Revisiting BIP21

Revisiting BIP21

Original Postby MattCorallo

Posted on: March 1, 2024 18:35 UTC

The discussion revolves around the implementation of a new address format for Bitcoin, highlighting the transition options and potential implications for compatibility.

The introduction of a new key type, which is not supported by current standards, necessitates a choice between two main formats for addressing: bitcoin:newaddressformat and bitcoin:?k=newaddressformat. Both options are likely to affect the same set of wallets, assuming that developers integrating the new address format also incorporate support for the version without a body as part of their update process.

To facilitate this transition and minimize disruptions, the proposal suggests incorporating test cases for both addressing schemes in the Bitcoin Improvement Proposal (BIP) that defines the new address format. This approach aims to provide a practical method for testing compatibility and functionality across different implementations. The conversation leans towards favoring the second option, bitcoin:?k=newaddressformat, over directly transitioning to bitcoin:newaddressformat. This preference is based on the perceived lower risk of breaking changes and the convenience of having a single, consistent location for identifying the new address format.

Ultimately, the emphasis is placed on the importance of thorough testing during the rollout of the new address format. Ensuring that developers and wallet providers adequately test their implementations against both proposed formats is crucial for a smooth transition and maintaining interoperability within the Bitcoin ecosystem.