Many questions may arise when sending bitcoin. A common one is if bitcoin addresses are case sensitive.
Are Bitcoin addresses case sensitive?
Currently, Bitcoin addresses come in three formats:
- P2PKH (Pay-to-Pub key Hash) addresses that starts with number 1; Example: 1FeexV6bAHb8ybZjqQMjJrcCrHGW9sb6uD
- P2SH (Pay 2 Script Hash) addresses that starts with number 3; Example: 3GUHMnx47raxdKGyAvgQGHUYH8h1xhFA1R
- Bech32 type address starting with bc1; Example: bc1der0srrr7xfkvy5l643lydnw9re59gtzzwf5aqd
P2PKH and P2SH are old style Bitcoin addresses that often require an exact case.
You should always scan the QR code or copy-paste the address when sending Bitcoin. The key will not work if you switch the case or if you misplace any characters.
Meanwhile, the new style Bech32 (SegWit) Bitcoin addresses are case insensitive. Yet most software clients are not yet able to use this format.
Basically, public keys can’t go wrong. To be on the safe side, it is recommended that you copy and paste Bitcoin addresses using the clipboard whenever possible. Scanning the QR code is also an option if you are sending coins from mobile. It will ensure that the public address is entered correctly.
Though most web and mobile wallets check that the address is authentic, there are some that are lacking this feature. Instead of relying on the wallet, validate the address manually.
You should also be aware that there are malware programs that can change the addresses in your clipboard. You should verify the address twice before pressing the send button.