Like many I bought my first bit of bitcoin on an exchange. Then I moved it to an interest account. Yet, “not your keys, not your coin”, so I am looking into wallets.
For purposes of making things concrete, let’s take a random bitcoin address: [bc1q6pr364uy3zplj0q7p3w7qm6chex53zk06cz48f](https://www.blockchain.com/btc/address/bc1q6pr364uy3zplj0q7p3w7qm6chex53zk06cz48f)
I read on blockchain explorer: 54 transactions on this address, for a current balance of 0.01232966 BTC.
I have many questions of which it is not as easy as one might think to find an answer for, so I hope some of you could answer:
1. When I download a software wallet (for example Exodus), and click “receive”, it gives me a bitcoin address like the one above. When I look up this address on blockchain explorer, it has 0 bitcoin and transactions on it. This makes sense. But is it so that the address was pre-existing on the blockchain, and Exodus took a random, unused, address and assigned it to me?
2. When I say “assign to me”, I really mean “assigned to the private keys that Exodus created for this wallet on my laptop”. Is this correct?
3. Exodus has not given me a seed phrase to write down. How is this address it gave me, protected? Without a seedphrase, how can private keys be re-generated in case my laptop would crash, get stolen or whatever?
4. Going back to the original example address. The user behind that address is running a software or hardware wallet as well. At some point this address was assigned to his wallet. And he was given a seedphrase to generate the private keys of the wallet (do I formulate that correctly?). Is my understanding correct that from then onwards that address is only accessible with those private keys (where and how is an address linked to a private key?), and without the seedphrase you cannot re-generate the private key and then any btc on the address would be forever inaccessible. Is this correct?