[bitcoin-dev] Visually Differentiable - Bitcoin Addresses

Moral Agent ethan.scruples at gmail.com
Mon Oct 30 14:39:07 UTC 2017

If you are going to rely on human verification of addresses, the best way
might be map it to words.

For example, with a 6000 word list, a 25 byte address (with a checksum)
could be mapped to 16 words like this:

vocally           acquire        removed     unfounded
euphemism    sanctuary    sectional     driving
entree            freckles    aloof           vertebrae
scribble          surround      prelaw         effort

In my opinion, that is much faster to verify than this:




Although I really do love Bech32.

On Mon, Oct 30, 2017 at 9:13 AM, shiva sitamraju via bitcoin-dev <
bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:

> For example bc1qeklep85ntjz4605drds6aww9u0qr46qzrv5xswd35uhjuj8ahfcqgf6hak
> in 461e8a4aa0a0e75c06602c505bd7aa06e7116ba5cd98fd6e046e8cbeb00379d6 is 62
> bytes ! This is very very long. This will create lot of usability problems
> in
> - Blockexplorers (atleast user should be visually able to compare in a
> transaction having multiple outputs which one his address)
> - Mobiles
> - Payment terminals
> From my limited understanding, the purpose of inventing a bitcoin address
> format is for usability and ease of identification (versus a ECDSA public
> key), While I get the error/checksum capabilities Bech32 brings, any user
> would prefer a 20 byte address with a checksum  over an address that would
> wrap several lines !!
> On Mon, Oct 30, 2017 at 6:19 PM, Ben Thompson <
> thompson.benedictjames at gmail.com> wrote:
>> Checking the first few bytes of a Bitcoin Address should not be
>> considered sufficient for ensuring that it is correct as it takes less than
>> a second to generate a 3 character vanity address that matches the first 3
>> characters of an address.
>> On Mon, 30 Oct 2017, 11:44 shiva sitamraju via bitcoin-dev, <
>> bitcoin-dev at lists.linuxfoundation.org> wrote:
>>> Hi,
>>> When I copy and paste bitcoin address, I double check the first few
>>> bytes, to make sure I copied the correct one. This is to make sure some
>>> rogue software is not changing the address, or I incorrectly pasted the
>>> wrong address.
>>> With Bech32 address, its seems like in this department we are taking as
>>> step in the backward direction. With the traditional address, I could
>>> compare first few bytes like 1Ko or 1L3. With bech32, bc1. is all I can see
>>> and compare which is likely to be same anyway. Note that most users will
>>> only compare the first few bytes only (since addresses themselves are very
>>> long and will overflow in a mobile text box).
>>> Is there anyway to make the Bech32 addresses format more visually
>>> distinct (atleast the first few bytes) ?
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