Bitcoin Forum
December 12, 2017, 12:20:18 PM *
News: Latest stable version of Bitcoin Core: 0.15.1  [Torrent].
 
   Home   Help Search Donate Login Register  
Pages: [1]
  Print  
Author Topic: Color checksum system for fast visual checking that entered address is correct  (Read 1253 times)
Killdozer
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 204



View Profile
March 18, 2013, 03:20:44 PM
 #1

Having been dealing with sending and receiving bitcoins on various services I have noticed a thing that always takes some extra time: checking that the address is right.
Since all transactions are irreversible and that every address looks the same, I have naturally been checking them many times before actually doing the transaction.

I have a way to simplify this: to develop a system of bitcoin-wide color coding checksums that are going to be displayed everywhere a bitcoin address can be entered (there is no way to force this of course, but if a system is good it is going to be adopted gradually).

The checksum should be color coded for fast comprehension by humans and also because it seems to be easier to remember. Making a checksum expressed as a letter, code or a similar symbol would pretty much be pointless, since it would be any easier to remember or faster to check than first/last letters of the bitcoin address itself.

I propose using 6 colors, red, green, blue, cyan, yellow, and magenta, since those are most distinguishable from each other, and involve just basic colors and mixing between them. To my understanding, people who have partial color blindness are unable to distinguish between one or several of those basic color, so using all of them increases chances that those people will still find this system usefull. They will perhaps not be able to tell difference between all 3 color bars, but perhaps the first one and last two, etc.

Keeping number of color small also makes it easier to adopt this system on many different sites with different designs. It is possible to make those colors dark, light, saturated, unsaturadet, etc, so that they will still be clearly distinguishable from each other and not stand out too much from the rest of any design.

Right now I have noticed that I have been checking the first and last letters of a bitcoin address to check that it is right (3-5 symbols). I am assuming many other people do this. To make this new system more compatible with that old behaviour, I propose that last 3 letters can be sometimes included in the color checksum, one letter per color. (Some websites right now also have this problem that the field is just too small and that you either see the beginning or the end of an address. If there was a color checksum that is always visible, I would not have to go into that field and scroll it just to check my addres, which is especially pain on mobile devices, with keyboard opening, etc...)

This way, for example if you are already instinctively checking last letters of a bitcoin address, you can still do this, but you will also notice the 3 colors on the websites that accept this. At the same time, on the website that does not support this, you are going to keep checking those last 3 letters, and won't really have to change your behavior. It's just that it will perhaps take you a little longer time to do the check, since recognizing letters takes more time than recognizing a color pattern. There can even be websites that don't want to display the least letters an extra time (they are visible in the end of the address, after all), and in that case you will still see the 3 colors after the address, so the system works without those last letters also.

How the checksum is actually calculated (how an address is "translated" into a 3-color code) should not depent just on the 3 letters, but on the whole address of course. That way there will be less collisions for the last letters+3 color code combination. (And it is that combination that the system will try to make each user to be familiar with).

So to reiterate, the point of this system is that each address is going to have it's own color combination, which is going to only depend on that address. That way, when you see your address in your wallet, you will see the 3 colors and (sometimes perhaps even unconsciously) connect those colors to that address. When you then enter your address somwhere on the internet, on a website that supports this color system, you will see the same 3 colors, and know that you have entered the right address. You won't have to check the letters like we all do right now. Even if you will still do that, you can at least very fast check if the address is indeed wrong, because it will display wrong colors and you will notice that instantly.

Another feature of this system is that we will have a standard way to display if a form field contains a valid address. Many times when I am copying an address to some field, I miss the last letter, or there can be some other mistake like a space inside an address, or some other symbol which have been copied errorneously. Right now I don't see any popular service having instant (before a form is submitted) display of whether an address is a correct bitcoin address or not. Using the color system, it will only display the colors for a valid address, and seing them will directly tell you that 1) you have copied the address correctly and 2) that this is the right one, since you recognize it's colors. (See the last example in my attached image for en example).


Advertised sites are not endorsed by the Bitcoin Forum. They may be unsafe, untrustworthy, or illegal in your jurisdiction. Advertise here.
1513081218
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1513081218

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1513081218
Reply with quote  #2

1513081218
Report to moderator
1513081218
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1513081218

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1513081218
Reply with quote  #2

1513081218
Report to moderator
1513081218
Hero Member
*
Offline Offline

Posts: 1513081218

View Profile Personal Message (Offline)

Ignore
1513081218
Reply with quote  #2

1513081218
Report to moderator
DeathAndTaxes
Donator
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1218


Gerald Davis


View Profile
March 18, 2013, 03:36:12 PM
 #2

Couldn't you just look at the last four digits of the address?*  If the address is valid (and all websites should check and prevent entering invalid addresses) and the checksum is the same then the odds of a typo producing a valid address with the same checksum is about one in four billion.


