Bitcoin Addresses: What Are They And How To Use Them
To send and receive Bitcoin, you need to know two things: How to identify a valid Bitcoin address, and what address type to use yourself.
What is a Bitcoin address?
The most common address is a Native Segwit Bech 32 address - Segregated Witness (SegWit). This is the address that begins with bc1, and is the best because of its efficiency and accompanying low transaction fees.
An example of a Native Segwit Bech 32 address looks like: bc1qj89046x7zv6pm4n00qgqp505nvljnfp6xfznyw
Unfortunately, a Native Segwit address is not supported everywhere. A more universal solution is a Pay To Script Hash (P2SH) address, or a Nested Segwit address. This address always begins with the number 3. Otherwise, if you are sending from an older crypto wallet, you may be using the original 'pay to public key hash' P2PKH address, also known as a legacy address. This address always begins with the number 1.
A Segwit P2SH address can look like: 3EmUH8Uh9EXE7axgyAeBsCc2vdUdKkDqWK
A Legacy P2PKH address can look like: 1MbeQFmHo9b69kCfFa6yBr7BQX4NzJFQq9
Whatever address you use, it is absolutely critical that you always double check the address you are sending to, to make sure that it is not being tampered with.
Where can I find my Bitcoin address?
If you want to send Bitcoin to your wallet, you will need to identify your receiving address. In the Trezor Suite, this is done by choosing the account you want to receive and clicking on the Receive tab. Click on ‘Show full address’ and you will see the latest, unused receiving address. Check and confirm that each character of the address shown on your device matches what is shown on your screen, and then copy it and provide it to whomever is sending the transaction.
How can I send Bitcoin to an address?
When you want to transact with Bitcoin, all you need is the receiving address which they will provide. Using the Trezor suite, navigate to the Send tab, and enter the address you were supplied.
What happens if I send Bitcoin to the wrong address?
In most cases, there is no way to recover Bitcoin that has been sent to the wrong recipient if the address was valid. One attempt is to send a message to the address using the OP_RETURN feature, describing your mistake. This is highly unlikely to work so, to prevent yourself from losing your coins, always double check the address before sending.
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Still unsure of Bitcoin address? Listen to the experts at Trezor for the full run-down.