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Legacy and Segwit addresses
Legacy and Segwit addresses

Find out the differences between Bitcoin Legacy and SegWit addresses

Farhan avatar
Written by Farhan
Updated over a week ago


Legacy and SegWit addresses are two types of addresses in the Bitcoin network that differ in format and functionality. SegWit addresses offer advantages in terms of lower transaction fees and better scalability compared to Legacy addresses. However, certain SegWit addresses (bech32) might not be compatible with all services, so users should be cautious when sending funds to make sure the recipient's service can receive funds at a SegWit address.

Table of contents

Differences between Legacy and SegWit Bitcoin addresses

Legacy Addresses:

  • Format: Legacy addresses start with the number '1'. For example, "1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa" is a Legacy address.

  • Size: Transactions from Legacy addresses tend to be larger in size, which means they take up more block space.

  • Fees: As a result, sending transactions from Legacy addresses usually incurs higher fees compared to SegWit addresses.

  • Compatibility: They are compatible with all Bitcoin wallets as they have been around since the beginning of Bitcoin.

SegWit Addresses:

  • Format: There are two types of SegWit addresses. One starts with '3' (P2SH format), which is more common, and the other starts with 'bc1' (bech32 format). For example, "3J98t1WpEZ73CNmQviecrnyiWrnqRhWNLy" is a SegWit address in P2SH format, and "bc1qar0srrr7xfkvy5l643lydnw9re59gtzzwf5mdq" is in bech32 format.

  • Size: Transactions from SegWit addresses are smaller in size or, when the same size as Legacy, effectively take up less block space due to a different calculation of 'weight' in the block.

  • Fees: As a result, sending transactions from SegWit addresses usually incurs lower fees compared to Legacy addresses.

SegWit was implemented as an upgrade to the Bitcoin network to enable better scaling solutions like the Lightning Network.

My wallet shows Legacy addresses instead of SegWit addresses

Although the Wallet app may show legacy address instead of SegWit address under "Transaction History", both addresses will belong to the same receiver. SegWit addresses start with 3 or bc1. Legacy addresses start with 1.

Legacy address sample screenshot:

Segwit address sample screenshot:

To verify that the transaction was delivered to the same receiver, please visit these links and check for Hex string.

If the Hex string comes up as the same result, that means both Legacy and SegWit address belongs to the same person and the BTC was delivered successfully.

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