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Author Topic: Bit-coin URL shorter [Fulfilled]  (Read 6514 times)
da2ce7
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October 11, 2010, 07:46:18 AM
 #1

This is a simple project to have a bit.ly style URL shortener for your bitcoin address....  all it needs to provide the full address in plane text.  On account of this usernames reputation.

Longer-term: an API so that the shortened address may be used directly with the bitcoin application.
(Implementation for a private hash for security)   e.g. bitcoinaddress.com/A4IN (Z5 35 Up)  the Z5 part is private and applications can use it to check if the returned address is correct.  Because desired addresses are hard to generate, Prob a six digit base 58 will suffice.

Even Longer-term: a implementation of a Bitcoin DNS style system. (with security)

Any Ideas/Comments??

question, is there a check hash built into the bitcoin address?

[Edit 1] - changed the hash check part... was very vulnerable to an rainbow address table.  38 billion seems like a good balance, have in the API an optional 8, 10, and so on charter checks.

[Edit 2] - changed the bounty... 200 BTC was way more BTC than I have spare.

One off NP-Hard.
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caveden
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October 11, 2010, 07:53:03 AM
 #2

I'd say only the DNS-like system seems interesting. The addresses are already kind of short, they don't pollute a text like huge URLs...

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da2ce7
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October 11, 2010, 08:10:51 AM
 #3

The main rational that I have for this, is that at the moment it is inconvenient to write a bitcoin address by hand... or even type a 32 character address by hand is annoying... It would be much easier, say by SMS to just message say a 5 charter one.

One off NP-Hard.
jorgen
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October 11, 2010, 09:52:26 AM
 #4

you can always use copy/paste  Wink or as it was already proposed on this forum use 2D-barcode encoded bitcoinaddress for mobile phones
Anonymous
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October 11, 2010, 11:28:50 AM
 #5

I own bitcoin.me and a url shortener was one of the things I was thinking of for the domain.Also @bitcoin.me email addresses. This would mean you would also be promoting bitcoin whenever you shortened a url or sent an email from that address.  Smiley
GeorgeH
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October 11, 2010, 12:24:30 PM
 #6

Personally, a 2D barcode is easier than anything, but its use is mostly limited to smartphones.

An address shortening service would be pretty neat, but I don't think it would catch on unless automatic address resolution was built into the bitcoin client.

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da2ce7
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October 11, 2010, 01:04:43 PM
 #7

I think that there would be many times that a short address would become much in handy...  Say print media, or business cards. - But the main thing is that it gets the ball rolling for a bitcoin DNS system, where we can have addresses like donation.bitcoin.org as a address...

atm you can use any url shorter: say http://goo.gl/oVa2 that is my bitcoin address*... down to 4 character... (if you remember goo.gl).

However the site could have instructions, a link to download the bitcoin app... a link to send with an online bitcoin wallet, a link to auto-buy and send mtgox etc...

In the long term, auto generated addresses with DNS could work heaps like the paypal payment system...

There is a whole host of different ways to make this idea profitable.

but that is just my 2cents (well really 200BTC) lol

EDIT: *well except that goo.gl makes it all lowercase...

One off NP-Hard.
idev
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October 11, 2010, 01:24:01 PM
 #8

i had a similar idea for a short url service, where the user creating links could earn btc for views to their created links.
Anonymous
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October 12, 2010, 01:17:08 AM
 #9

I think that there would be many times that a short address would become much in handy...  Say print media, or business cards. - But the main thing is that it gets the ball rolling for a bitcoin DNS system, where we can have addresses like donation.bitcoin.org as a address...

atm you can use any url shorter: say http://goo.gl/oVa2 that is my bitcoin address*... down to 4 character... (if you remember goo.gl).

However the site could have instructions, a link to download the bitcoin app... a link to send with an online bitcoin wallet, a link to auto-buy and send mtgox etc...

