I’ve been talking about this a fair bit lately in my YouTube videos etc and so I want to clarify why it’s important and what it means for you.
Bech32 (Pronounced “Beck”) addresses start with “dgb1” so you know they’re DigiByte, and are all lower-case compared with the CaMeL-CaSe of legacy addresses.
Bech32 is a SegWit address format, so it saves you space (~25%), which makes your transactions cheaper. The name is meaningful too, with the 32 part referring to “base32” and the “bech” part stands for “BCH”, the error detection algorithm that it uses.
Yep, that’s right, a Bech32 address can be typed in, and if you mis-type a letter, a wallet could highlight which letter is incorrect.
So… that’s cool, but what next?
Well, in 8.19, we’re looking at making Bech32 default. This is also in keeping with Bitcoin Core upstream.
Most wallets support the Bech32 address format, it’s basically better in every single way, but some wallets / exchanges / services don’t yet. It makes it difficult then when you have to send to another wallet of your own, which supports both legacy and Bech32, and then on to your desired destination.
This is kind of a “last call” effort to ensure they update before it becomes the default, to ensure that other wallets and services can still send without any hassle. Even if exchanges and wallet providers don’t natively generate Bech32 addresses by default, we still want their users to be able to send to dgb1 Bech32 addresses (Keep in mind they’ll always be able to receive from dgb1 addresses no matter what).
This won’t just be default in the Core wallet too, we’ve been adding support in both the Android app, iOS app, Go Wallet, and expect that all of those should be utilizing it as default within the next few months as well.
How can you help?
Well, does your wallet support it?
Now’s the perfect time to test it out, before you *really* need to. Grab yourself the likes of the Coinomi wallet, it’s probably the most convenient and easiest to try out the legacy vs Bech32. Send even 0.0001 DGB to a Bech32 address (or, try) and see if it goes through.
Does your wallet work? Fantastic, you’re all set for the future!
Does it fail? Time to send a request to your wallet, exchange, or service-provider a support ticket and ask them for support!
It’s better to be prepared, and have everything ready 👍
What about the dap1 prefix?
This *only* needs to be implemented by wallets that specifically support DigiAssets.
If your wallet does not support DigiAssets (And they’re not obliged to, that’s OK), then they shouldn’t go trying to also add support for the “dap1” DigiAssets Protocol prefix.
Support for the “dgb1” prefix is all that should be prioritized at this point in time.