Bitcoin for dummies

How do I find my bitcoin wallet?

The Bitcoin network is designed to store, receive and send coins. Cryptocurrency wallets are used for this purpose.

All bitcoin stores have unique identifiers. They are simply called “numbers”. Identifiers are used in the Bitcoin network to manage coins. For this reason, you must first find out the bitcoin wallet number before making a new transaction. However, depending on the software, the procedure differs.

1. Bitcoin wallet number specifics

2. What is it for

3. What information is there

4. The difference between an address and a number

5. Examples of addresses

6. How to find

7. How to create a Bitcoin wallet address

8. How to know BTC wallet balance by address

Bitcoin wallet number specifics

As of 2022, there are 3 address formats.

P2PKHThis format appeared in the first versions of the Bitcoin blockchain. Bitcoin numbers of this standard are also called legacy addresses. They always start with the number 1. In 2022, P2PKH standard identifiers are still common.
P2SHThis format was introduced to replace P2PKH in 2012. P2SH addresses are considered more complex in terms of functionality. Such bitcoin numbers always have the number 3 at the beginning. P2SH addresses are considered to be the most popular in 2022.
Bech32This format only appeared in the new bitcoin protocol SegWit in 2017. Bech32 numbers start with bc1 characters. In 2022, such addresses are common. However, not all wallets support the SegWit update.

Bitcoin storage identifiers are created randomly from numbers and Latin letters. They usually consist of 26-35 characters (up to 90 in Bech32 format).

What is it for

Bitcoin numbers help the Bitcoin network properly select senders and recipients of transfers. In the process of making BTC transactions, you need to enter vault credentials.

Bitcoin addresses are case sensitive. For this reason, it is recommended to enter the identifier into the appropriate field via the clipboard when making a transaction.

What data is there

A Bitcoin address cannot give any information. It is only the identifier of the wallet in the Bitcoin blockchain. It is generated using mathematical functions and cryptographic hashing methods. Bitcoin addresses are generated as follows:

  • Random private key generation.
  • Elliptic curve multiplication. This method creates a public cryptocurrency key based on a private one. This function is one-way (no reversal is possible).
  • Double SHA-256 and RIPEMD-160 encryption. Application of this cryptographic method creates a hash of the public key (Public Key).
  • Base58 encryption. The result of the conversion of the public key hash is a bitcoin address. In the Base58 system, there are no 0, O, i, l, and + and / characters.

Bitcoin storage users cannot change the generation result. Also, this technology will not allow 2 identical numbers to be created.

The difference between an address and a number

The concepts have no distinction. For cryptocurrency wallets, “address”, “number” and “identifier” mean the same thing. However, they should not be confused with Public Key.

A cryptonym is a hashed version of a public key. Since the latter consists of a very long string of numbers. The result is a crypto-address. In fact, the private key generates a public key, which creates a public number.

Examples of addresses

As of 2022, there are bitcoin numbers in 3 formats. BTC wallet addresses look like this:

  • P2PKH – 1Kb3Sx6xiXQnXZoGGUWXz3tvbdqjmhyFir
  • P2SH – 3QVgQ7JNEkxrabfe3BQBtS36sGEJ98DmLt
  • Bech32 – bc1rt6rkb3w2uu31wzkl3fhqq943ch37w6lq5sue7

The algorithms for creating bitcoin addresses in all formats are the same. But each standard makes changes in the basic resources. For example, P2PKH addresses are generated based on prefix (identifier) 0x00. But to generate bitcoin numbers of P2SH format the value is changed to 0x05.

To generate SegWit addresses, bech32 encoding is used instead of base58. It reduces the number of characters to be applied and does not support uppercase letters. However, to generate a bech32 address, the public key must have an ID of 0x02 or 0x03.

How to find

Different software displays bitcoin addresses in different places. Using Blockchain Wallet as an example, you can find the identifier as follows:

  • Go to the vault
  • Click Receive in the service header
  • Select “My Bitcoin Wallet” in the menu that opens to the right

The window will show the bitcoin address and QR-code for payment. At the same time, bech32 numbers are created in Blockchain Wallet for storing BTC.

How to create a Bitcoin wallet address

A lot of cryptocurrency software has built-in algorithms to automatically generate bitcoin numbers. For this reason, there is no need to create them yourself.

However, sometimes manual bitcoin address generation is still necessary. For example, you may need it to create a paper wallet. There are special services like BitAddress for this purpose. You can create a paper wallet in the following way:

  1. Open BitAddress service
  2. Move your mouse over the screen and/or enter random characters into the field to add entropy to the bitcoin address generation
  3. Go to the Paper Wallet section
  4. Enter “1” in the Addresses to generate field and click Generate.
  5. Select Print
  6. Click “Print” in the window that will open

Then you can immediately print a paper bitcoin wallet with the address, private key and QR-codes from them.

Example of a paper bitcoin wallet

How to know the balance of a BTC wallet by its address

To do this, you need to use sites to view the blockchain of the BTC coin. For 2022, there are many popular services to monitor the Bitcoin cryptocurrency network, such as:

  • Blockchain Wallet
  • Blockchair

To find your Bitcoin wallet through a blockchain browser site, you can do the following (using the Blockchair service as an example):

  1. Copy your personal bitcoin number
  2. Go to the BTC Blockchair coin blockchain browser website
  3. Paste the copied value into the search line in the service header
  4. Press Enter or the “Search” button

Then a page with information about the found identifiers will open. By default, the Blockchair site searches for crypto vault numbers for Bitcoin, Bitcoin Cash and Bitcoin SV. In doing so, Blockchair browser will show information about the wallets even if they don’t exist.


Every bitcoin wallet has a number on the network. Addresses allow error-free management of the cryptocurrency. They identify the recipients of digital transactions and their senders in the blockchain. Vault IDs are the result of cryptographic hashing of public keys.

Example number – 1Kb3Sx6xiXQnXZoGGUWXz3tvbdigmhyFir


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