I tried to sign a message from gui v18 and the debug console without success: With the popup it shows red text:

"the entered address does not refer to a key. Please check the address and try again"

With the console:

"Address does not refer to key (code -3)"

the approach was:
- get a fresh public address from the wallet (new receive address)
- paste it into the address field
- type 'foobar' into the message field
- click sign message

in the console i unlocked the wallet (for long enough!) then
`signmessage "pupaddr" "foobar"

both with no success. I double checked the pubaddr (taken from the address field on the right button).

enter image description here

the throw happens here in the sourcecode. The addr. starts with 3... .

1 Answer 1


The message signing feature in Bitcoin Core only works for P2PKH addresses (which start with 1...). There isn't an established standard for other ones (a few competing proposals exist, though).

  • For how long will i abe able to use this feature for P2PKH to either generate or verify those adresses? currently i do getnewaddress "mylabel" "legacy"
    – droid192
    Commented Jul 1, 2019 at 20:52

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