January 14th Will be Known as “Bitcoin Cash Change the Address” Day

Interesting changes are coming to the Bitcoin Cash ecosystem in a few days. A new CashAddr format will be introduced. This base32 address change is optional, but a major development regardless. Giving all BCH users an option to create truly uniquely formatted address is a big step forward. Some users now propose January 14th should be known as Bitcoin Cash Change The Address day.

To put this into perspective, this is not a new yearly holiday. Nor is it an event that will repeat itself every single year. At least, that’s what we hope, but you never know in the world of cryptocurrency. Instead, January 14th is designated as the day on which most BCH supporters should switch to the new format. It would form a united front to do so and herald a new era for this popular altcoin. An interesting proposal, assuming there’s sufficient community interest.

Uniting the Bitcoin Cash Supporters

Given how this is not a mandatory upgrade, the support may not be overly significant. At the same time, it is evident this format will introduce a big change to Bitcoin Cash. Right now, all addresses use the same format as Bitcoin. It causes a fair bit of confusion as you can’t distinguish between the two. A new format will finally alleviate all of these concerns. It should also remove the issues of people sending funds to the wrong blockchain. Replay protection only goes so far when the address code base is identical.

Moreover, the new format offers other advantages as well. Its checksum can detect up to 6 errors in an address. No one wants to make errors when trying to move funds to another wallet, after all. Moreover, the encoding of this new standard is more compact in QR codes. Plus, systems dealing with thousands of addresses will encode and decode the new format faster. There’s no reason for people not to upgrade to this new standard.

The big question is how service providers will handle this change. For now, it is a bit unclear how that situation will evolve. Electron Cash is already working on this integration. Most exchanges and wallet providers haven’t made their stance public yet. This could be a major development for Bitcoin Cash if everyone upgraded at the same time. Whether or not that will happen, remains to be determined.

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Bitcoin Cash has been a rather interesting addition to the list of cryptocurrencies. This hard fork still holds a lot of value among the community. Moreover, a new technical upgrade has been introduced by the Bitcoin ABC client developers. As of yesterday, BCH now has its own unique address format. This adds another layer of replay protection to this altcoin. People who upgrade their client should no longer be able to send Bitcoin to the Bitcoin Cash network.

It is good to see developers address some of the problems plaguing Bitcoin Cash. While the hard fork has been successful, some big changes were made already. The mining difficulty algorithm got a nice upgrade several weeks ago. As of this week, the Bitcoin ABC client users have another tool under their belt. The CashAddr implementation has finally gone live. This means client users now have a different address format for Bitcoin Cash. It is one of the biggest lingering issues which had yet to be addressed properly.

Bitcoin Cash Gets a Unique Address Format

More specifically, a lot of people send BTC to the BCH blockchain. This is mainly due to both chains using the exact same address format. It is far from an ideal situation, to say the very least. Bitcoin ABC developer Amaury Sechet acknowledged something had to change several months ago. It took some time to fully develop and test CashAddr, though. With the testing now complete, the feature has been implemented in the Bitcoin ABC client. It is a more than welcome upgrade for all Bitcoin Cash enthusiasts.

This new format prevents users from sending money to the wrong chain. It is something we see with other Bitcoin hard forks as well, unfortunately. Using a different address format simply makes sense. Any coin launching without this protection puts users at risk. That is never an acceptable situation whatsoever. There are other benefits to this implementation of CashAddr as well. It also paves the way for more secure multiparty smart contracts in the future.

For the time being, we have to wait until service providers upgrade their clients as well. Exchanges, wallet providers, and merchants have yet to upgrade their clients. It is pretty interesting to keep an eye on this development, though. If these companies take as long to upgrade compared to implementing SegWit, things are not looking great. Then again, things are always subject to change in the world of cryptocurrency. All things considered, it is a positive change for Bitcoin Cash. Whether or not it will affect the BCH price, remains to be seen.