[bitcoin-dev] Human readable checksum (verification code) to avoid errors on BTC public addresses

ts ts at cronosurf.com
Sat Aug 28 21:17:35 UTC 2021

Following up on my original proposal, I would like to get some more feedback of the community 
to see if this could be realized at some point. Also, any recommendations as to who to contact 
to get things rolling?


ts wrote on 8/15/21 11:23 PM:
> Entering a BTC address for a transaction can pose a risk of error (human or technical). While 
> there is a checksum integrated in BTC addresses already, this is used only at a technical 
> level and does not avoid entering a valid but otherwise wrong address. Moreover, it does not 
> improve the overall user experience.
> In case this hasn't been discussed before, I propose to implement a 3 or 4 digit code (lets 
> call it 4DC for this text), generated as checksum from the address. This 4DC should be shown 
> in all wallets next to the receiving address. When entering a new address to send BTC, the 
> sending wallet should also show the 4DC next to the entered address. This way, the sending 
> person can easily verify that the resulting 4DC matches the one from the receiving address.
> This would mean that a receiver would not only send his public address to the sender, but also 
> the 4DC (or communicate it via a different channel). A minor disadvantage since a) it is not  > mandatory and b) it is very easy to do.
> However, it would greatly reduce the probability of performing transactions to a wrong address.
> Technically, this is very easy to implement. The only effort needed is agreeing on a checksum 
> standard to generate the code. Once the standard is established, all wallet and exchange 
> developers can start implementing this.
> Agreeing on a good name for this code would be helpful for a fast adoption (human readable 
> checksum, verification code or 4DC are just examples).
> Obviously, this solution could be used for all other coins/networks. But ideally, each of them 
> should have its own checksum algorithm, in order to further avoid sending funds to the wrong 
> network. Especially when the address standard is the same like it is the case with BTC and BCH.
> Hopefully, Bitcoin can implement this first and serve as example-to-follow to other 
> coins/networks.
> Cheers,
> TS

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