[Bitcoin-development] Bitcoin addresses -- opaque or not

Wladimir laanwj at gmail.com
Tue Jun 11 13:44:39 UTC 2013

On Tue, Jun 11, 2013 at 3:11 PM, Melvin Carvalho
<melvincarvalho at gmail.com>wrote:

> There was some confusion on IRC as to whether bitcoin addresses are opaque
> or not.
> https://en.bitcoin.it/wiki/Address
> For the sake of argument let's say that opaque means that you can tell
> nothing about the address by examining the characters.
> My understanding was that they are NOT opaque, and that if that has
> changed, it will invalidate much at least some wiki page, for examples at
> least some of the following would now be false:

How do you define opaque? As far as humans are concerned the addresses are
opaque. They don't tell anything about your country or location, your bank,
your name, they don't even form some kind of hierarchy.

>From the viewpoint of the code you could argue they have a meaning "address
type + hashed public key, base58 encoded" thus are not fully opaque. But
it's a long shot, as a hashed value is still very opaque.

> I also here that there is a LIKELY change from the base58 encoding ...
> when was this established?

No, there have been no changes to base58. The encoding is still exactly the
same as when Satoshi coined it. Can you show an example of what you mean?

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