Chapter 1 – Bitcoin Addresses


Chapter 1 of Bitcoin: A Work In Progress explains Bitcoin addresses. You can buy the PDF version here, if you have a Bitcoin Lightning wallet. If you enjoyed this chapter, buy the book!



Bitcoin addresses aren’t part of the Bitcoin blockchain; rather, they’re conventions used by Bitcoin (wallet) software to communicate where coins must be sent to: either a pub- lic key (P2PK), a public key hash (P2PKH), a script hash (P2SH), a witness public key hash (P2WPKH), or a witness script hash (P2WSH). Addresses also include some metadata about the address type itself.

Bitcoin addresses communicate these pay- ment options using their own numeric systems, and this chapter will break down what these dif- ferent systems mean. It’ll also delve into some of the benefits of using Bitcoin addresses in gen- eral and bech32 addresses specifically. We ex- plain how the first version of bech32 addresses included a (relatively harmless) bug, and how it was fixed. We finish the chapter with some quantum talk.

If you enjoyed this chapter, buy the book!