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Vanity Addresses

Mine your own custom Bitcoin or alt-coin address.

NH Bitcoin vanity plate
Image courtesy of

A vanity address is a personalized address you can use for Bitcoin or any alt-coin. One example is at the bottom of this site: 1BongftbUxAXA9MqMr489H5g2ejwVLeTRd

Feel free to donate Bitcoin to this address!

Getting started with Vanitygen

You can get Vanitygen for Windows or get the source from Github.

In Windows, unzip the file and open the folder the files were extracted to. Hold shift and right-click in the window to open a command prompt there and type:

32-bit Windows
vanitygen.exe 1<insert anything here>
64-bit Windows
vanitygen64.exe 1<insert anything here>
64-bit Linux
./vanitygen64 1<insert anything here>

If your GPU supports OpenCL, select the platform with oclvanitygen.exe -p 0 or -p 1, then use oclvanitygen.exe in your command.

Each character you add after the prefix adds exponentially the amount of time it takes to generate an address. Using a GPU can cut the time down drastically but at a certain point it doesn't matter. Another thing that can cut the time down is using the -i (case insensitive) option. Also, the first character used after the coin's prefix has an affect on how long it takes to generate and address.

A leading 1 is a 0 byte, or 8 bits. Each leading 1 after the first 1 in a Bitcoin address increases the difficulty by 2561 (28).


Bitcoin and the other alt-coins that use a Blockchain use Base58Check encoding for their addresses. The encoding includes a version byte, which determines the first character in the address. Base58 removes 0, O, I, and l to avoid confusion when manually copying an address and they are invalid characters for Bitcoin and alt-coins. Alt-coins also have other invalid characters.

An Nvidia GeForce GTX 500 Ti gets about 15MKeys/s. The table below shows how long (in rough numbers) it would take that GPU to have a 50% probability of generating an address with the following numbers of characters (including the Bitcoin prefix 1):

< 1s
< 1s
< 1s
5 - 30s
30s to 10m
10m to 10h
10h to 26d
26d to 4.2y
4.2 - 242y
242 - 14,102y
14,102 - 808,620y
11 (case insensitive)
114 - 428y
19 (max)
3.239637 x 1028y

Some options worth mentioning:

-r: Use regex match
-i: Case insensitive
-k: Keep searching after a match
-N: Generate Namecoin address
-o: Write to a file: -o filename.txt
-f: Read a list of terms to search for: -f list.txt Put a hyphen on a new line at the end of the file so it includes the last term.

Mining an alt-coin vanity address

Vanitygen will generate a vanity address for any alt-coin. Since each alt-coin has its own first character, you run the program the same way but with a few differences. Here are a few examples in various alt-coins:

vanitygen64.exe -X 48 LTC
finds an address with prefix LTC
vanitygen64.exe -X 55 -k PWn3d
will keep finding addresses with prefix PWn3d
vanitygen64.exe -X 30 -o hole.txt DBone
much dig.. such find.. very bury in hole.txt
vanitygen64.exe -X 71 -i Vertical
finds Vertical in any mix of case

Each alt-coin has its own number. You can find that number by going to:<ADDRESS> returns:

What you want is before the colon and is in hexadecimal, which in this case is 1e. You'll need to convert it to decimal. The number you get is what you enter after the -X in Vanitygen, so for Dogecoin it's 30.

There is a list of address prefixes in case the decoder linked above ever goes down. The list leaves a bit of room for guessing but it's a good backup.

Command prompt showing difficulty of mining DMuchDigVeryMoonWow
Many dig.. nvr find DMuchDigVeryMoonWow

Importing your private key

Now that you have a vanity address, you need to import the private key so you can use it. If you have an online wallet, such as at, you can go to the Import/Export tab and simply enter the key there. If you are using the Bitcoin-Qt client, click on Help, then Debug window, then click the Console tab.

If your wallet is encrypted, you will have to unlock it with the command below. After your passphrase you set the timeout, in this case 120. Don't leave your wallet unlocked for too long!

walletpassphrase yourpassphrase 120

Then import the private key (label is optional):

importprivkey yourprivatekey yourkeylabel

After you are done, you should lock your wallet right away instead of letting it timeout with walletlock.

If you are running Linux and using the terminal, your passphrase will be in the bash history. You can avoid this by adding a space before the command:

(space)./bitcoind walletpassphrase yourpassphrase 120

Or use a bash variable:

read x
(input passphrase)
./bitcoind walletpassphrase "$x" 120

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