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For my client, I have set up a custom BTC payment solution using BTCPay Server. The wallets I have configured in BTCPay Server produce only bech32 (bc1xxx) addresses for payments (cheapest transaction fees).

My client (who ordered the solution) has asked me how many of his customers would be unable to send a payment to a bech32 address?

His concern is that his clients will be unable to pay their invoices in BTC because their wallets will be unable to send payments to the bech32 addresses.

As I can see it, I can go back to my client with one of the following two answers:

  1. Nearly all (??%) of wallets can send to bech32 including all\most commercial wallet providers so you don't need to worry, or
  2. This is a problem and instead of bech32 addresses I need to set up a payment wallet that supports legacy addresses (either 1xxx or 3xxx).

Could someone please tell me whether I can reassure him that the solution is fine as is, or whether I need to add legacy address support into it?

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  • Nearly all wallets can send to bech32 addresses. And you shouldn't be using wallets that lack good developers. My suggestions for bitcoin wallets: bitcoin core and electrum (desktop), samourai (android), green and fullynoded (iOS)
    – Prayank
    Aug 21 '20 at 19:31
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    @Prayank Thanks for your comment. I'm not looking for a wallet provider or utilising one that has a problem sending to bech32. My question is asking what proportion of the market is unavailable to me as a payment recipient if I only accept payment to bech32 addresses.
    – Martin
    Aug 21 '20 at 19:44
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As an answer didn't appear to be forthcoming, I did my own research in order to address this question.

Based on the information provided by the Bitcoin Wiki on Bech32 adoption, I surmised the following information.

  1. All mainstream software wallets support sending to Bech32.
  2. All mainstream hardware wallets support sending to Bech32 (either directly or via Electrum).
  3. All major web wallets support sending to Bech32.
  4. Most exchanges support sending to Bech32 (although notably Bitrex and LBC don't).

Note that I have specified sending because a lot of these do not support receiving funds via a Bech32 address as of yet. However, for my particular requirement that is unimportant as it is about sending only.

With the above facts confirmed, the answer I actually gave to my client was:

Nearly all wallets can send to bech32 including most commercial wallet providers so you don't need to worry.

When he asked what percentage, I was unable to answer it. I would need to know what percentage of daily volume went through the exchanges that didn't support Bech32. However, given then pretty much every wallet does support it I felt that this was less relevant.

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    It's difficult to give a definitive answer on the percentage, since it is difficult to know which wallets are creating transactions in the first place. Another good resource is the Optech compatibility matrix: bitcoinops.org/en/compatibility, however that was created in 2019, and I don't know if all of it is up to date.
    – Murch
    Sep 17 '20 at 6:41

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