In the long term, auto generated addresses with DNS could work heaps like the paypal payment system...

There is a whole host of different ways to make this idea profitable.

but that is just my 2cents (well really 200BTC) lol

EDIT: *well except that goo.gl makes it all lowercase...

if you add qr on the end of any shortened google link it also creates a qr code  Grin
Anonymous
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October 12, 2010, 02:49:27 AM
 #10

I think that there would be many times that a short address would become much in handy...  Say print media, or business cards. - But the main thing is that it gets the ball rolling for a bitcoin DNS system, where we can have addresses like donation.bitcoin.org as a address...

atm you can use any url shorter: say http://goo.gl/oVa2 that is my bitcoin address*... down to 4 character... (if you remember goo.gl).

However the site could have instructions, a link to download the bitcoin app... a link to send with an online bitcoin wallet, a link to auto-buy and send mtgox etc...

In the long term, auto generated addresses with DNS could work heaps like the paypal payment system...



I'm working on a prototype for a system like this...expect a beta within a week or two.  Smiley
Jade E.
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October 12, 2010, 04:16:12 AM
 #11

  Hi all, I just registered to reply to this.  I think this is a great idea, but I'm not sure if I'd trust a 3rd party for something like this.  Instead I'm picturing using the existing DNS infrastructure with a simple TXT record, similar to how SPF et al. work.  The format could be simple, just "BTC=<address>" (or maybe "BTCv1=<address>" to cover our rears for future expansion).

  You could publish your own records for your domains, you can publish dynamic or fast updating records using something like MyDNS.  It really makes it easy for anyone already doing business on the web (To complete your order, send the amount above to Order12345.MyStore.com), and you could still see 3rd party shorteners pop up.

  It would also have the advantage that no new servers would be needed, but when noagenda or someone else does implement an HTTP based service, it would play nice since they'd have a / and probably a protocol, so we could mostly differentiate without even needing an extra lookup.  In the case that we couldn't guess which protocol it was neither the extra DNS query or the HTTP request are huge performance hits.

  As a future enhancement, you could allow conversion of, say, email addresses into subdomains.  So you could send to person1@example.com, and it would lookup a TXT record for person1.example.com, or maybe something like person1.bitcoin.example.com for safety.

  I think this would be a minimal impact change, to try to resolve an address through DNS if it isn't a valid bitcoin address, but I don't know if I'm up to it, since I haven't delved into BT's code at all yet.  I'm sure I could offer a bulletproof implementation on the Linux command line version, using libresolv which (afaik) should be available everywhere without dependency issues... but I'm not sure off the top of my head what the windows equivalent is, and haven't touched wxWidgets before so that would add some time.

  If there's interest in this and nobody else takes it up, I'll see what I can put together at the beginning of November when I have a slot in my side projects list.

p.s. I just put up a TXT record in the above format on one of my email domains (perlstorm.net) for kicks.  If you're not familiar with DNS, either 'dig perlstorm.net txt' on a *nix or 'nslookup -type=txt perlstorm.net' on windows should get the address (as well as my SPF record).
theymos
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October 12, 2010, 04:47:42 AM
 #12

Bitcoin can already pay to an IP address. It wouldn't be a big deal to add DNS support. Maybe an address in a TXT record could be used as a fallback if the IP address isn't accepting payments.

DNS and IP transactions aren't secure, though. (DNS will be perfect for this once DNSSEC is available everywhere.)

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thrashaholic
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October 12, 2010, 06:43:55 AM
 #13

I guess the cat's outta the bag now, isn't it!

Couple of things:

We are utilizing TXT records, just like domainkeys, and spf, sshfp, et. al. We will be releasing an RFC with the format soon. (But it's very simple) We personally are using a custom developed authoritative name server written in Erlang - for various reasons including scalability, high availability, and because no nameserver available can handle the dynamic nature of our service. (And I just like flexing my Erlang muscles =) We can service thousands of concurrent requests per second currently on extremely limited hardware.

