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    0.1.3 • Public • Published

    Bech32 Encoding for Arbitrary Buffers

    Build status Code coverage Demo

    Bech32 is a Bitcoin address format specified in BIP 173. Among its advantages are: better adaptability to QR codes and in voice conversations, and improved error detection. This library generalizes Bech32 to encode any (reasonably short) byte buffers.


    Encoding data

    declare function encode(prefix: string, data: Uint8Array): string;

    Encodes binary data with the specified human-readable prefix into a Bech32 string.


    • prefix: string
      Human-readable prefix to hint what kind of data Bech32 encodes. Must contain ASCII chars in the range 33-126
    • data: Uint8Array
      Binary data to encode

    Return value

    String containing:

    1. prefix
    2. '1' separator char
    3. data encoded with the variant of base32 encoding used by Bech32, and
    4. 6-char checksum calculated based on prefix and data


    const bech32 = require('bech32-buffer');
    const data = new Uint8Array(20);
    bech32.encode('test', data);
    // 'test1qqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqqql6aptf'

    Decoding data

    declare function decode(message: string): { prefix: string, data: Uint8Array };

    Extracts human-readable prefix and binary data from the Bech32-encoded string.


    • data: string
      String to decode

    Return value

    An object with the following fields:

    • prefix: string
      Human-readable prefix
    • data: Uint8Array
      Binary data encoded into the input string

    The encoding may fail for a variety of reasons (e.g., invalid checksum, or invalid chars in the input). In this case, decode() throws an exception with a descriptive message.


    const bech32 = require('bech32-buffer');
    const data = 'lost1qsyq7yqh9gk0szs5';
    // {
    //   prefix: 'lost',
    //   data: Uint8Array([ 4, 8, 15, 16, 23, 42 ])
    // }

    Bitcoin addresses

    declare class BitcoinAddress {
      prefix: 'bc' | 'tb';
      scriptVersion: number;
      data: Uint8Array;
      static decode(message: string): BitcoinAddress;
      constructor(prefix: 'bc' | 'tb', scriptVersion: number, data: Uint8Array);
      encode(): string;
      type(): void | 'p2wsh' | 'p2wpkh';

    Provides basic functionality to work with Bech32 encoding of Bitcoin addresses. Addresses can be decoded from strings and encoded into strings. It is also possible to check the type of an address. P2WSH and P2WPKH address types are defined per BIP 141. Encoding constraints are defined per BIP 173.


    const { BitcoinAddress } = require('bech32-buffer');
    const address = BitcoinAddress.decode('BC1QW508D6QEJXTDG4Y5R3ZARVARY0C5XW7KV8F3T4');
    // address.prefix === 'bc'
    // address.scriptVersion === 0
    // address.data.length === 20
    // address.type() === 'p2wpkh'

    Use in Browsers

    Use dist/bech32-buffer.min.js from the package distribution or your favorite browserifier. In the first case, the library will be available as a bech32 global variable:

    <script src="bech32-buffer.min.js"></script>
    <!-- later -->
    bech32.encode('test', new Uint8Array(20));

    Check out the web demo to see how bech32-buffer works in browser. It is also available in the examples directory of the package.


    BIP 173 is authored by Pieter Wuille and Greg Maxwell and is licensed under the 2-clause BSD license.

    There are at least 2 existing implementations of Bech32 for JavaScript:

    Both implementations are Bitcoin-specific, and the reference implementation is also not in the Npm / yarn package manager.


    bech32-buffer is available under Apache-2.0 license.


    npm i bech32-buffer

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