Can Base58Check encoding be used to encode a Version 4 UUID?

This would be handy for the same reasons as encoding Bitcoin public keys in Base58Check instead of Base64.

I've read the Bitcoin wiki pages on address encoding and the list of address prefixes, but it isn't clear whether Base58Check encoding can be used reliably for version 4 UUIDs without reserving a prefix somehow. For example, U for UUID.

1 Answer 1


Nothing is preventing any sort of data from using Base58Check encoding, but I'm not sure why you would want to. There's already a multitude of 'altcoins' using a variety of address prefixes though, so you might run into issues should one of them become a real-world success.

In reality, I'd just avoid having users typing a UUID-type string at all, then you don't need to worry about having the typing friendly characters and checksum.

  • None of the other Base58Check address schemes are simple UUIDs, but rather some hash or key preservation scheme. UUIDs in and of themselves don't contain a check digit or avoid similar looking characters. Typing in long strings, be they UUIDs or Bitcoin addresses, is tiresome for users but I can't anticipate how they choose to propagate a UUID so I should make value transcription slightly easier and more robust with Base58Check. Obviously transferring without human error (TCP/IP, QR Codes, SDCard, etc) is preferable but not guaranteed. Sep 22, 2013 at 23:26
  • My point was that having the same version as an address of an altcoin could be confusing, as they would both look remarkably similar to the user.
    – Anonymous
    Sep 23, 2013 at 0:14
  • Yes, similarity is an unavoidable byproduct of pseudorandom values; as any item looks much like another. Some degree of visual distinction could be gained by prefixing "UUID-" in the same manner that BitMessages prefix "BM-" but the question of whether the Base58Check address ecology requires "registration" or equivalent still remains :-) Sep 23, 2013 at 0:49

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