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I have 2 BTC QT wallets (and 1 LTC QT wallet), and am looking for a generic receive address for my wallets. In Electrum, Mist/Ethereum and Rippex, I get a single unique address to receive. In the QT apps however, I need to "Request payment", which then gives me a new receive address every time I make this request. It also says [checkbox] Reuse an existing receiving address (not recommended).

Is there such a thing as a generic receive address for a QT wallet? If I need to create a new request every time I want to receive coin, that's not ideal.

Am I missing something, or how does this work?

Or can I just create a receive address once off and keep using that, not sure why it's not recommended..

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You can certainly give out the same address to as many people as you want. An address is really just a representation of the public part of a cryptographic key pair, and you will still have the corresponding private key. That means, the address will still function, regardless of how many times you use it to receive money.

However, as the app tells you, this is not recommended. The reason is privacy. Remember that the blockchain is public, and your addresses are unique. When you give out an address, you are telling that person that this address is associated with your identity. They can then look up that address on the blockchain, and see how many other times someone has given you money through that address...and how much.

If you have given the same address out to a lot of people, then a lot of people can do this, and there's a lot more data for them to see. This can then be used in conjunction with other blockchain analysis techniques, and you end up with a lot of people being able to gleam insights into where you get your money, how much money you have, and where you spend it. In short, you are giving up a great deal of privacy.

On the other hand, when you use a new address every time, you are giving away very little information to people paying you. If they look up the address, they will see that it is a completely new and never before used random number. They will not be able to determine how many other people have been paying you, and far fewer people will know that this particular address is tied to your identity. Blockchain analysis can still determine a few things, but with a lot less data to start with, the results won't be anywhere near as complete as they are when you reuse addresses.

Unless there is some important and unique benefit you get from reusing addresses, you really shouldn't.

  • Thanks! So, the main reason for me is that I'm not very actively using my coins. I'm in the process of better securing my wallets and want to move them to a slightly less accessible place. But say now, the price of BTC drops and I quickly want to buy (from where ever, e.g. at work), I don't want to have to load Bitcoin Core and with my wallet (which I might not have access to at the time), generate a receive address. So just for ease of use. If you're a small time user like myself, do you think security/privacy is really an issue? – Richard Jun 3 '17 at 14:24
  • Or should I perhaps generate a bunch of receive addresses, for use in the future, whenever? Only thing is that say I save that list on e.g. Dropbox, and someone gets their hands on that list, they can change the receive addresses to their own.. – Richard Jun 3 '17 at 16:59
  • When it comes to securing bitcoin, it's best not to roll your own solution. These problems are mostly solved. In your case, just use a wallet on your phone that only has a limited amount on it, and use that to give it new addresses. When it gets a lot in it, make regular transfers back to your main wallet. It's like the difference between a purse and a bank account. – Jestin Jun 3 '17 at 17:06
  • Sure, that actually makes a lot of sense. Rather just "pop-up" an on-the-fly wallet on mobile or e.g. Electrum, receive funds, and then move them to a more appropriate account later. Thanks! – Richard Jun 3 '17 at 19:05
  • Another reason to use new addresses is quantum-resistance, since address which sent at least 1 outgoing transaction will be vulnerable for quantum computers – icherevkov Dec 30 '17 at 0:45

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