A developer seems to have done the bitcoiner community a favor by designing a tool that allows Bitpay invoice URLs to be converted into simple Bitcoin addresses.
Matthew Zipkin, editor of Let's Talk Bitcoin, one of the oldest podcasts of the bitcoiner ecosystem and where the well-known Andreas Antonopoulos also collaborates, has launched the BitcoinToolkit website to allow anyone to decode Bitpay invoices and turn them into traditional Bitcoin invoices.
The site, which shows an alert at the beginning that says "This web page intentionally breaks secure protocols and could destroy your bitcoins forever. Use it at your own risk 🙂 ", and whose code is published on Github as" bip70hack ", allows you to paste the payment URLs of the Bitpay invoices, which contain all the transaction data to be made, and transform them in the traditional portfolio address and the amount to be paid in bitcoins of the invoice and then paste it into the Bitcoin portfolio of the user's preference and finalize the payment.
The tool was born out of a disagreement with the procedures of the exclusive implementation of a payment protocol based on the BIP 70 that Bitpay, one of the largest processors, made a few months ago. of payments with Bitcoin that currently exists, and that has the objective of reducing errors when paying with the cryptocurrency.
The abstract in Github of BIP70, created by Gavin Andresen, a Bitcoin Core collaborator, although inactive Two years ago, and Mike Hearn, who "resigned" from Bitcoin in 2016 and classified it as a "failed experiment" for its "high commissions", explains that "this BIP describes a communication protocol between a merchant and his client, that allows a better customer experience and greater security against the attacks of intermediaries in the payment process ". However, it seems that the experience has not been "better" for those who have had to pay a website using Bitpay .
Some users on social networks have expressed their opinion against this improvement proposal. A user on Twitter alleges that the interface adds "more friction to the process" and that it only allows paying using the portfolio provided by the Bitpay company, which has the same name. Another on Reddit, which calls itself 'MoneroPanda', comments: "Every time a merchant asks me to pay through Bitpay, I have to search in google for a way to convert the strange address to a real bitcoin address. It is really frustrating. I have no idea why bitpay believes that this is the way forward. "
This implementation has generated inconveniences for users related to the adoption of the protocol. On the one hand, in order to make payments, the portfolio used by the user must understand the protocol in order to decode it and obtain the transaction data. Otherwise, the Bitpay system rejects the request and the wallet does not allow payment . And until now, very few popular portfolios, easy to use, allow you to read these URLs. Of the "real" portfolios that Bitpay cites as those that support the protocol, BitPay and Copay are from the same company, Bitcoin Core is a complete node, Electrum an advanced purse, and Mycelium and Airbitz (currently Edge) are the only ones for the common user.
On the other hand, the fact of having to use one of the portfolios that the protocol supports makes users move their portfolio cryptocurrencies. That is, make more than one transaction to finalize the payment, or, as Zipkin did, search or develop alternatives that allow performing a bypass of the imposed lock .
] Still, the need for Bitpay to eliminate errors when paying with bitcoins does not seem to be negligible. In the results of a study published in mid-January this year, the payment processor shows how transactions were reduced by 90% with amounts below the amount needed to complete the payment and by 70% those with amounts above . What, according to Bitpay, originated savings in the order of thousands of dollars in shipping errors and transaction fees to the miners.
Anyway, although Bitpay's proposal could be positive for the use of Bitcoin, bitcoiners do not seem to want to change their habits. And given the fact that many major companies such as Microsoft, Destinia, Newegg, or Neteller accept bitcoins through Bitpay, it's no surprise that someone in the community has created a solution to alleviate nonconformity and allow users of BitPay Bitcoin pay with the cryptocurrency as they always have. A sample, in addition, of the decentralization of the community and the development of Bitcoin.
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