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Author Topic: FirstBits.com - remember and share Bitcoin addresses  (Read 24410 times)
foo
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June 14, 2011, 08:10:14 PM
 #21

Clever! I entered "1" and got the generation address from the genesis block. Smiley

How come the firstbits string is all lower case?

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June 14, 2011, 08:14:48 PM
 #22

Clever! I entered "1" and got the generation address from the genesis block. Smiley

How come the firstbits string is all lower case?

It's a lot harder to say and remember 1-uppercase B-lowercase C-3-uppercase D.

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foo
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June 14, 2011, 08:29:33 PM
 #23

Clever! I entered "1" and got the generation address from the genesis block. Smiley

How come the firstbits string is all lower case?

It's a lot harder to say and remember 1-uppercase B-lowercase C-3-uppercase D.

Yes, I get that, but I was puzzled by the loss of information. I guess it's technically not the "first bits" of the address, since you lose some bits by lowercasing the address. Smiley

A suggestion: make the decoded address a link to blockexplorer. Makes it easier to check that you got the right one.

EDIT: Another thought... isn't the "1" at the beginning unnecessary since it's always the same? Drop it and the short version becomes even shorter.

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June 14, 2011, 08:55:16 PM
 #24

Clever! I entered "1" and got the generation address from the genesis block. Smiley

How come the firstbits string is all lower case?

It's a lot harder to say and remember 1-uppercase B-lowercase C-3-uppercase D.

Yes, I get that, but I was puzzled by the loss of information. I guess it's technically not the "first bits" of the address, since you lose some bits by lowercasing the address. Smiley

A suggestion: make the decoded address a link to blockexplorer. Makes it easier to check that you got the right one.

EDIT: Another thought... isn't the "1" at the beginning unnecessary since it's always the same? Drop it and the short version becomes even shorter.

The link to block explorer is a good idea.

I was actually torn between the purity of keeping the caps and the risk of typos / ease of use factor. It makes addresses need to be less than 1 char longer on average.

The 1 identifies a string as a Bitcoin related address and isn't any harder to remember.

Thanks for the feedback.

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foo
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June 14, 2011, 09:15:29 PM
 #25

The 1 identifies a string as a Bitcoin related address and isn't any harder to remember.
True, but I think it could be dropped for the same reason that people no longer start with "h t t p colon slash slash w w w dot" when they say the address of a web site.

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June 14, 2011, 09:33:06 PM
 #26

foo, I would say it is more akin to someone dropping ".com" from the end of a web address, then expecting people to still know what the address was for.

Putting a 1 before it should clue people in to the fact that it's the start of a bitcoin address, just like saying "firstbits.com" immediately tells someone that it is a website.  Saying "go to firstbits" wouldn't tell a person much.
joan
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June 14, 2011, 09:37:31 PM
 #27

Idea/Suggestion:
Redirection of URL of type http://firstbits.com/1kk5k - to a page with the expanded address. (or to the main page with and perform the search)
This way people could link to their firstbits easily.
TonyHoyle
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June 14, 2011, 09:52:26 PM
 #28

Idea/Suggestion:
Redirection of URL of type http://firstbits.com/1kk5k - to a page with the expanded address. (or to the main page with and perform the search)
This way people could link to their firstbits easily.

Of course if you start doing that then no need to limit it to shortened addresses... http://firstbits.com/givememoney could work just as well :p
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June 14, 2011, 09:54:08 PM
 #29

The 1 identifies a string as a Bitcoin related address and isn't any harder to remember.
True, but I think it could be dropped for the same reason that people no longer start with "h t t p colon slash slash w w w dot" when they say the address of a web site.

So maybe take it with or without the "1"? Seems reasonable. Ah, no, not possible. 11feh and 1feh problems.  

