Why do I have more than one wallet address?

Created by Ethos Support, Modified on Mon, 27 May 2024 at 07:15 PM by Ethos Support

Bitcoin wallet addresses and Ethereum wallet addresses are different because they are derived from different cryptographic algorithms and have different formats. Here are the key reasons why Bitcoin wallet addresses differ from Ethereum wallet addresses:

Cryptographic Algorithms: Bitcoin and Ethereum use different cryptographic algorithms for generating wallet addresses. Bitcoin uses the SHA-256 hashing algorithm and the Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm (ECDSA) for its addresses, while Ethereum uses the Keccak-256 hashing algorithm and the secp256k1 elliptic curve for its addresses.

Address Formats: Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet addresses have different formats. Bitcoin addresses usually start with "1" for legacy addresses, "3" for multi-signature addresses, or "bc1" for native SegWit (bech32) addresses. Ethereum addresses always start with "0x".

Network Compatibility: Bitcoin wallet addresses are specific to the Bitcoin blockchain network, meaning you can only send Bitcoin to a Bitcoin address. Similarly, Ethereum wallet addresses are specific to the Ethereum blockchain network, and you can only send Ether or Ethereum-based tokens to an Ethereum address.

Checksums: Ethereum addresses include a checksum to help detect errors when entering addresses manually. This adds an additional layer of validation to ensure that addresses are entered correctly. Bitcoin addresses, on the other hand, do not have built-in checksums, although some wallet software may implement checksums as an additional security measure.

Transaction Structure: Bitcoin and Ethereum have different transaction structures and scripting languages, which also contributes to the differences in their wallet addresses. Bitcoin transactions are simpler and focus primarily on sending and receiving funds, while Ethereum transactions can include smart contract interactions and other complex operations.

Overall, the differences between Bitcoin and Ethereum wallet addresses stem from the underlying cryptographic algorithms, address formats, network compatibility, and transaction structures of each blockchain network. While both types of addresses serve the same basic function of facilitating transactions, they are not interchangeable, and you must use the correct type of address for the corresponding cryptocurrency.

For more information, see:
What is a Wallet Address?

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