Bitcoin Sites Are Moving to IPv6, and You Should Too

End-to-end P2P or Bitcoin transactions are coming back. Do you want to be ready? Then IPv6 is the way to go. To help spread the word about IPv6 and why it’s needed, websites around the Bitcoin world are migrating to IPv6 servers. So far, CoinGeek, nChain, and Bitcoin Association have IPv6 addresses, and others in the BSV industry will likely follow if they aren’t already.

  • coingeek.com – 2606:4700::6813:ab32
  • nchain.com – 2606:4700::6811:9f43
  • bitcoinassociation.net – 2606:4700::6811:17eb

Why does Bitcoin need IPv6? Or rather, why does IPv6 need Bitcoin? Bitcoin is, after all, “a peer-to-peer electronic payment system.” Support for direct transactions between IP addresses was written in the original Bitcoin code, and while it worked, there were security holes when communicating over IPv4.

IPv4 is the oldest Internet protocol (but for now, still the majority). In recent years, more of the global network has begun to migrate to IPv6, which has 340,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000 (not a typo) unique addresses, and improvements built-in privacy/security features, such as cipher-generated addresses (CGAs).

With IPv6, Bitcoin can realize its full potential with direct, secure, and fast transactions between hundreds of billions of users and devices worldwide. Bitcoin and IPv6 can create a whole new kind of digital economy. Micro and nano payments can be automated between machines and small IoT devices. The internet can finally have its long-awaited payment layer and the means to manage it.

Check if you are using IPv6 and how to configure

IPv6 addresses are different from IPv4 addresses. Instead of four numbers separated by periods, IPv6 typically has eight groups of four hexadecimal characters, separated by colons. If you see a double-comma, it’s a shortcut for groups with all zeros (for example: 0000:0000 becomes ::). All leading zeros in a group can be omitted.

You can check if a site is running on IPv6 by installing an extension called “IPvFoo” in Chrome and Chromium-based web browsers. A small widget will show up if you are viewing the site on IPv4 or the brand new version 6.

However, there is still a problem: even if a site has an IPv6 address, you can still consult the IPv4 version. There is no difference (to the user) in how the site works, and you might be wondering why you don’t see any sites running on IPv6.

The reason is probably the following: you are still on an IPv4-only network. This is where it gets a bit tricky because to change this you will need to configure your home router (or wifi router) settings.

If you don’t know how to do this, it might be best to leave it alone for now or learn. If you do, it’s relatively simple (although it’s different for every router). Most modern router setups will have a section to configure IPv6 network access. What you enter in its fields will depend on your ISP. Either you will need to chat with your ISP’s support team or they will have a page online to guide you.

Popular brands like Netgear and TP-Link have information pages on router/wifi setup and how to configure them for IPv6. Here are some links, and if your brand isn’t listed, you can still get a general idea of ​​how it’s done and what’s required:

It’s also possible that your ISP or mobile provider doesn’t yet offer IPv6 access, although it’s becoming more and more common for them to have it as an option. Unfortunately, if you don’t, that’s a sign that your ISP isn’t looking to the future. Some ISPs actually require IPv6 configuration during setup, so you may already have it.

Bitcoin and IPv6: Improving the Internet

Dragging the entire Internet, and all of its users and services, into the IPv6 world has been a slow process. After all, IPv6 has been around long before the World Wide Web, and even tutorials from over a decade ago tell us that IPv4 is probably still a few years old. This is mainly due to the work that network administrators have to do to reconfigure everything, as well as the need to replace outdated hardware.

Bitcoin P2P transactions should still be able to use IPv4, so legacy networks don’t get left behind, as long as you have a static IPv4 address with no NAT or CGN router handling your traffic. But that’s not everyone. For ordinary users, unique IPv4 addresses are quite rare these days. Transactions will also need to rely on the security add-ons of IPv4 such as DNSSEC and TLS/SSL certificates to generate addresses. While this works, IPv6’s built-in secure key generation is much better.

Direct transactions between IP addresses are another example of how Bitcoin was years ahead of its time, even in 2008. Although migrating to a better network was a slow process, it is accelerating quickly. It’s good to have a bit of knowledge about how it works and why it’s better, so follow these steps to migrate to IPv6 as soon as you can.

Watch: Dr. Craig Wright’s keynote speech at the BSV Global Blockchain Convention: A Better Internet with IPv6 and BSV Blockchain

New to Bitcoin? Discover CoinGeek bitcoin for beginners section, the ultimate resource guide to learn more about Bitcoin – as originally envisioned by Satoshi Nakamoto – and blockchain.

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