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4.5 Addresses

Puzzle hashes in Chia are 32-byte values. These can be displayed in hex, but this can lead to errors due to typos, and a poor user experience. Therefore, Chia displays puzzle hashes in a custom format called an address. The encoding scheme used is bech32m.

Address: xch1pwrzyy35qxk0rz76jl0648fvt6ql905vwd7zs0scjqant5sf25lql4hz3z

Puzzle hash: 0b8622123401acf18bda97dfaa9d2c5e81f2be8c737c283e18903b35d209553e

An address is just a different way to display the puzzle hash, which contains some additional data (checksum) at the end to find errors. Puzzle hashes can be converted to addresses and vice versa.

bech32m addresses have several features which make them attractive:

  • Checksum, which makes addresses invalid if only one character is modified.
  • An XCH prefix to distinguish from other cryptocurrencies.
  • Shorter than hex, and more compact than base58 addresses (and fit better in QR codes)

The blockchain consensus code does not operate with addresses; addresses are only used in user facing applications.

Spacescan.io has a handy bi-directional bech32m <> puzzle hash converter.