What is an Address?
Note: Moonriver (MOVR) on Kusama is a companion network to Moonbeam and provides a permanently incentivized canary network. New code ships to Moonriver first, where it can be tested and verified under real economic conditions. Once proven, the same code ships to Moonbeam on Polkadot.
Most generally, this represents an EOA or contract that can receive (destination address) or send (source address) transactions on the blockchain. More specifically, it is the right-most 160 bits of a Keccak hash of an ECDSA public key.
An address is like your identity on the blockchain. It identifies whether the address is related to a wallet address or smart contract. There are 2 types of addresses: Externally Owned Addresses (basically your wallet address) and Contract Addresses.
Externally Owned Address
Externally Owned Address (EOA), also known as a Wallet Address, refers to a public account that holds your funds and is only accessible by the private key pairs. Let us take the Moonbeam address, for example. An address on Moonbeam is a 42-character hexadecimal address derived from the last 20 bytes of the public key controlling the account wit 0x appended in front. e.g., 0x71C7656EC7ab88b098defB751B7401B5f6d8976F.
Basically, it is the "public" address that you would need to receive funds from another party through the Moonbeam network. This means if the funds is on a different network, the funds will not appear in the recipient's wallet address. It is important to make sure that the address supports the funds and the network used to send the funds. Also, to access funds in the address, you must have its private key. Kindly exercise duty of care when handling your private key as they can be used to access all the funds in an address.
On the other hand, a wallet is an interface that you may use to manage your address as well as its public and private key pair. To get an address to send and receive funds, kindly visit the directory for a list of available wallets.
Contract address refers to the address hosting a collection of code on Moonbeam that executes functions. These functions of a contract address are executed when a transaction with associated input data (contract interaction) is made to it.
The contract address is usually created when a contract is deployed to Moonbeam. Both Externally Owned and Contract Addresses share the same format of having 42 hexadecimal characters.
Moonscan differentiates between the two by displaying the Contract Creation field for Contract Addresses such as below: