[Bitcoin-ml] BitPay's new p2pkh / p2sh address versions and future considerations for Bitcoin Cash addresses

Tom Zander tomz at freedommail.ch
Thu Sep 21 08:33:43 UTC 2017

On Sunday, 17 September 2017 00:26:50 CEST freetrader via bitcoin-ml wrote:
> While a minimalistic address version change such as BitPay's may be useful
> as an interim measure, it should be noted that there is work underway on
> implementing Bech32 address support.

I would not call it an interim measure, it is the only option on the table 
and it is a good one. After investigating the matter, this is what I found:

* Private keys are not affected.
* Public keys are not affected.
In actual fact, nothing on the actual blockchain is affected.

* A Bitcoin-Cash address is at its raw form just a 160-bits hash. We can 
turn that into a user-readable string using the traditional base58 method.
The BitPay proposal changes only this last step, setting a different version 
on that conversion from raw data to user visible.

This means that your software can convert from BCC to BTC types on the fly, 
it can read the BCC type with minimal code-changes.

The effect we have is real, BTC clients do not accept the new string, and as 
such when BitPay generates a QR code or base58 address, it will not be 
possible to input that into your bcore client.

As of upcoming version 1.3.7 Bitcoin Classic supports this new address  
version, at least for p2pkh, and as such payments to BitPay can be made from 

I would invite all other players in the Bitcoin Cash sphere to follow suit. 
It is a rather minimal change with maximum effect.
Tom Zander
Blog: https://zander.github.io
Vlog: https://vimeo.com/channels/tomscryptochannel

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