If you have received Bitcoin then you have probably noticed your address change. Although this may sound worrying it is part of the functionality of the network rather than a bug.
In this article, I will be covering why Bitcoin addresses change and much more. So without further ado, let’s jump right in.
Bitcoin generates new addresses to increase privacy. All in all, it prevents third parties from viewing other trades that were executed using your account.
Why does my Bitcoin address keep changing?
The primary reason that Bitcoin addresses change is due to privacy. All Bitcoin transactions are traceable as it utilizes a public ledger known as the blockchain. Changing them effectively breaks up the audit trail between multiple transactions.
In other words, each transaction is separated, and therefore it is harder for people to connect them and analyze your transaction history.
Will old Bitcoin addresses still work?
Old Bitcoin addresses still work. If you send transactions to them they will still process correctly and you will receive funds in your wallet. All in all, multiple addresses can be used for each user.
Therefore, as long as you have the corresponding private key then you can access previous addresses. That being said, if you use the same address multiple times then it is easier for people to track your transaction history.
How do Bitcoin addresses work?
A Bitcoin address is a set of randomly generated words and numbers used to identify users. It usually consists of between 26 and 35 alphanumeric characters.
Essentially, this is a shortened string that is derived from the user’s public key. This provides better legibility and reduces human error.
This information is completely public and can be used to receive Bitcoin. That being said, only the owners of the private key have control of the Bitcoin wallet address.
Simply put, the private key grants full control and ownership of assets held by this address similar to a verification PIN for traditional banking. Owners of the private key can also generate multiple Bitcoin addresses.
It is worth that private keys must be stored securely in order to prevent unwanted parties gaining access to your funds. Therefore, it is vital to store them in a hardware wallet.
The hardware wallet that I recommend is the Ledger Nano X. You can check out my review here.
What happens to previous Bitcoin addresses?
All previous addresses generated by a Bitcoin wallet and private key remain tied permanently. Therefore, they are valid forever and can continue to receive funds.
What happens if I send Bitcoin to the wrong address?
Unfortunately, transactions on the Bitcoin blockchain are immutable. This means they cannot be canceled or edited. Therefore, to recover your funds you will have to cooperate with the owner of the address to which you sent the funds.
What’s the difference between a Bitcoin public key and a private key?
A public key is used to receive Bitcoin, whereas a private key is used to verify transactions while also granting access to your Bitcoin.
Where are Bitcoin public keys and addresses stored?
The keys and addresses to your Bitcoin wallet are stored on a physical electronic device. This can be a computer, a hardware wallet, or even a piece of paper.
If you want to view this article in a more visual format then please check out my video below:
As you can see, the changing of wallet addresses is an essential part of Bitcoins’ privacy. It ultimately breaks up transaction information allowing people to transact with discretion
I hope you found this article useful and thanks for reading it. Want to learn about why Bitcoin affects altcoins? Click here to read my previous article.