The Original Address Format

Money Button now supports the original address format that starts with a 1. We we no longer display cashaddr anywhere, but we do support cashaddr for backwards-compatibility in the button and for withdrawals. If you are already using Money Button, there is nothing you need to do — your buttons now support the original address format.

The cashaddr address format was an attempt to improve on the original address format, but the attempt failed because most wallets never adopted the new format. Instead of getting a better address format, we got an ecosystem of mixed and incompatible address formats. Users often found they had to use a third party address converter to send from wallet to wallet, which created a barrier to adoption, a security risk, and a user experience irritation.

Since the original address format was already supported at a technical level by every wallet, the best option under the circumstances was to simply to switch back to the original address format. Centbee, Handcash, and other Bitcoin (BSV) wallets have done the same thing.

We need to be conscious of preventing unintentional cross-chain transactions. The original address format is the same as Bitcoin Core (BTC), which means people can accidentally send to or from the wrong chain, which can be difficult to recover.

The proper answer to this problem is to hide addresses from the users. Users should simply be able to send from wallet to wallet without ever seeing the address, using technologies like Money Button, BIP70, and Handcash handles.

Unfortunately, universal support for these technologies will take a while to roll out. Until then, we should recognize that the cross-chain problem was never actually solved by cashaddr since most wallets never adopted it—the cross-chain transaction problem currently exists and is not exacerbated by switching back to the original format. Instead, by switching back to the orignal format, we simply gain the ability to reliability send wallet to wallet without having to use a third party address converter.

We plan to work with the Bitcoin (BSV) ecosystem to gradually eliminate addresses from the user experience over the coming weeks, months, and years. We will know the problem is fully solved when users never have to see addresses when sending money.

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