Reading: Could Human-Readable Addresses Make Bitcoin Better?

Bitcoin Technology

Could Human-Readable Addresses Make Bitcoin Better?

Toju Omet | Jun 02, 2018 | 23:00

Bitcoin Technology

Could Human-Readable Addresses Make Bitcoin Better?

Toju Omet | Jun 02, 2018 | 23:00


By now every crypto trader has experienced the anxiety of sending funds from one wallet address to another. You first copy paste the long string of letters and numbers, then double check five times to make sure you don’t send it to the wrong address and gift a random stranger with a nice weekend present.


The all-too-familiar problem of Bitcoin address format is now being challenged by a simple solution: human-readable addresses.

“One of the main problems facing mass adoption of cryptocurrency usage is the difficult nature of making token transactions,” says Isabella Dell, Founder, and CTO of IOV (Internet of Value). “When it comes to actual end-users, blockchain platforms have failed to solve the user experience problem around wallet addresses in particular.”

Global Decentralized Blockchain Address Registry

IOV has created a blockchain name service application (BNS) that allows users to input their public keys and register a human-readable value address.

Essentially IOV envisions addresses changing from this:

28fh17fvY9Co2kja9fl24DbFX57j803gw5

To this:

john*iov.value

These new addresses will be shorter and easier to manage for non-technical people getting into the crypto space as they look similar to email addresses, which everyone is already familiar with.

Blockchain Wallet Interoperability

IOV plans to make things even easier for cryptocurrency adopters by solving the problem of Blockchain wallet interoperability (managing multiple cryptocurrencies across different Blockchains).

The majority of Blockchains currently exist in silos, where you can only interact within a blockchain ecosystem by sending your cryptocurrencies to a centralized exchange, trading them for another coin, and then sending those funds to a new wallet that supports said coin.

This process usually requires at least three transactions, which means more fees, time, as well as greater risk of human error.

Atomic Swaps: What They Are, How They Work, and What They Mean for Digital Currencies

Using cross-chain atomic swaps, IOV aims to make the movement of funds from one blockchain to the next a truly peer-to-peer experience.

“With a cross-chain atomic swap, we actually have the transactions in the chains, yet they are only claimable by the two parties,” Dell explained.

During the process of claiming the tokens, certain information is revealed that allows the other party to claim the transaction. Throughout this process, the middleman is removed and the chain becomes the escrow, so crypto holders don’t have to give coins to an exchange or someone they don’t trust.

Ahead of the Curve

IOV’s impressive work earned them first place at this years TechCrunch’s Startup Battlefield Europe event.

By introducing BNS and cross chain atomic swaps, the team is laying the foundation for a future where thousands of currencies that each serve a unique purpose within their ecosystem will exist, and people will be free to switch between cryptocurrencies as seamlessly as we can currently switch between browser tabs.

Would a new address format improve your crypto experience? Share your thoughts in the comments section below!


Images courtesy of Shutterstock


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