How does one verify that the address of, say “Foodmart”, which the sales person is telling me to send the payment to is actually the address of “Foodmart” not that of that salesman himself? To be specific, how does the blockchain prevent address masquerading attacks?

  • Hi Imran Makhdoom, I've edited your question to make it more succinct and clarify the terminology. Please check that I've understood your question correctly and feel free to edit it further or rollback the changes in case I didn't. – Murch Mar 19 '17 at 19:28

As I understand, you have two options:

  • Ask foodmart to give you payment request instead of only a bitcoin address. A SignedPaymentRequest bundles a PaymentRequest with a digital identity and signature, so you can be sure that you are paying the correct person or merchant. This was introduced in BIP70 and supported by these major bitcoin wallets
  • Use another decentralized chain to store and verify identity. You can use NAMEID that is based on namecoin
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  • Or just get a printed invoice in paper with the recipient address specified. – Murch Mar 19 '17 at 19:28

Bitcoin provides no protection against such attacks. It is up to each user to verify that an address belongs to the person they really want to send money to.

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