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Quick Guide: List of All Types of Bitcoin Addresses
December 3, 2023

Ever wondered why your Bitcoin address looks the way it does? Bitcoin addresses are not just random strings of characters; they're the cornerstone of sending and receiving Bitcoin. As the network has evolved, so have the types of addresses—each with its own purpose and benefits.

In this article, you'll dive into the fascinating world of Bitcoin addresses. You'll learn how to distinguish between the different types and understand the significance behind each one. Whether you're a seasoned Bitcoiner or new to the crypto scene, mastering Bitcoin addresses is key to navigating the digital currency landscape.

From the original legacy addresses to the more recent bech32 format, knowing your Bitcoin address types can save you money on transaction fees and boost your transactions' efficiency. Let's unravel the mystery behind these vital crypto identifiers and ensure you're using them to their full potential.

Types of Bitcoin Address

#1: Legacy Address (P2PKH: Starts with 1...)

The Legacy Address, known as P2PKH (Pay-to-Public-Key-Hash), is bitcoin’s original address version. Starting with the number 1, these addresses are a direct link to locking bitcoins to your public key.

While their transaction sizes are larger, leading to higher fees, they maintain compatibility across various wallets, ensuring broad support.

Picture a Legacy address as a classic car – it’s the original model that paved the way for newer technologies to emerge.

#2: Taproot Address (P2TR: Starts with bc1p...)

Taproot addresses, distinguished by their starting prefix bc1p, signify the evolution of Bitcoin's address system. These addresses tout enhanced privacy and the ability to execute more complex transactions enabled by the Taproot update.

They're a middle ground in terms of transaction size, providing savings on fees compared to Legacy addresses. While bc1p addresses are not universally supported yet, their integration into wallets is growing, marking a significant move towards improved Bitcoin transaction efficiency.

#3: Native SegWit Address (P2WPKH: Starts with bc1q...)

Native SegWit addresses signify another step forward in Bitcoin address technology. These addresses, starting with bc1q, are a product of the Segregated Witness upgrade designed to reduce transaction weights, thereby lowering fees and enhancing scalability.

Despite some compatibility issues with older wallets, the Native SegWit's Bech32 encoding lacks capital letters and offers a clear sign of modernity in the Bitcoin network.

#4: Nested SegWit Address (P2SH: Starts with 3...)

Nested SegWit addresses, starting with 3, are known as P2SH (Pay-to-Script-Hash). These addresses provide a transition for users from the Legacy system to the SegWit protocol, enabling both types of addresses to interoperate smoothly.

They're an important link in the chain, ensuring users can leverage SegWit's benefits without completely giving up on the wide compatibility of Legacy addresses.

#5: Stacks Address (Starts with SP...)

Stacks addresses begin with SP and are part of an innovative Stacks layer built on Bitcoin, offering smart contracts and decentralized applications. These addresses underscore the expanding functionality of Bitcoin, allowing users to interact with features that extend beyond simple transactions.

As more users seek to leverage Bitcoin for complex operations, Stacks addresses could become increasingly prevalent.

#6: Stacks Testnet Address (Starts with ST...)

Stacks Testnet addresses, identifiable by the ST prefix, are utilized in the Stacks test environment. They play a critical role in the development and testing of new features before they go live on the main network.

The testnet is pivotal for developers looking to innovate and experiment without risking real funds, ensuring everything runs seamlessly before deploying to the mainnet.


Which Address Type for Ordinal Inscriptions?

Taproot Address (P2TR: Starts with bc1p...) is the correct address type for Ordinal Inscriptions.

Do not use other address type for Ordinal Inscriptions other than Taproot Address.

Which Address Type for BRC-20 Tokens?

Similar to Ordinal Inscriptions, Taproot Address (P2TR: Starts with bc1p...) is the correct address type for BRC-20.

Do not use other address type for BRC-20 other than Taproot Address.

We offer BRC-20 orderbook trading, which requires both Stacks and Taproot address to work, be sure to follow the exact guide below.

Read the Guide: B20 User Guide

How to Get All Different Types of Bitcoin Address?

Throughout your experience with Bitcoin, you'll encounter various address types, each with unique features tailored to diverse needs. In this section, you'll learn how to create different types of Bitcoin addresses that enhance your transaction process.

#1: Legacy Address (Starts with 1...)

Creating a Legacy address, recognizable by its starting number 1, is a straightforward process however it’s the oldest type of Bitcoin address.

Your wallet's interface will typically have an option to generate addresses; selecting it may default to a Legacy address. Despite their widespread compatibility, be aware that higher fees are often associated with Legacy addresses due to their larger transaction size.

Electrum wallet creates Legacy Address by the moment you open a new wallet with it.

#2: Taproot Address (Starts with bc1p...)

To step into the future of Bitcoin transactions, you might opt for a Taproot address, indicated by the prefix "bc1p". Generating a Taproot address may require a more updated wallet that supports the protocol.

Once you have such a wallet, creating this address type usually involves navigating to a 'receive' or 'new address' section and selecting the Taproot option to benefit from enhanced privacy and smart contract capabilities.

You will automatically get a Taproot address if you are using either Leather or XVerse. 

#3: Native SegWit Address (Starts with bc1q...)

For a blend of efficiency and widespread use, you'll want to generate a Native SegWit address, which starts with "bc1q".

These addresses reduce transaction fees by requiring less block space. Look for a setting or option within your wallet to create a SegWit address, ensuring the address you receive begins with the specified prefix for cost-effective transactions.

Leather creates Native SegWit addresses by default.

#4: Nested SegWit Address (Starts with 3...)

A Nested SegWit address carries the "3" prefix and offers a balance between newer SegWit benefits and broad compatibility. Wallets that support SegWit will generally have a feature to create these addresses, and you'll recognize them by their starting numeral.

This address type becomes valuable for users who seek both lower fees and compatibility.

XVerse creates Nested SegWit addresses by default.

Take note, if you used your seed phrases to open a Leather-based address on XVerse, you still see your Ordinal Inscriptions but you will not see your BTC balance as it will be sitting on a different address type balance. This is also true for vice versa.

#5: Stacks Address (Starts with SP...)

Though less commonly referenced, a Stacks address starts with "SP" and functions within the Stacks ecosystem, which aims to bring smart contracts and decentralized apps to Bitcoin. Creating a Stacks address would typically take place within a Stacks wallet or platform, and it's essential to ensure that the address starts with the correct prefix for proper identification within this system.

Employing the correct Bitcoin address type is crucial in optimizing your experience with digital currency, with each address option offering its unique advantages. Whether prioritizing lower fees, compatibility, or advanced features, understanding how to generate these addresses puts you in control of your transactions.

Do not directly send Bitcoin to Stacks Address even though both Leather and XVerse wallet has them in the Receive Option.


Can I Send my Bitcoin Balance to Different Type of Bitcoin Address?

Yes and no.

You can send your Bitcoin balance to any Bitcoin address type BUT you DO NOT send your Ordinal Inscriptions or BRC-20 to any other address beside Taproot address. 

Recovering Ordinal Inscriptions is a hassle, however, some wallets offer easy ways to recover them: