Vanity Address

Addresses that hold cryptocurrency. Instead of random alphanumeric strings, however, users with vanity addresses can choose specific words and phrases for their addresses, similar to vanity license plates,

In the cryptocurrency space, a typical cryptocurrency address is represented by a string of alphanumeric characters. 

If you’ve sent or received cryptocurrency you know you can use these typical addresses to get and send funds. And if you’ve done this then you know they may be displayed like this: ‘3P4glGKlpKJrgvj4n7GBgnLNqBdjVgf3jx’. 

A bitcoin vanity address on the other hand may be generated as: ‘3LoveBPzzD72PUXLzCkYAtGFYmK5Vynr33’

As you can see, this vanity address contains the word ‘Love’ as the first four Base-58 letters -- and it’s still valid!

Using these vanity addresses allows people to send and receive a personalized human-readable message. 

If you’re interested in making your own vanity address, you need to generate and test millions of candidate private keys until a bitcoin address with your personalized pattern is discovered. 

As you can guess, this process may take some time since you’ll be hunting through many combinations. 

In the case of Bitcoin, the hashing functions used to make a bitcoin address from the public key are: Secure Hash Algorithm 256 (SHA-256) and RACE Integrity Primitives Evaluation Message Digest 160 (RIPEMD-160). 

These functions are as complicated as they sound and the process of generating a vanity address will involve your wallet selecting a private key at random, deriving the public key, deriving the bitcoin address, and then checking if the bitcoin address matches what you wanted your vanity address to say. 

This process is repeated millions of times until you’re satisfied. 

If you’re considering this, just know that you’ll need specialized hardware, such as custom-built desktops with multiple graphics processing units (GPUs) and then at least -- since you’re generating it yourself with your own hardware -- you’ll be a bit safer in using it. 

You can also use a third party, but make sure they are a reputable site that won’t somehow see your private key or other information that might compromise you or your funds. 

One advantage of having a vanity address is that it makes it difficult for a malicious person to substitute their own address and fool individuals into paying them instead of you.

So balance out the risks and rewards before creating your own vanity address.