Over the Horizon vol. 002: Bech32

Bitcoin Address Improvement Proposal

Pieter Wuille, one of Bitcoin’s most well known developers is working on an address format proposal that is not only going to be more secure, but will also make reading addresses easier for the everyday user. What Pieter is proposing is a string of at most 90 character addresses divided into three parts: Human-readable, separator, and data, parts. These three parts allow for uppercase or lowercase letters to be used in the address which makes it more efficient to read-out loud, more efficient to put into QR. codes, and allows for Checksum — which can detect errors in your address to make sure you typed the address correctly which makes it more secure. Most people don’t really like Bitcoin’s long addresses, but at least with this it’s easier to read and less chance of making a mistake. This new proposal is User Experience enhancement that caters both to the system and the human interaction.

As builders we need to take both sides into consideration, prioritizing system & human needs without compromising on the key things that make bitcoin impactful. Anything that helps the revolution of world finance I’m excited for and love hearing about it.

References:

https://github.com/bitcoin/bips/blob/master/bip-0173.mediawiki

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NqiN9VFE4CU

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