All measurements are arbitrary. They are just an attempt by humans to make some kind of order out of a chaotic universe. In and of themselves, they are meaningless.
~ Felix Dennis
Author: StJohn Piano
Published: 2018-11-14
Datafeed Article 69
This article has been digitally signed by Edgecase Datafeed.
524 words - 200 lines - 5 pages


- Description
- Assets
- Notes
- Recipe
- Example


This recipe describes a method of generating a standard Bitcoin address from a private key.


Asset: A library of functions for handling standard Bitcoin data types.
bitcoin_functions.py [paywalled]

Asset: An implementation of RIPEMD-160, written by Björn Edström.
bjorn_edstrom_ripemd160.py [paywalled]

Asset: A Python implementation of ECDSA cryptography, written by Peter Pearson.
ecdsa-0.10.tar.gz [paywalled]

Asset: A Python implementation of SHA256.
pypy_sha256.py [paywalled]

Asset: A script that generates a standard Bitcoin address from a private key.
generate_bitcoin_address_3.py [paywalled]


My working definition of a standard address:
- An uncompressed single-signature Pay-To-Public-Key-Hash (P2PKH) address.

Standard addresses start with the character '1'.

This recipe assumes that you have already generated a private key (32 bytes). The following article describes one way to do this:
Recipe for generating entropy bytes using dice

This recipe was originally published in the article Creating and signing a standard raw Bitcoin transaction: Iteration #2, in the section Recipes For Using Various Downloadable Assets, in the part "Recipe 2: generate_bitcoin_address_3.py". The recipe shown here has been edited for republication.


Initial conditions:
- You must have Python 2.7.x installed on your computer. These code assets were developed / tested under Python 2.7.13 running on Mac OS X 10.6.8 (Snow Leopard), and should run successfully on other versions of Python 2.7.
- You must already have a Bitcoin private key (ideally 32 bytes). A 32-byte private key will be 64 hex characters long. When used as a control value in this recipe, it must be a 64-character string that consists only of hex characters (the ten digit characters "0123456789" and the lower-case alphabetical characters "abcdef").

1) Create a work directory.

2) Browse to the Assets part of this article and download all the linked assets. List of assets:
- bitcoin_functions.py
- bjorn_edstrom_ripemd160.py
- ecdsa-0.10.tar.gz
- generate_bitcoin_address_3.py
- pypy_sha256.py

3) Move these assets into the work directory.

4) Unpack the zipped tape archive file ecdsa-0.10.tar.gz. This can be done by opening a terminal, changing directory to the work directory, and running the following command:
tar -zxvf ecdsa-0.10.tar.gz

This unpacking should produce a new directory named "ecdsa-0.10" in the work directory. The directory "ecdsa-0.10" should contain a directory named "ecdsa". Copy the "ecdsa" directory into the work directory.

5) Open the file generate_bitcoin_address_3.py in a text editor. Scroll to lines 71-77, which should be the section of text that lies between


6) Set the variable

7) Set the variable
to be the private key.

8) Open a terminal and change directory to the work directory.

9) Run the following command:
python generate_bitcoin_address_3.py

The output should contain the Bitcoin address that corresponds to your private key.


aineko:work stjohnpiano$ python generate_bitcoin_address_3.py


Private key (hex bytes): a26e15954d2dafcee70eeaaa084eab8a4c1a30b0f71a42be4d8da20123bff121
Private key (32 hex bytes): a26e15954d2dafcee70eeaaa084eab8a4c1a30b0f71a42be4d8da20123bff121
Private key (WIF): 5K3pdySk3c2jz3i7jiULrMZN5JSUSEEF1M1bbetRRVAbE2vdEv9
Bitcoin address: 1AGygbyEFYduWkkmZbbvirgS9kuBBMLJCP