Bitcoins are virtual currency. Over the last few months we have seen the value of Bitcoins touch the sky. For instance, a couple of months ago, the value of bitcoins reached $260 before falling to $130 USD. In short, the bitcoin market can be really volatile.
A bitcoin address is nothing but the address from where the payment comes or goes. The bitcoin address is an identifier of 27-34 alphanumeric characters, starting with either 1 or 3. The bitcoin address represents the possible destination from where the bitcoin payment is destined or the address that it originated from.
A bitcoin address is like a normal e-mail address. Like an e-mail, it is possible to send bitcoins to a person at any of their addresses. Similarly, like e-mail addresses, it is also possible for a person to have different bitcoin addresses.
In order to maintain privacy, it is recommended you use a unique address for each transaction. Most of the bitcoin software and websites will help you in this regard by generating a unique new address every time you perform a transaction.
Bitcoin addresses can be created offline as well. That is, you need not have an internet connection to create a new address nor is there any need to contact or register on the bitcoin network. The network or internet comes into the picture when a valid payment transaction is being processed.
Bitcoin addresses are case sensitive. Therefore, it is recommended you copy and paste the address whenever possible. In case, you type an address that is not transcribed properly, the bitcoin software will reject the address and you will have to type the address all over again.
Most bitcoin address consists of 34 characters. The addresses consist of random numbers, digits and alphabets in both uppercase and lowercase. There are certain exceptions here with the use of alphabets and numbers. For instance, an address cannot contain the uppercase letter “O”. Similarly, the uppercase letter “I”, lowercase letter “l”, and number “0″ are never used for safety reasons or to prevent visual ambiguity.
Some bitcoin addresses can be shorter than 34 characters. An address can contain a minimum of 27 characters. These shorter addresses are very much valid though. Every bitcoin address is unique, that is there cannot be 2 or more same addresses containing the same characters in the same order. Every bitcoin address stands for a number, in more simpler terms we can refer every address to an entity similar to an account number.
To conclude, to get bitcoins, you need a bitcoin addresses. A bitcoin address consist of characters in the range 27-34 alphanumeric characters. As the number of characters is high, there are chances of you inputting the wrong details or inputting the characters in the wrong case. It is therefore recommended you copy and paste the address from the clipboard of your computer as this will ensure you input the correct address. In case you manually type in the wrong address, the computer will not accept you input and as a result, you will have to retype the address all over again.