Safari identfies every address that starts with bitcoin?

Bitcoin Questions and AnswersCategory: General questionsSafari identfies every address that starts with bitcoin?

fred asked 11 months ago

Safari identfies every address that starts with bitcoin?; as an invalid address. every where i have tried to make a purchase, Safari refuses to recognize the address. whats up?

1 Answers
Steven Hay answered 11 months ago

Hi Fred,
I don’t really understand. Are you talking about URLs (as in or Bitcoin addresses (like 1fTJ9KMUyBHrKF5zj5mn9wUsHxgAUH1Yv)?
Either way, none of them would start with the characters “bitcoin?;” so … Please describe what you’re trying to access in Safari? Note that a browser alone is incapable of making Bitcoin payments – for that you will need some kind of Bitcoin wallet.

Steven Hay replied 10 months ago

Hey Knockwurst,

I take it that you’re Fred…

So I finally figured out what these weird addresses are. They’re part of the BitPay companies new payment system (based on BIP70 if you care about the technicalities).

BitPay is a payment system based on Bitcoin. It’s been around for a long time but unfortuantely seems to be turning evil lately. This new system is an example of that – whereas before BitPay transactions went through the Bitcoin blockchain, this new system allows BitPay to act as a gatekeeper to the blockchain. This is of course anathema as it violates Bitcoin’s properties of decentralization and censorship-resistance. BitPay have also been busted for charging huge “networking fees” despite the fact that transaction fees in Bitcoin are currently extremely low.

Another problem with this new format of BitPay’s is that most Bitcoin wallets don’t support it. This seems to be the problem you’re having… If it helps, it’s a problem with a company and nothing to do with Bitcoin itself. Unfortunately, it seems you have arrived in Bitcoin right in the middle of a complex and confusing technical controversy – welcome, it’s often like this!

What I recommend doing is contacting the site you’re trying to pay and requesting that they switch to a better, cheaper and not-evil system, like the open source alternative, BTCpay – it’s designed as a drop-in alternative to BitPay. Alternatively, pay for the item in a different way. I can’t recommend supporting BitPay by using this system.

Knockwurst replied 11 months ago

Thank you for your reply. I cannot send you a screen shot in this space. But the bitcoin address i am prompted to open in or paste into my wallet begins “bitcoin:?r. Two different addresses from two reputable companies. If it would be possible to send me a regular email, I could attach an example of what I mean. I am brand new to bitcoin and this is freaking me out.

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