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It seems like mainstream access would be easier if there was a more human readable system for bitcoin addresses. No one has to remember IP addresses, we have servers with databases for that.

What type of infrastructure is there to send bitcoins to easy-to-remember addresses? Will it ever be a permanent part of the protocol?

  • I think I saw a BIPS for that, never took off though. – Steven Roose May 31 '13 at 21:48
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    I don't know if there were other services but, yes, there was once one. I personally wrote what I called the "BTC Address Naming System" way back in 2010. The purpose of the system was so that people could register simple user IDs and others could easily query the system for a bitcoin address. It outputted QR codes too, which at the time was a little bit novel. No one ever used the service, though. After 6 months, I had about 16 users and most never logged in, nor were there accounts be queried. I still think this is a good idea. Maybe I was ahead of my time. – RLH Oct 30 '13 at 12:05
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The NXT Cryto has a built in alias system:

http://www.nxtcrypto.org/

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http://wantsbtc.com is a dns-like service that forces the user to sign his chosen username to his btc address, thereby proving that they own it.

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Yes, check out Onename - it's exactly what you're describing.

It allows users to register usernames and associate those names with Bitcoin addresses.

And the key part is that these usernames are registered in a decentralized namespace according to Open Name System (a decentralized naming protocol).

The decentralized namespace part means that anyone can look up the username-to-Bitcoin-address mappings directly in the blockchain (using something like opendig) and trust that the information is correct.

Further, any wallet or exchange can support "pay by username" or "withdraw by username" just by looking up the data in the blockchain.

Disclosure: I'm one of the creators of onename and ONS.

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The Bitcoin Payment Protocol (BIP70-72) allows fetching a payment request from a URL (and other sources), and has several advantages over using addresses directly in a client.

From a user's perspective, it looks like a pay-to-URL, bypassing the need for the user to see the actual addresses involved.

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