We’ve updated our address format to Native SegWit. Visit your Bitwala wallet to check out the new receiving address. Enjoy lower fees when you next bitcoin trade with Bitwala!
Although the catchy slogan "Harder, Better, Faster Stronger" derives from a French alt-electronic duo with shiny robotic suits, we're talking about our latest wallet upgrade.
We’re changing to Native SegWit wallets. Now you can enjoy lower fees on all your future bitcoin transactions.
Since its inception in early 2009, the Bitcoin network and the underlying protocol has gone through a lot of changes and improvements. These are circulated through BIPs, also known as Bitcoin Improvement Proposals.
One of the most discussed improvements is BIP141, titled “Segregated Witness”. The proposal enhances the bitcoin address format and drastically reduces the amount of space a bitcoin transaction takes up on the blockchain.
Transactions turn out to be 30-50% cheaper when using the SegWit format - winning!
What is the SegWit format?
There are two different kinds of “SegWit” addresses. Those addresses starting with “3….” for example the Huobi cold wallet address: 35hK24tcLEWcgNA4JxpvbkNkoAcDGqQPsP. This format is called “wrapped” and it provides downward compatibility with the old bitcoin address format like the first bitcoin address by Satoshi Nakamoto: 1A1zP1eP5QGefi2DMPTfTL5SLmv7DivfNa. These addresses starting with “1..” are called “Legacy” addresses.
The “native” SegWit format is called Bech32 and saves another 20-30% of the fees by reducing the needed blockchain space. These addresses start with “bc1…”. Like the new Bitwala addresses.
What’s in it for me?
Following a period of internal testing, we’ve now successfully implemented the new format on our side. We have for a while used Native SegWit bitcoin addresses internally as part of our trading engine. Those who have bought or sold BTC over the last few weeks might have noticed these addresses pop up in the transaction logs.
Now, we are taking it one step further. Starting from today, we are switching all Bitcoin addresses to native SegWit format. That means that a new receiving address will be generated for you once you visit the wallet section in your Bitwala account. No need to do anything from your side. Simply enjoy cheaper, more efficient bitcoin transactions every time you trade.
....And what’s next?
All Bitwala users will migrate to the next level of bitcoin’s improved technology, effectively lowering your transaction costs.
Your old addresses stay valid, so you can still receive BTC on the old addresses starting with “3…” if you prefer. This might be the case for old wallet software that doesn’t recognize the new format.
If you’re interested in learning more about the overall adoption of SegWit addresses, there is a chart comparing the different formats, which you can find here. For further reading, we recommend the dedicated Wikipedia page on Segregated Witness.
As in the past, we will be watching out for the latest bitcoin improvements while striving to build and provide you with a product you love to use.