[bitcoin-dev] RFC - BIP: URI scheme for Blockchain exploration

Marco Pontello marcopon at gmail.com
Sun Nov 15 02:14:44 UTC 2015


To anyone that followed the discussion (from some time ago) about the
proposed new URI for Blockchain references / exploration, I just wanted to
point out that I have collected the feedback provided, reworked the text,
put the BIP on GitHub and created a pull request:


The need for an URI for this come to mind again in the last days looking at
Eternity Wall, which IMHO provide a use case that we will see more and more
in the (near) future: http://eternitywall.it/
Using that service, when you want to check for the proof that a specific
message was written in the Blockchain, it let you choose from 5 different
Mycelium wallet recently added the option to select one of 15 block
And there's the crypto_bot on reddit/r/bitcoin that detect reference to
transaction an add a message with links to 7 different explorers.

I think that's clearly something that's needed.


On Sat, Aug 29, 2015 at 1:48 PM, Marco Pontello <marcopon at gmail.com> wrote:

> Hi!
> My first post here, hope I'm following the right conventions.
> I had this humble idea for a while, so I thought to go ahead and propose
> it.
> Title: URI scheme for Blockchain exploration
> Author: Marco Pontello
> Status: Draft
> Type: Standards Track
> Created: 29 August 2015
> Abstract
> ========
> This BIP propose a simple URI scheme for looking up blocks, transactions,
> addresses on a Blockchain explorer.
> Motivation
> ==========
> The purpose of this URI scheme is to enable users to handle all the
> requests for details about blocks, transactions, etc. with their preferred
> tool (being that a web service or a local application).
> Currently a Bitcoin client usually point to an arbitrary blockchain
> explorer when the user look for the details of a transaction (es. Bitcoin
> Wallet use BitEasy, Mycelium or Electrum use Blockchain.info, etc.).
> Other times resorting to cut&paste is needed.
> The same happens with posts and messages that reference some particular
> txs or blocks, if they provide links at all.
> Specification
> =============
> The URI follow this simple form:
> blockchain: <hash/string>
> Examples:
> blockchain:00000000000000001003e880d500968d51157f210c632e08a652af3576600198
> blockchain:001949
> blockchain:3b95a766d7a99b87188d6875c8484cb2b310b78459b7816d4dfc3f0f7e04281a
> Rationale
> =========
> I thought about using some more complex scheme, or adding qualifiers to
> distinguish blocks from txs, but in the end I think that keeping it simple
> should be practical enough. Blockchain explorers can apply the same
> disambiguation rules they are already using to process the usual search
> box.
> From the point of view of a wallet developer (or other tool that need to
> show any kind of Blockchain references), using this scheme mean that he
> can simply make it a blockchain: link and be done with it, without having
> to worry about any specific Blockchain explorer or provide a means for the
> user to select one.
> Blockchain explorers in turn will simply offer to handle the blockchain:
> URI, the first time the user visit their website, or launch/install the
> application, or even set themselves if there isn't already one.
> Users get the convenience of using always their preferred explorer, which
> can be especially handy on mobile devices, where juggling with cut&paste
> is far from ideal.

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