If there are tools such as BitcoinSharp, to allow me to code up functionality such as a bitcoin wallet, how do i do the same for other coins?

As alot of the newer curruencies are based of litecoin, is it just network settings that change between each wallet type?

So my question is, What makes a BTC wallet different to a LTC wallet?

  • did you get an answer to this or discover if there are any differences? I would have thought that there are no differences, because the private key effectively allows you to sign a transaction. That should be the same for all crypto-coins. But I don't know this for sure.
    – T9b
    Nov 28, 2013 at 11:24
  • Yes I did, essentially no differences to the end user but. Essentially each type has its own blockchain/clients/miners. Dec 1, 2013 at 13:04

1 Answer 1


You are correct that the hex representations of the private keys and public keys are the same.

However, the difference between various cryptocurrency wallets lies in how the private keys and addresses are commonly displayed.

There is a preference for displaying private keys in "wallet import format" (WIF) and addresses in "base58check".

The first digit of these numbers is determined by what's called the "version byte".

For Bitcoin, the WIF version byte is 128 (resulting in WIF keys starting with a "5"), while the address version byte is 0 (resulting in addresses starting with a "1"). For Litecoin, these leading numbers change to "6" and "L", respectively.

Here is a table of version bytes and address prefixes: https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/List_of_address_prefixes

And if you're interested in python code that can help you generate different types of wallets, without having to worry about version bytes, I'd check out the python library Coinkit (just "pip install coinkit").

Your Answer

By clicking “Post Your Answer”, you agree to our terms of service and acknowledge that you have read and understand our privacy policy and code of conduct.

Not the answer you're looking for? Browse other questions tagged or ask your own question.