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Bitcoin's BIP 70: Enhancing Payment Security and User Experience

BIP 70 Enhancing Payment Security

Bitcoin, the pioneering cryptocurrency, has always been at the forefront of technological advancements, ensuring secure and efficient transactions for its users. One such advancement is the Bitcoin Payment Protocol, known as BIP 70. This protocol is designed to enhance the communication between merchants and their customers during transactions, providing an improved user experience and added security.

What is BIP 70?

BIP 70 is a protocol that facilitates communication between a merchant and its customers when Bitcoin transactions are made. It was introduced to provide an additional layer of security and to enhance the overall customer experience during transactions.

Key Features of BIP 70:

  1. Human-readable, Secure Payment Destinations: Instead of the traditional 34-character Bitcoin address, which can be hard to comprehend, BIP 70 allows customers to authorize payments to easily identifiable payment processors. For instance, a payment can be authorized to “” or “Example, Inc.”, making the process more user-friendly.

  2. Secure Proof of Payment: This feature provides customers with a secure proof of their payment, which can be crucial in case of any disputes with the merchant.

  3. Resistance to Man-in-the-Middle Attacks: One of the significant security features of BIP 70 is its ability to resist man-in-the-middle attacks. These attacks occur when an attacker replaces a merchant's Bitcoin address with their own before a transaction is authorized. BIP 70 effectively prevents this.

  4. Instant Payment Notifications: With BIP 70, customers receive immediate notifications once the merchant has received and is processing their payment.

  5. Refund Addresses: This feature is particularly beneficial for merchants. BIP 70 automatically provides merchants with refund addresses from the customer’s wallet software. This eliminates the need for merchants to contact customers for refunding overpayments or unfulfilled orders.

Adoption of BIP 70:

Coinbase, a prominent Bitcoin payments processor, has integrated support for BIP 70, emphasizing its potential in offering improved protection against potential threats like man-in-the-middle attacks. The protocol is automatically enabled for all merchants using Coinbase, and it is supported across all of its wallets. However, regular users need to enable it from the advanced user settings.

Furthermore, Coinbase has provided a demo showcasing the protocol in action, demonstrating a simple transaction between two Coinbase users. The full BIP 70 specification is also available on Github for those interested in the technical details.


BIP 70 is a testament to Bitcoin's commitment to ensuring secure, transparent, and user-friendly transactions. By addressing potential security threats and enhancing the user experience, the Bitcoin Payment Protocol is paving the way for a more secure and efficient digital transaction environment.

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