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Wallet Addresses Keep Changing?

Have you ever examined your wallet address and noticed it has changed? Perhaps you’ve entered your wallet address into a block explorer and noticed the balances don’t add up? Don’t worry, this is completely normal for a number of different cryptocurrencies. For the Cryptocurrencies in question, each balance viewed within a block explorer is the balance associated with that particular wallet address. As opposed to the balance of the entire wallet.

Change Addresses

Often, Cryptocurrencies such as Bitcoin (BTC), Bitcoin Cash (BCH), Bitcoin Gold (BTG), Litecoin (LTC), Dash (DASH) and many others have multiple ‘change addresses’. An easy way to think about this is to compare Cryptocurrency transactions to cash transactions. For example, if I pay for an $8.00 meal with a $10.00 note, the cashier gives $2.00 back as change. This is very similar to how change addresses work. Basically, it is the leftover transaction-output that change is directed to.

However, cryptocurrency transactions are slightly different. The ‘change’ given is really from the transaction input ($10.00 note) total being split. One part of the input transaction ($8.00) goes to the payee. The other part (change) goes to your change address. This process is the equivalent of ripping off a fifth, or $2.00 worth of the $10.00 note and sending it to the change address and sending the other four-fifths or $8.00 worth to the payee.

Change addresses do vary from wallet to wallet. Generally, users are given a new address upon sending and receiving Crypto. Therefore, it is important to note that addresses are always associated with your wallet and your wallet only. If you send some Cryptocurrency to an old wallet address rather than the one currently displayed in your wallet, the coins will be received. Change addresses are simply used to protect user privacy.


Has your receiving address changed?

If you’ve noticed that your Ledger wallet address has changed since the last time you used your wallet, don’t worry! If the address is a bitcoin or bitcoin-related one such as Litecoin, your receiving address changes after each deposit made to your wallet. This change is because your wallet is what is known as a hierarchical deterministic (HD) wallet.

HD wallets have what’s called an xpub (extended public key) which generates multiple different public addresses that all link back to the same original xpub. These changing addresses are another way of further enhancing your privacy as no one can take one single HD wallet address and view your entire crypto balance in a blockchain explorer.

If you have any questions regarding change addresses please contact us.

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