[Bitcoin-development] Standardizing OP_RETURN message format

Maciej Trebacz maciej at bitalo.com
Sun Apr 6 07:35:20 UTC 2014

So, OP_RETURN is here and there is no coming back. So if we have it, it
would be nice to actually make use of it in a good way. I would like to
write a process BIP with a proposal for standardizing OP_RETURN
transactions for better interoperability between services. Right now there
are no guidelines for crafting these transactions, so everyone just does
what he believes is good for him.

What I would propose is a common, extensible protocol that can be used by
anyone. The generic format would be like this:

OP_RETURN OP_PUSHDATA[length] {2-byte message type} {data}

So basically, we would have a list of message types, that can be then
parsed by everyone because the format is open. It could go like this:

MSG Type | Parameters | Description

00 00 | unknown | Unused type, use it if you don't want to share your
message format with others
00 01 | none | Proof of burn transaction. Use it if you want to effectively
destroy coins (by sending it all as fees to miners)

And so on. I have few more ideas for these kind of messages, but it will
only work if we try to make it an open standard, hence the BIP idea. Can I
expect that it will be included with other BIPs if I write it?

Best regards,
Maciej Trębacz - Bitalo.com
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