If you are familiar with Bitcoins, you probably know what is Bitcoin wallet. It is just like a normal wallet, it keeps your coins in one place and keeps them safe. But, if you want your coins to be safe and secure, you need to keep your Bitcoin wallet safe as well.
Now that you have found a proper Bitcoin wallet, you have set up the wallet configuration, you will discover your own address which you can use for receiving Bitcoins. You can find this address in the main menu or in a separate tab called addresses. There are some wallets that may generate more than one address for you. These addresses are just like your personal bank account number, just a little bit longer. If you want, you can copy the address and use if for receiving Bitcoins or you can remember the address. You need to keep in mind that one wrong number or letter can result in sending Bitcoins to a different address that you cannot access. You have only control over your access and if you enter the wrong one, you can’t do anything about it. So, make sure to always check what you copy or type before you initiate a certain receiving process. You need to keep in mind that a mistake cannot be undone. .
Generating a certain address is a completely random process that Bitcoin wallet does for you, and every generated address is unique. So, if you want to send Bitcoin to a random address, once the transaction is made cannot be moved away by no one, not by the president of the U.S. Believe it or not, this has happened a couple of times and this process is called “burning coins”.
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In order to move your Bitcoins to a different address, you need to use your private key. What does it mean exactly?
Well, your Bitcoins that are in your public address can be moved but only if you use your own private key. The address generated is always linked to a private key and they are always unique. You need to keep your key safe, just like it says - private. Please don’t show the key to no one and never expose the key to any computer or device. Also, we recommend you not to write it down on a piece of paper or on your phone, and never enter the key into any type of software you don’t know or trust enough. Exposing your key to a computer or to another person is a high risk.
Our advice to you is to get your private key before you receive Bitcoins on your address. If your computer hard drive of Bitcoin wallet data breaks, you can recover Bitcoins with your private key with any Bitcoin wallet supporting the private keys (almost all Bitcoins wallet support private keys). Consider the private key as a universal key in Bitcoin to move your digital coins. And since it should be kept safe and private you should keep in mind that also any hacker or cybercriminal can steal your coins in less than a few seconds if he knows your private key.
The private key is sensitive. Sometimes, one little mistake can result in a non-functional key and there is absolutely no way to fix this mistake. A software wallet encrypts and protects your private key with a password. Getting your key depends on the Bitcoin wallet, so before you decide to use a certain wallet, make a research and see if it is 100% safe.