You don’t have to be vain to want a vanity address. A bitcoin vanity address is the crypto equivalent of a personalized license plate, with a portion of its 26-35 alphanumeric characters closely mirroring the name of the wallet’s owner. For fundraising, collecting tips or soliciting donations, having a bitcoin address that’s synonymous with its owner can be advantageous, despite the privacy trade-off this entails.
Why You Might Want a Vanity Address
If you’ve been involved with Bitcoin for a while, you’ve likely encountered a vanity address at some stage. While perusing a blockchain explorer and inspecting the outputs for a particular transaction, for example, you may have spotted an address whose combination of characters looks to be more than just a coincidence. In a report on the U.S. government “blacklisting” bitcoin addresses, for example, news.Bitcoin.com noted some of the addresses that had been sending funds to one Iranian-controlled BTC account:
A vanity address was also used by the couple who placed an ad in The Times seeking to raise college funds for their “bitcoin baby.” Week-old Izabella’s bitcoin address starts with the characters “1ZAB5Xe.” For anyone wishing to