Base58 is very useful whenever data needs to be written down, but I've never seen it mentioned in any context other than Bitcoin.

Was it invented by Satoshi specifically for use in Bitcoin?

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    Of course, various versions of base 64 have been in use for a long time. – Nate Eldredge Oct 27 '13 at 23:51

I believe flickr uses a base 58 scheme for encoding picture IDs in URLs, though Bitcoin's Base58 isn't compatible with flickr's.

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  • Do you have a reference? Perhaps an idea when they started doing this? – Meni Rosenfeld Oct 27 '13 at 22:18
  • Also, is it more likely that Satoshi was inspired by flickr, or that they developed it independently? – Meni Rosenfeld Oct 27 '13 at 22:53
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    My guess is inspired by, but no evidence to back that up (except that the dictionary is the same, just in a different order). – Pieter Wuille Oct 27 '13 at 23:36

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