There is no lack of innovation in the bitcoin industry today. A new proposal revolves around making bitcoin addresses easier to use while offering more flexibility in the process. This could be a very interesting project to bring bitcoin to mainstream consumers. This new format would also remove mixed case characters, which would make it easier to spot errors.
Making Bitcoin Addresses Easier Is A Good Thing
When it comes to finances, consumers prefer flexibility and convenience over anything else. In the world of bitcoin, convenience is somewhat of a mixed bag. Sending money to friends and family requires users to know their wallet address. Considering how these addresses are difficult to read and contain mixed characters, this complexity can often become an unforeseen problem. It is possible to make use of an alias system, although it wouldn’t be a truly decentralized solution and would required third parties to resolve the aliases to bitcoin addresses.
A new proposal would change the way we think about bitcoin addresses without the need for third parties. To be more specific, it would remove the mixed case characters from the equation, which would reduce typing errors when sending money to another address. As a result of this change, bitcoin addresses become easier to read.
Additionally, this new proposal would bring more flexibility to addresses. According to Greg Maxwell, this proposal will allow new features to be added in the future. Plus, this proposal allows all users to make use of the full 256-bit security introduced by Segregated Witness. Right now, the current bitcoin address structure only allows users to enjoy 160-bit security. For the novice user, this will make very little difference, but more security can only be seen as a good thing.
The demo version of this proposal offers some interesting features to take note of as well. It is capable of detecting wallet address errors when entered by the user. Right now, it can detect a maximum of two errors and even highlight which part of the wallet address needs to be corrected. It is expected this will be upgraded to highlight at least three errors in the future, as the project is still under active development as we speak.
Even though this proposal would make bitcoin wallet addresses easier to read, it would also make them 15% “longer”. Most people would not see this as a drawback by any means, yet it is worth taking note of. Since these longer bitcoin wallet addresses are designed for “human use”, the script code will remain the same. More importantly, this address length does not impact transaction sizes or fees in any way. Especially this latter part will be of great relief to most bitcoin users.
Some people may be concerned about whether or not this change would “remove” old bitcoin addresses entirely. That will not be the case by any means, as any bitcoin wallet address ever recorded on the blockchain will remain valid. This proposal will allow for users to generate a new type of wallet address for the future, although it will still be possible to generate the “old” type of wallet address as well. All things considered, this proposal offers a lot of benefits that will make the bitcoin ecosystem even better than before.
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