The Skycoin Wallet Address

A (relatively) non-technical overview of your Skycoin address, and just how unique it really is…!

You’ve downloaded the Skycoin software wallet, made a note of the 12 or 24-word seed phrase, and created a Skycoin address. What, exactly, have you done? What are these 25 to 34 seemingly random alphanumeric characters, anyway?

That depends how technical you want to get. At its most basic level, the seed words undergo a cryptographic process that generates a unique address. This is done deterministically, which is why the same seed will always generate the same wallet address, allowing you to “load” your wallet whenever you like, as long as you have the seed.

The entire process of address generation is outlined in more detail on GitHub:

Screencap from: https://github.com/skycoin/skycoin/wiki/Technical-background-of-version-0-Skycoin-addresses

The ECDSA referred to in the process above is an Elliptic Curve Digital Signature Algorithm, which is used to securely generate your address’ public and private keys. Learn more about the technical and security features of ECDSA.

A universe of possibilities…

You may be interested to learn that the address you created is just one of over 1.4 quindecillion possible addresses. To say that is a lot of possible addresses would be a massive understatement. To be precise, the number of possible valid Skycoin wallet addresses are 2 to the power of 160, or:

1 quindecillion, 461 quattuordecillion, 501 tredecillion, 637 duodecillion, 330 undecillion, 902 decillion, 918 nonillion, 203 octillion, 684 septillion, 832 sextillion, 716 quintillion, 283 quadrillion, 19 trillion, 655 billion, 932 million, 542 thousand, 976.

That number is brain-meltingly enormous. To help put it in perspective, if you created a billion new wallet addresses every second, it would still take you well over 46 nonillion years to go through every possibility.

No Internet Required

You can generate as many addresses as you like, but they won’t appear on the blockchain until someone sends it some Skycoin. That is, until your valid address appears in a transaction output on one of the blocks of the Skycoin blockchain.

This means that you can create your wallet address without ever being connected to the Internet. In fact, you can download the Skycoin Wallet software, disconnect completely from the Internet, create your wallet address, write it down on a piece of paper, and then trash the wallet software and .wlt wallet files.

As soon as you send some Skycoin to that “paper” address, it will appear on the blockchain, and you can simply use the Skycoin blockchain explorer to check your Skycoin and Coin Hour balances, or to verify transactions. How can it appear on the blockchain when you didn’t have the Internet on when you generated it? Because any valid address will appear on the blockchain once it is named as an output in any valid transaction that gets posted to the blockchain.

Become Dora the Blockchain Explorer with this handy tutorial.

The SKY is the limit

Another thing you’ll notice about your wallet address is that it doesn’t contain any uppercase i’s or lowercase L’s, since those characters can be mistaken for one another, just as a capital O can be mistaken for a zero.

You may notice that in addition to creating multiple wallets, you can also create multiple addresses within a single wallet. Since the Skycoin wallet is deterministic, when you load that wallet on another computer or mobile device, you can load each address within that wallet in sequence just by pressing the Add Address button.

Here’s a wallet that contains three (visible) addresses. Clicking the Add Address button would create even more.

The most important thing to remember about the Skycoin wallet address is that without the seed that generated it, you are at risk of losing access to your hard-earned Skycoin. So make sure you have that seed backed up in a secure location!

If you liked my writing and would like to contribute to me making more feel free to donate some Skycoin: GCB5KK9LmJzxxxh2hMoKm3HRXwaJe9vRfd

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