. Addresses are generated using public- cryptography.

Characteristics of Blockchain Addresses

  • Unique Identifier: Each address is unique, identifying the owner’s account or in the blockchain.
  • Publicly Visible: Addresses are visible on the blockchain, allowing for transaction tracking.
  • Security: While addresses are public, the associated private key must be kept secure to authorize transactions.

Examples of Blockchain Addresses

  • Neo Legacy Addresses: Begin with ‘A’ and are 34 characters long. Example: ANuupE2wgsHYi8VTqSUSoBqeFR8RtRd6MC.
  • Neo N3 Addresses: Start with ‘N’ and are shorter than Legacy addresses. Example: NU5ijtqEBgNRF5noi5MS4Ljj9zgFpG5P4s.
  • Bitcoin (BTC) Addresses: Can start with ‘1’, ‘3’, or ‘bc1’ for newer SegWit addresses. Example: 1FzWLk9dE5qoVWE4HCHzWNVKb8qVJzJJtu.
  • Ethereum (ETH) Addresses: Begin with ‘0x’ followed by a 40-character hexadecimal string. Example: 0x198EF1EC325A96CC354C7266a038BE8B5C558F67.

Use in Transactions

To send or receive cryptocurrencies like Bitcoin or Ethereum, users provide their blockchain address. The sender uses this address to specify the transaction’s destination.

Generating an Address

Addresses are generated from the of a cryptographic key pair. A hash function, like SHA-256 for Bitcoin, processes the public key to produce the address.

Security Considerations

  • Private Key Security: The security of a blockchain address depends on keeping its associated private key confidential.
  • Address Reuse: Reusing addresses can reduce privacy but is sometimes unavoidable in certain blockchain applications.

Blockchain addresses are fundamental to digital transactions, acting as both a recipient identifier and a public-facing aspect of cryptographic security.