BIP Proposal - Address Paste Improvement

Bitcoin addresses are long combinations of letters and numbers which can be difficult to accurately copy and use for payments. As a result, users prefer the easy copy-paste option provided by most wallets which is less likely to copy a wrong address. However, this also has its weak points which according to Adam Ficsor is the fact that it is not permissive enough to allow manual entering of bitcoin addresses and users may find it annoying.

Adam therefore presented a BIP proposal to improve user experience in this process, which is already in the process of being implemented in Wasabi Wallet.

Andreas Schildbach thinks the “copy-paste” method is such an insecure method of entering bitcoin addresses that should not even be considered for improvement as any application can easily replace addresses copied to the clipboard regardless of the OS the computer uses, without prior permission. This means permanent loss of bitcoin if the funds are sent to such replaced address without manual comparison by the user prior to sending.

Dmitry Petukhov however suggested solutions such as the addition of “2FA (transfer checksum via second channel), using visual fingerprints1 for addresses that are hard to detect (and hence, replace) for malware, signing the destination address with the key of an address that is already known and checking the signature, etc.”

A user known as Moral Agent suggested locally hashing the destination address to derive BIP39 kind of 12-word seed for visual comparison rather than use of colours or graphics.

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