How do you receive bitcoins?
In the previous lesson, you learned how to send bitcoins, now it’s time to learn how to receive them.
Receiving bitcoin is an even simpler process than sending.
(Just like receiving selfies is even simpler than sending them.)
To receive bitcoin, you don’t have to do much. Most of the work is done by the sender.
It’s mostly staring at your screen and waiting to see your Bitcoin wallet balance update.
All you have to do is to provide ONE thing to the sender: your Bitcoin address.
An address is how you receive funds and acts as a virtual location where the bitcoins can be sent.
Your wallet will generate a Bitcoin address for you. The address can be displayed in two ways:
- An alphanumeric string that you can copy/paste.
- A QR code which can be scanned by the sender using their smartphone’s camera.
Typically, the wallet software will generate a new address for every new transaction you create. This makes it more difficult for someone to track your transaction history on the blockchain.
Make sure to double-check the address before giving it to the sender. If the sender sends the transaction and the address is wrong or has a typo, the bitcoins sent will be lost forever.
How do I know what my Bitcoin address is?
To find out your Bitcoin address, you just have to access your Bitcoin wallet.
While every Bitcoin wallet is a little different, your Bitcoin address will usually be clearly displayed and easily found.A Bitcoin address consists of between 26 and 35 alphanumeric characters.
Here are some examples to give you an idea of what they look like:
How do I share my Bitcoin address?
To make sharing your address easy, most Bitcoin wallets allow you to copy and paste your Bitcoin address.
You can paste the address into a message and send it via text message or email.
Most wallets will also provide you with a QR code, which is just a graphical representation of the Bitcoin address.
If you’re physically in front of the sender, he or she can scan your QR code to get your address.
Here’s an example of a Bitcoin address in a QR code format:
Is it safe to publicly share my Bitcoin address?
You can safely share your Bitcoin address with friends, family, and frenemies.No one can steal your bitcoin using just your Bitcoin address. In order to do that, they’d need your seed phrase (or private key).
Even though your bitcoins can’t be stolen just by knowing your address, since Bitcoin’s blockchain is publicly viewable, anyone who knows your Bitcoin address can easily find out exactly how many bitcoins you have at that address by simply looking up your address in a Block Explorer.
With a Block Explorer, anyone can see every transaction that has occurred at an address.
If you don’t want people to see this information, you’ll need to use a brand new Bitcoin address for every transaction.
Fortunately, most Bitcoin wallets now allow you to create an almost unlimited number of new addresses with just a click or tap of a button.
For Bitcoin, examples of popular Block Explorers are Blockchain.com, Block stream Explorer and BlockCypher.