You know what an email address is? I’m sure you do.. It’s a string of letters (and numbers) in a certain format (eg. with an @ symbol), that serves as your identification and also as a pointer as to where the message you’re sending should go. Bitcoin’s address is very similar, only instead of sending the message to it, you’re sending a different kind of information - Bitcoin.
There are many technical details surrounding the Bitcoin addresses and “sending” and “receiving” the Bitcoin, that I’m hoping to explain in some future posts (notice the air-quotes at -sending and -receiving? spoiler alert - your address does not hold anything, it’s just the only address with the rights to spend a certain amount of Bitcoin written on the Blockchain).
What does a Bitcoin address look like? Here is an example:
They are also a string of letters and numbers, just like email, only starting with 1 or 3. They are case sensitive, so it is better to copy-paste them, instead of retyping. They are easily transformed into QR code, so no typing is necessary, and chance of error decreases.
What can you do with your address? Well, like with email, you can give it to people and receive Bitcoin on it. You don’t have to worry about spam so much ^^, but the fact that, once someone knows your address, he can track all your previous and future transactions is not superb. It robs you of your privacy (kind of). There are ways we can mitigate this, like using coin mixers.
This is it on Bitcoin address.