I'm about to use shapeshift.io and deposit some Monero to get BTC.

Does a Monero wallet (generated through moneroaddress.org) have a payment id by default? I'm running it on simplewallet now and I didn't toy with any options other than refresh/balance.

2 Answers 2


A payment id is optional, however in some cases it is very important otherwise the receiver may not realise you've sent money to them.

Cases such as sending Monero to an exchange, or situations where someone uses one address to receive many payments, a payment id is going to be necessary.

Generally though, unless the person/website specifically requests a payment id, it's not going to be necessary. General usage shouldn't require one.


Due to monero privacy features, the recipient can't tell from where the funds came. Sometimes, you want to be able to tell a receiving transaction apart from another and that's where payment ID comes in handy.

To address your particular question:

  • If you're sending funds to shapeshift.io, they will provide you with an address and a randomly generated payment ID which only you (and them) know. This way they can tell that the transaction came from you. Otherwise, they wouldn't be able to tell your transaction apart from another and they would be like "Ooh, we just received some monero from somewhere, sweet"
  • If you're using simplewallet, from the shapeshift.io page, you would c&p the address and payment ID into your simple wallet and run the command like this:

    transfer <address> <amount> <payment ID>

One address can have many payment IDs, which should be randomly generated to preserve privacy. It is always the recipient who generates a payment ID.

  • I was trying to do a test transfer on shapeshift.io My balance is what I had (minus 0.032 I transferred) but unlocked balance there is -2 xmr; is this normal? When will i have my full balance back again and unlocked? Thank you
    – Oscar M.
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 18:05
  • 1
    It will become unlocked after 10blocks (about 20min)
    – JollyMort
    Commented Sep 11, 2016 at 18:06

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