[bitcoin-dev] BIPable-idea: Consistent and better definition of the term 'address'

Luke Dashjr luke at dashjr.org
Sun Oct 6 11:32:33 UTC 2019

On Saturday 05 October 2019 21:57:48 Emil Engler via bitcoin-dev wrote:
> Hello dear mailing list subscribers.
> Before I'll explain my idea here, I need to define a term first
> 'address':
> When I use the terms address, pubkey, etc., I mean the same: The Base58
> string

But a pubkey is not a Base58 string, and fundamentally different from an 
address. An address identifies the recipient and the purpose of the payment; 
a pubkey does not. The pubkey remains with the UTXO; an address does not.

> Ok now let's get into it:
> As you should know, sending bitcoins to an address more than once is a
> very bad approach.
> In my opinion the problem why so many people are still doing this is
> because of the term 'address' which is used in lots of wallets,
> implementations, BIP 21 and so on. It is a design issue.
> With the term 'address' most people identify things that are fixed and
> don't change really often (e.g postal address, IP address [depends on
> provider], Domain, E-Mail address, ...).
> Because of this most people compare bitcoin addresses with e-mail
> addresses and use this address to send the recipient money multiple times.

That problem would require using a different term than "address" to address.
A BIP is unlikely to do the job (though it may help).

> My suggestion would be to change the term address in wallets, the URI
> scheme and so on to something of the following options by a
> Informational/Process BIP:
> * Payment Password
> * Transaction Password
> * ...

Neither the address nor pubkey are a password...

Some possible alternative terms would be "invoice id", "payment token", etc.

> The guideline for the term should indicate that it is:
> * temporary
> * Something that identifies the recipient
> I've chosen 'password' because they can be used as a pseudonym to
> identify a person.
> This is already used in stuff like bank transfers where something like
> the transaction id should be used as the purpose or at universities
> there are student numbers.
> The first is probably a better example because student numbers aren't
> temporary.
> What do you think? Should I write a BIP for this or use another term?
> Feedback is most welcome :)
> Greetings,
> Emil Engler

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