Mining into Bitcoin Adresses ! - What is the Version-Byte ?
Mining into Bitcoin Adresses ! - What is the Version-Byte ?

By CryptoUser | CryptoPublisher | 23 May 2020


Blockchain-based currencies use encoded strings, which are in a Base58Check encoding with the exception of Bech32 encodings. The Base58Check encoding includes a prefix (traditionally a single version byte), which affects the leading symbol(s) in the encoded result.

The Version-Byte is used to differentiate between MainNet and TestNet addresses as well as between P2PKH and P2SH addresses.

  1. P2PKH - Pay 2 Public Key Hash  - which begin with the number 1, eg: 1BvBMSEYstWetqTFn5Au4m4GFg7xJaNVN2.
  2. P2SH   - Pay 2 Script Hash - type starting with the number 3, eg: 3J98t1WpEZ73CNmQviecrnyiWrnqRhWNLy.


1) When you create a P2PKH Bitcoin address (Address starting with the prefix, 1), a hash is created using the Public Key and RIPEMD160(SHA256(pubkey)) functionality.

f54a5851e9372b87810a8e60cdd2e7cfd80b6e31 - The Hash Created.

2) In the next step, the Version-Byte is added. 

00f54a5851e9372b87810a8e60cdd2e7cfd80b6e31 - 00 is added for a MainNet, Public Key Hash.

05f54a5851e9372b87810a8e60cdd2e7cfd80b6e31 - 05 Added for a MainNet, Script Hash.

6Ff54a5851e9372b87810a8e60cdd2e7cfd80b6e31 - 6F Added for a TestNet, Public Key Hash.

C4f54a5851e9372b87810a8e60cdd2e7cfd80b6e31 - C4 Added for a TestNet, Script Hash.


List of address prefixes

The following is a list of some prefixes which are in use in the reference Bitcoin codebase.



Then a double SHA256 is performed, to create the checksum and the process continues to Base58Check encoding. Read my article Mining into Bitcoin Addresses ! - How a Bitcoin Address is Created ? for further information.


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