Is there an easy way to give people a Bitcoin address?



I see that Bitcoin addresses have built in checksums that helps prevent typos (ie. it is highly unlikely that you can mistype a Bitcoin address and have it still be valid). However, I still think the addresses are too long to easily give to someone, publish on a business card, etc. Is there any way to shorten addresses or get specific addresses?


Posted 2011-08-31T18:18:21.703

Reputation: 5 242



Here are a few tips to help you distribute your addresses on a more readable form:

  • shortens your address to (usually) less than 7 characters. To get the full address just enter the firstbits at the website (ex:
  • Use vanity generator to create a more customized address. You can try to create an address that has your name on it or any other word that you like. Bear in mind that this will still be a long address with many 'strange' characters (ex: 1stDownqyMHHqnDPRSfiZ5GXJ8Gk9dbjL)
  • If you use an e-wallet service, there are usually shortcodes that allow users to transfer bitcoins instantaneously between users. You can only use this if the other person uses the same e-wallet as you (ex: check Flexcoin, TradeHill or CampBX)
  • If you want to print your address into a business card, I suggest using QR Codes. They can easily be scanned with a smart phone.


Posted 2011-08-31T18:18:21.703

Reputation: 11 179 shortens your address too – Codler – 2011-08-31T19:33:55.393

3It's also worth noting that combining the first two suggestions can create short vanity names - for example, my nick on the forum is "enmaku" and if you enter "1enmaku" into firstbits, you'll find my address. Firstbits makes any address shorter and easier to remember, but if your firstbits address IS your name, nick, email, etc. it's even easier. – David Perry – 2011-09-01T05:31:04.617

5And it should be pointed out that firstbits doesn't have its own database. It's just reporting to you information from the Bitcoin block chain. Anyone can calculate the correct firstbits for a Bitcoin address just by looking at the block chain. – David Schwartz – 2011-09-01T11:18:21.090

1+1 for mentioning QR codes. I don't think bitcoin addresses should ever be typed. NFC is also nice, one of the Android wallets supports this, just tap your phone against the person you want to exchange address with and voila. – wumpus – 2011-09-01T11:23:06.760

@David Schwartz That's a good point. It also means that you can't use Firstbits with addresses that were never used before to send/receive bitcoins. – nmat – 2011-09-01T15:56:42.517

2Firstbits and similar methods are dangerous, because they are vulnerable to typos. – o0'. – 2012-02-15T08:29:53.513


Wolfram Alpha now will generate QR Codes. Example given here:

– Stephen Gornick – 2011-09-01T22:27:15.593

Some wallet services (read: at least one, have support for firstbits built in. If you enter a firstbits address, it will send the bitcoins to the relevant actual address. – Daniel H – 2012-08-17T22:34:37.480

@wump It'll be nice when you can get an NFC chip embedded in your skin which you can control. Until then, I recommend bumping your phone against the other person's phone, not the other person. – Daniel H – 2012-08-17T22:39:14.040


Check out

The BTCANS allows you to register an account and post associate a payment address with it. You can hand out your payment BTCANS address and other users can query your payment address by entering into their browser.

The difference between and an address shortener is that you can change your address at any time. Subsequent queries will return the updated payment address.


Posted 2011-08-31T18:18:21.703

Reputation: 2 082


It might be worth looking at too, which is used by SamouraiWallet.


Posted 2011-08-31T18:18:21.703

Reputation: 21


onename is a good service for this, it uses the Namecoin blockchain so you can easily lookup the data without the onename website too.


Posted 2011-08-31T18:18:21.703

Reputation: 606


There is a fairly new service that links your public BTC address to your twitter username as well as a WordPress plugin that turns your into a short Bitcoin address .


Posted 2011-08-31T18:18:21.703

Reputation: 1