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June 14, 2011, 09:59:40 PM
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If this could somehow be tied into an SMS system, we could have a very viable way to buy something at a coffee shop with Bitcoin.  SMS is more or less universal to all phones, while most prior thought has involved an app on a smartphone.
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June 14, 2011, 10:02:04 PM
 #31

Idea/Suggestion:
Redirection of URL of type http://firstbits.com/1kk5k - to a page with the expanded address. (or to the main page with and perform the search)
This way people could link to their firstbits easily.

Working on this.

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FreeMoney
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June 14, 2011, 10:07:58 PM
 #32

Idea/Suggestion:
Redirection of URL of type http://firstbits.com/1kk5k - to a page with the expanded address. (or to the main page with and perform the search)
This way people could link to their firstbits easily.

Of course if you start doing that then no need to limit it to shortened addresses... http://firstbits.com/givememoney could work just as well :p


This is what firstbits avoids. You don't need our special database to convert full<--->firstbits. You just need the chain and the rule. So someone can clone it or make a chrome extension or a phone app and they don't need us to keep their database current, just the chain.

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June 14, 2011, 10:57:48 PM
 #33

This is great! Love it! Enough to suggest that it be built right into clients.
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June 14, 2011, 11:21:22 PM
 #34

Idea/Suggestion:
Redirection of URL of type http://firstbits.com/1kk5k - to a page with the expanded address. (or to the main page with and perform the search)
This way people could link to their firstbits easily.

+1

was just about to mention this.

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ben-abuya
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June 14, 2011, 11:23:35 PM
 #35

Another suggestion: I realize you want to keep it pure, but how about adding an extra character as a checksum? It's very easy for the payer to mess the address slightly by writing it down wrong or hearing something wrong. A one character checksum would drastically reduce the chances of sending money to the wrong account.

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SgtSpike
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June 14, 2011, 11:57:57 PM
 #36

Another suggestion: I realize you want to keep it pure, but how about adding an extra character as a checksum? It's very easy for the payer to mess the address slightly by writing it down wrong or hearing something wrong. A one character checksum would drastically reduce the chances of sending money to the wrong account.
Adding an additional character of your firstbits address will accomplish the same thing (miniscule chance of a typo), but without ruining the purity.

Example:
One of my firstbits address:  18tkn
The same address, but more protected against typos:  18tknb
The same address, but VERY protected against typos:  18tknbs

Basically, once you own a firstbits address, you also own all of the firstbits addresses beyond the minimum chars necessary to uniquely define the address.  And each added character would add in typo protection just like a checksum would (it will probably be a long, long time before any address is created that is only one character off of 18tknbs).  It is then just up to the individual handing out the firstbits address how much "typo-resistance" they want to give their address, versus having it shorter and easier to remember.
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June 15, 2011, 04:06:17 AM
 #37

This is great! Love it! Enough to suggest that it be built right into clients.

I'm glad you like it. I'm sure it won't be in the main client for a long time if ever.

But I heard Bitcoin is open source so maybe we can get someone to make the modification!

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June 15, 2011, 04:12:52 AM
 #38

Another suggestion: I realize you want to keep it pure, but how about adding an extra character as a checksum? It's very easy for the payer to mess the address slightly by writing it down wrong or hearing something wrong. A one character checksum would drastically reduce the chances of sending money to the wrong account.


I did think about the checksum idea and like spike says we went with the option to add more digits from the address.

The main problem with checksums is that you can't make it optional because another address will show up that has the checksum digit as part of itself. Requiring our arbitrary checksum would hinder wider acceptance and I think. And you can get more typo protection than a checksum provides if you really want it by adding 3 or 4 characters.

I wouldn't give my firstbits to my grandmother over the phone, but if I had to I would give 3 extra chars.

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ben-abuya
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June 15, 2011, 10:38:59 AM
 #39

Yeah, SgtSpike's reply was great, good points all around. I'm a true believer now Smiley

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June 17, 2011, 12:29:22 AM
 #40


A suggestion: make the decoded address a link to blockexplorer. Makes it easier to check that you got the right one.

Returned addresses now link to their blockexplorer page. You could add security by telling the payer the first block the address appeared in and having them check.

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