Using an IP address is just as obtuse as a bitcoin address (which is a huge barrier to adoption), and really isn't the point of this service. You lose the address labeling/generation aspect - which is essential to running a business that accepts bitcoin. In other words, I'm not going to tell a new client I met at a tradeshow and sold something to to send payment to xxx.xxx.xxx.xxx, and nobody is going to remember an IP address off the top of their head - that's exactly why we have DNS.

DNSSEC is a long way off for the com and net TLDs. It's also a pain in the ass to implement and adminstration is non-trivial. We're using GPG signing - it's more robust, far easier to implement, and available today. Signing responses prevents any possibility of falling victim to all currently practical DNS attack vectors. (Along with the standard means to address spoofing...random ports and IDs, etc...)

Unfortuantely, libresolv is not available on Win32 platforms (without Cygwin), so we are using a boost library for DNS resolution. This will be implemented as a seperate application that bitcoin/bitcoind will call out to, or you can use by hand. Also there is a fallback mechanism in place: every DNS record also gets an A record that points to our webserver, so if you put the address into a web browser, you will be shown a (pretty) page with the BTC address and a QR representation of the address. Perfect for the eventual advent of mobile payment clients. (That we also plan on offering!)

IMO, there would be little reason not to trust a well-known 3rd party - as the responses are easily verifiable (in real time, you'll know very quickly if you've missed a payment). You can trust a third party with hosting your address records just as much as you can trust Paypal, LibertyReserves, myBitcoin, mtGox, your bank, or anyone really...but if you're that worried, in the future we plan on releasing our entire system as FOSS - so you can host your own after an apt-get and a bit of configuration.

As noagendamarket mentioned, we are finishing completion of this in the very near term and we will be having a public beta very shortly. We will be releasing an "RFC" and client specifications for our system in tandem so that people writing their own clients, e.g. mybitcoin.com, mtgox and everyone else can interop with our service (and any others) - hopefully the community can standardise on some format. ( Ours is very similar to existing RFCs like it so there should be no problems with using what we have )

Of course hosting your own records on your domain is simple and easy, and we encourage people who are able to do so. However, in addition to our basic hosting services, we will be offering full merchant systems with all the bells and whistles that go along with that; dynamic address generation, redundant, highly available, distributed servers (we're talking 5+ nines here), SLAs, APIs, backend portals to manage your orders and invoicing, and everything else you'd expect from an enterprise level SaaS - some time shortly after our public beta period. Currently we are working on a very, very custom (e)bitcoind that will enable even more functionality.

In other words - we got this covered. Stay tuned. =)

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October 12, 2010, 07:04:51 AM
 #14

 Shocked

da2ce7
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October 12, 2010, 07:19:39 AM
 #15

thrashaholic, that sounds very good!
Well I think that once you have released it... you have earn't a 200BTC reward!

Looking forward to the system... Make my other bitcoins worth more! Cheesy

One off NP-Hard.
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October 13, 2010, 03:11:23 PM
 #16

Thrash, I'm speachless! This is wonderful news! The mobile clients-  will there be one for Android?

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October 13, 2010, 11:34:43 PM
 #17

Thrash, I'm speachless! This is wonderful news! The mobile clients-  will there be one for Android?

I am guessing Android will be the first client available considering it is more open. 
(not that im a google fanboy or anything)  Cheesy
thrashaholic
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October 14, 2010, 01:05:47 AM
 #18

I am an owner of a G1 and own no Apple hardware, so yes - Android will be first, of course. =)

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Anonymous
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October 14, 2010, 01:44:11 AM
 #19

I am an owner of a G1 and own no Apple hardware, so yes - Android will be first, of course. =)

 I have an iphone Tongue

*fires up angry birds...
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October 14, 2010, 03:00:25 AM
 #20

Google supports bitcoins, apple doesn't! Na na  Tongue

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