BIPs bitcoin improvement proposals

Name for payment recipient identifiers

  BIP: 179 source
  Title: Name for payment recipient identifiers
  Author: Emil Engler <>
          Luke Dashjr <>
  Comments-Summary: No comments yet.
  Status: Draft
  Type: Informational
  Created: 2019-10-17
  License: CC0-1.0

Table of Contents


This BIP proposes a new term for 'address'


The new term is: Bitcoin Invoice Address

The Bitcoin and Address parts are optional. The address suffix should only be used as a transitional step.

A Bitcoin Invoice Address is a string of characters that can be used to indicate the intended recipient and purpose of a transaction.


Bitcoin addresses are intended to be only used once and you should generate a new one for every new incoming payment. The term 'address' however indicates consistency because nearly everything on the internet or the offline world with the term 'address' is something that rarely or even never changes (postal address, email address, IP addresses (depends heavily on the provider), etc.) The motivation for this BIP is to change the term address to something that indicates that the address is connected to a single transaction.


The reason why we use Bitcoin Invoice Address or just Invoice is to emphasize that it is single-use. The terms Bitcoin and Address are optional for the following reasons: For Bitcoin:

  • Useful for multicoin wallets to indicate that it belongs to Bitcoin
  • Indicates a difference between a lightning and an on-chain invoice
For Address:
  • To not confuse users with a completely new term
  • To show that it is where you send something to
  • To not break backwards compatibility
This gives us the four following possibilities:
  • Bitcoin Invoice Address
  • Bitcoin Invoice
  • Invoice Address
  • Invoice

Backwards Compatibility

To avoid issues, the 'Address' suffix is permitted, but not recommended. The suffix 'Address' remains so users should be immediately able to recognize it until the new term is widely known.


Thanks to Chris Belcher for the suggestion of the term 'Bitcoin Invoice Address'


This BIP is released under CC0-1.0 and therefore Public Domain.