*Technically you can just look at any four digits for the same effect but it seems that is a more confusing concept to users.
Killdozer
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 204



View Profile
March 18, 2013, 04:12:38 PM
 #3

Well like I wrote in the beginning of the topic, yes, that's what I am doing, but
1) color system is much faster to check, recognizing colors is easier than checking letters. Also having a developed system is much better than trying to come up with your own system (checking first or last letters? How many? Do I remember difference between small/big letters?)
2) I haven't seen many websites that let you know that you have entered wrong address without submittnig the form. The system I am proposing would be checking the entered value as it is typed/inserted, so you would know if you are correct before entering the form.
3) Many websites have fields that are too small for an address, in which case it is a pain to check it on mobile devices.
This is the reasoning behind the idea.
It's not really about preventing any big money losses, since checking can be done already, this is more about the usability of bitcoin addresses and entering them. Saving time and precious brain cycles.

franky1
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1876



View Profile
March 18, 2013, 05:25:42 PM
 #4

this was why copy and paste / qr codes were invented for. to avoid keyboard errors.

I DO NOT TRADE OR ACT AS ESCROW ON THIS FORUM EVER.
Don't take any information given on this forum on face value. Please do your own due diligence & respect what is written here as both opinion & information gleaned from experience. If you wish to seek legal FACTUAL advice, then seek the guidance of a LEGAL specialist.
auzaar
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 151



View Profile
March 19, 2013, 06:48:34 AM
 #5

this was why copy and paste / qr codes were invented for. to avoid keyboard errors.
+1
if you are typing address you are doing it wrong
in future most of app would be bitcoin aware so you won't even have to copy paste, you will just right click and pay
TradeFortress
VIP
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 910


View Profile
March 19, 2013, 07:21:04 AM
 #6

It doesn't look visually appealing to users who don't know it.

The last few characters ARE already a checksum. Well made bitcoin sites don't let you enter an address with a wrong checksum.
Killdozer
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 204



View Profile
March 19, 2013, 04:05:11 PM
 #7

Quote
The last few characters ARE already a checksum. Well made bitcoin sites don't let you enter an address with a wrong checksum.
Which sites display the "correctness" of the entered address before the form is submitted?

Also, where did I ever write anything about typing addresses? The errors arise when copying has gone wrong: for example to select an address on a mobile device is tricky and slow, can sometimes skip a character on the end. A couple of times an address got wrapped in the middle on some site for me (because of a small screen), and when pasted into another field, the wrapping showed up as a space... It's the errors like that I am talking about, not manual typing of addresses, nobody does that.

playtin
Full Member
***
Offline Offline

Activity: 201


https://playt.in


View Profile WWW
March 19, 2013, 07:21:22 PM
 #8

Quote
The last few characters ARE already a checksum. Well made bitcoin sites don't let you enter an address with a wrong checksum.
Which sites display the "correctness" of the entered address before the form is submitted?

We do Wink
Anyway, your avatar image is already wrong by $10 Grin

DeathAndTaxes
Donator
Legendary
*
Offline Offline

Activity: 1218


Gerald Davis


View Profile
March 19, 2013, 11:26:49 PM
 #9

Quote
The last few characters ARE already a checksum. Well made bitcoin sites don't let you enter an address with a wrong checksum.
Which sites display the "correctness" of the entered address before the form is submitted?

We do Wink
Anyway, your avatar image is already wrong by $10 Grin

We do also.  Still implementing a color system would require websites changing (or caring enough to change) so couldn't they just validate addresses?  Also there is little danger in a site taking an invalid address.  An invalid address (doesn't comply with proper address structure and checksum) can't be accepted by the network.  It is potentially confusing to the user but funds can't be lost.  The tx even if forced would be ignored by the network as invalid.
Pages: [1]
  Print  
 
Jump to:  

Sponsored by , a Bitcoin-accepting VPN.
Powered by MySQL Powered by PHP Powered by SMF 1.1.19 | SMF © 2006-2009, Simple Machines Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!