On Thursday (February 27), crypto exchange Bitstamp announced "full support for SegWit bech32 bitcoin transfers."
According to Bitstamp's announcement, customers "can now withdraw Bitcoin to bech32 addresses and generate new deposit addresses in this format."
This technical upgrade means that all Bitstamp customers now have new Bitcoin deposit addresses, which must be used whenever they wish to send some bitcoin to Bitstamp.
Bitstamp's Bitcoin deposit page allows choosing between the old format or Bech32 (a SegWit address format specified by BIP 173), but Bitstamp would natually prefer customers to start using the Bech32 format since this "provides an efficiency boost to Bitcoin transactions."
Bitstamp says that for users the main benefit of using the Bech32 format is that "it limits human error when writing addresses."
Bech32 addresses, which are, by the way, not case sensitive, start with "bc1" on the Bitcoin mainnet; here is an example: bc1qar0srrr7xfkvy5l643lydnw9re59gtzzwf5mdq.
Also, Bech32 addresses are automatically checked to make sure users are not sending to invalid addresses.
Featured Image Courtesy of Bitstamp